Think twice before buying or consuming something made out of an exotic tree, plant or wild animal as you may be contributing to their extinction or exploitation. Before travelling, familiarize yourself with local exotic dishes which may contain illegal products. Don’t forget that many countries, perhaps including your own, have penalties for those caught trafficking protected wild animals, exotic plants and endangered wood products.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have joined forces to promote a global campaign urging travellers to support the fight against a number of forms of trafficking. The Campaign was presented to the tourism sector at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin (5 March 2014).
’Your Actions Count – Be a Responsible Traveller’ aims to raise awareness about the most common illicit goods and services that tourists might be exposed to while travelling. The campaign provides guidance to recognize possible situations of trafficking in persons, wildlife, cultural artefacts, illicit drugs and counterfeit goods, and invites travellers to take action through responsible consumer choices.
“Tourists are global citizens and with over one billion tourists travelling the world each year they must become a force for good. Making the right ethical choice as consumers reduces the demand for illegal products and contributes to preserve natural and cultural assets that form an invaluable part of the heritage of the communities and people we visit” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai during the launch of the campaign.
’Your Actions Count – Be a Responsible Traveller‘ will contribute to the UN’s goal of combating organized crime as well as upholding the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
The campaign launches with the support of Marriott International and Sabre Holdings, the first tourism companies to partner in the campaign, promoting this important message among their millions of customers. Marriott will share the anti-trafficking message with their guests, employees and Marriott Reward Members through their internal and external websites and news bulletins, reservation confirmation emails, Marriott Rewards member newsletters and blog and social media. Sabre will support the campaign with four consumer-facing businesses and/or products – Travelocity, lastminute.com, TripCase and GetThere – as well communicating externally to their stakeholders and internally to their employees.