Partnership story

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The Tour Operators’ Initiative – a partnership involving UNEP, UNESCO, UNWTO and the tourism industry


The Tour Operators’ Initiative has been developed by tour operators for tour operators with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), who are also full members of the Initiative.

Most tour operators recognise that a clean and safe environment is critical to their success. Fewer have the management tools or experience to design and conduct tours that minimise their negative environmental, social and economic impacts while optimising their benefits. To develop and implement these tools in their own operations, and encourage other tour operators to do the same, a group of tour operators from different parts of the world have joined forces to create the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development.

The Initiative is an Association registered in Switzerland. It is voluntary, non-profit, and open to all tour operators, regardless of their size and geographical location.