Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development

The Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI) has been actively involved in the Silk Road Programme to bring international tour operators’ perspective and practical suggestions on how to improve tourism across and along the Silk Road destinations while enhancing their attractiveness and competitiveness. 

From the Initiative’s perspective, safeguarding Silk Road destinations translates into a significant advancement of tourism world-wide – particularly in light of the many countries involved. Members of the Initiative have been engaged in a consultation process to provide input and formulate recommendations for the Silk Road Programme and its Action Plans. TOI’s companies, though competitors in the market, indeed share a strong, common interest in ensuring destinations’ sustained growth that takes into account the need for preserving environmental, social and cultural heritage, while ensuring that the benefits generated by the tourism industry are equally shared by host communities. Ideally, this involves always using a bottom-up and multi-sectoral approach when identifying challenges and sustainable solutions.

About the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI)

Established in 2000, the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI) has been created to encourage travel companies to make a commitment to sustainable development and to promote sound tourism practices, mainly through:

  • Implementation of environmental management strategies in operations and at destination
  • Responsible tourism development and growth with a focus on destination lifecycle
  • Promotion of responsible travel choices and consumer behaviours

The Initiative, fully supported by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which hosts the TOI’s Secretariat, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has been a pioneer in demonstrating that sustainable development guarantees the competitiveness, attractiveness and survival of destinations and the existence of tourism business in the medium- and long-term.

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