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APEC Agreements and Declarations

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APEC/PATA Environmental Code for Sustainable Tourism


This code urges PATA Association and Chapter members and APEC Member Economies to:

Conserve the natural environment, ecosystems and biodiversity

Respect and support local traditions, cultures and communities

Maintain environmental management systems

Conserve and reduce energy, waste and pollutants

Encourage a tourism commitment to environments and cultures

Educate and inform others about local environments and cultures

Cooperate with others to sustain environments and cultures

The Code for Sustainable Tourism has been adopted by both PATA and APEC as a reflection of their strong commitment to tourism growth across the Asia and Pacific region that is viable and sustainable over a long-term future.

PATA, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, was established in 1951 as the body for national tourist offices, airlines, hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and other firms active in tourism to promote travel to and within the Pacific Asia region. Its Charter sets out its fundamental commitment to what is now called sustainable development:

" encourage and assist in the development of travel industries throughout Pacific-Asia in a manner which recognizes the urgent importance to practice an environmental ethic that supports responsible conservation and restoration of Pacific Asia’s unique combination of natural, social and cultural resources"

PATA has maintained that commitment for over 50 years through numerous publications, conferences and workshops, and through its consistent promotion of heritage conservation, cultural tourism and ecotourism. PATA first adopted a code for environmentally sensitive tourism at its 40th annual conference in 1991.

APEC, Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation, was formed as a high level forum for the leaders of Asia Pacific economies in 1989. It has a particular commitment to opening the region to the freer flow of trade in goods and services, which includes tourism, and to co-operation across its economies on a wide front.

APEC established a Tourism Working Group in 1991 and convened the first APEC Ministerial Meeting in Seoul in 2000. At that meeting APEC adopted its Tourism Charter, which sets out four policy goals. One of these is to "Sustainably manage tourism outcomes and impacts". This expresses APEC’s clear commitment to ecologically and culturally sustainable tourism development.

Reflecting these commitments, APEC and PATA, at a meeting of the APEC Tourism Working Group and at the Fiftieth PATA Conference respectively, both in Malaysia in April 2001, adopted the Code for Sustainable Tourism to guide their own activities and to promote to their members and affiliates.

The code is designed for adoption and implementation by a wide range of tourism-related organizations and companies. By adhering to it they will be showing their commitment to the vision of tourism growth which is fully responsible in its approach to natural environments, to social needs and to cultural sensitivities. By following the Code organizations will also be positioning themselves to deal with environmental regulation, environmental accounting, environmental standards such as ISO, and accreditation schemes requiring reporting on environmental and social impacts.

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