ITB: Leading travel firms tackle trafficking

The campaign asks tourists to consider where souvenirs come from
The campaign asks tourists to consider where souvenirs come from

Several leading travel and tourism associations and businesses have teamed up to launch a new anti-trafficking campaign.

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have teamed up to promote a worldwide campaign urging travellers to join the fight against trafficking.

Using the tagline ’Your Actions Count – Be a Responsible Traveller’, the campaign will encourage tourists to spot potential trafficking situations and making purchasing decisions with trafficking in mind.

“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.

The campaign will hope to raise awareness in the trafficking of people, wildlife, cultural artefacts, drugs and counterfeit goods.

“Tourists are easy targets for dealers selling cultural artifacts of doubtful provenance,” explained Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO.  “They are usually unaware that these ‘souvenirs’ may be stolen heritage – ripped away from their original settings, illegally excavated from archeological sites, or traded by unscrupulous individuals offering meagre payment.”

“Travellers have a responsibility not to contribute to the profits being generated through organised crime…it is important that travellers fully understand the exploitative nature of these activities,” added UNODC executive director, Yury Fedotov.

Sabre Holdings and Marriott International have already backed the campaign and will promote their messages through customers and employees including through lastminute.com and Travelocity.

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