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5 – 7 November 2024

Where sustainable travel ideas take off

World Travel Market stands strong in its Responsible Tourism programming whilst observing the sector taking huge steps forward in terms of accountability, seeing sustainable initiatives now becoming the norm.

In 2023, World Travel Market will continue to deliver cutting edge educational content programmes to support the sector in continual improvement.

Join us at World Travel Market in November where you can find your power to change.

The history of Responsible Tourism

In 2002, 280 representatives from all sectors of tourism from 20 countries attended the Cape Town Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, preceding the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. A declaration on responsible tourism was agreed.

The 2002 Cape Town declaration agreed that responsible tourism:

  • minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts
  • generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well being of host communities; improves working conditions and access to the industry
  • involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances
  • makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity
  • provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
  • provides access for physically challenged people
  • is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence


  • 2004 - in association with World Travel Market, the International Tourism Partnership founded the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards.
  • 2007 - the 1st UNWTO Ministers' Summit on Tourism and Climate Change launch of World Responsible Tourism Day.
  • 2011 saw the launch of Responsible Tourism programming at Arabian Travel Market.


  • 2013 - the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards now in their 10th year were renamed WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards.
  • 2014 - Responsible Tourism programming launched at WTM Africa.


  • 2015 - the UN Sustainable Development Goals launched, and Responsible Tourism featured in the Industry Report for the very first time.
  • 2019 - WTM Latin America launched Responsible Tourism programming.
  • 2023 - WTM London launch the WTM Sustainability Summit.

Who we are

The World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Programme is an education initiative developed for the tourism sector, which evolved from Environment Awareness Day, launched at World Travel Market in 1994.

Over the last 29 years, the responsible tourism and environmental awareness programming at World Travel Market has focused on raising awareness for the impact tourism has on its much-loved planet and supporting the industry in taking accountability and driving improvements to protect the planet for future generations.

In 2001, the UK Government Sustainable Tourism initiative was launched.

Platform for Change

Platform for Change has been drafted to provoke discussion about the issues that need to be addressed and the solutions that have been tried and tested. Attending WTM is the most efficient way to learn about the biggest developments in the sector and opportunities for positive change.

Dive into Responsible Tourism

Learn from the industry leading experts and read their latest blogs, covering a variety of topics in Responsible Tourism.

Visit WTM London

Play your part at the world’s most influential travel and tourism event.