Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Tourists urged to be responsible travellers

Tourists can fight the trade in illicit goods by behaving as responsible travellers.

The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) estimates that each year, one billion people travel and face choices about buying illegal products.

The recently launched campaign by the WTO, UNESCO and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “Your Actions Count – Be a Responsible Traveller”, is aimed at educating tourists.

The initiative provides guidance to recognise possible situations of trafficking in persons, cultural artefacts, illicit drugs and counterfeit goods, and invites travellers to take action through responsible
consumer choices.

“Tourists travel the world each year and 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.

Meanwhile, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, emphasised the importance of informing travellers about where their money ends up when buying illicit products.

“Travellers have a responsibility not to contribute to the profits being generated through organised crime. Whether it relates to the sale of people, animal products, drugs, cultural artefacts or counterfeit goods, it is important that travellers fully understand the exploitative nature of these activities. Awareness campaigns such as this one are critical if potential consumers are to be informed about the adverse effects of their purchasing decisions,” he stated. (TL)

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