In recognition of the significant effect of tourism on local societies, the environment and the economy in general, the World Tourism Organisation has instituted a Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. This is a set of principles that form a basis for the sustainable development of tourism and are addressed to all stakeholders (local and national authorities, local society, tourism sector professionals, tourists), highlighting the rights and obligations of each side.

“ The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism  sets a frame of reference for the responsible and sustainable development of world tourism.It draws inspiration from similar declarations and industry codes that have come before and it adds new thinking that reflects our changing society at the beginning of the 21st century.With international tourism forecast to reach 1.6 billion arrivals by 2020, members of the World Tourism Organization believe that the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is needed to help minimize the negative impacts of tourism on the environment and on cultural heritage while maximizing the benefits for residents of tourism destinations.”
Francesco Frangialli (Secretary General UNWTO 1998-2008)

The code includes the following 10 articles:

Article 1
Tourism's contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies

Article 2
Tourism as a vehicle for individual and collective fulfilment

Article 3
Tourism, a factor of sustainable development

Article 4
Tourism, a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and contributor to its enhancement

Article 5
Tourism, a beneficial activity for host countries and communities

Article 6
Obligations of stakeholders in tourism development

Article 7
Right to tourism

Article 8
Liberty of tourist movements

Article 9
Rights of the workers and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry

Article 10
Implementation of the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism