Individual tour operators often have limited direct influence on human rights impacts or violations. Sector collaboration is an effective way to increase operators’ power to work against human rights violations.
Many human rights risks appear somewhere in a tour operator’s value chain (see value chain risk analysis) and often especially small operators have limited direct influence on the potential human rights impacts of the industry. However, as those risks do appear in connection to their business operations, tour operators still have a responsibility to act and use their influence (leverage) to prevent or mitigate such negative impacts.
In such cases, sector collaboration is an impactful way to raise awareness on human rights issues to find ways of addressing them jointly and therefore to increase leverage. In the context of sector collaboration, consider making joint public statements outlining the commitment to respect human rights and the expectations towards service providers in the industry, as well as tourism authorities and other key players who can positively influence the issue.
In the tabs below, different forms of sector collaborations are explained.
⇒ Click here to identify your value chain-related human rights risks
Various multi-stakeholder initiatives have brought together important players in the tourism industry in recent years. The initiatives all aim to address specific human rights-related issues in the sector by identifying opportunities for collaboration and joint action. Tour operators are encouraged to become members of initiatives that address issues identified in their human rights risk assessments (see value chain risk assessment on this website).
Become a member of the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism and get engaged in concrete projects with an inspiring group of people.
Many business associations have put specific working groups in place to jointly work on issues related to responsible tourism. Some have already established human rights-specific programmes.
Such activities can be found both in countries where tour operators are headquartered, as well as in the destinations. Tour operators are encouraged to join such working groups and be actively engaged on relevant human rights issues (see value chain risk assessment on this website).
Sustainability information provided by various national tourism industry assocations:
The listed tour operators’ associations are all members of the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism – they welcome you to join their sustainability working groups.
Besides many industry-specific collaborations, there are also cross-sectoral initiatives that aim to tackle overarching issues such as e.g. modern slavery.
Guidance, including sample SCoC by a cross-sectoral initiative:
Shiva Foundation (2018): Framework for working with suppliers: Mitigating risk of modern slavery.
Often people think that the issues their industry is confronted with are unique and cannot be compared with other sectors. We can however learn a lot from each other!
Get involved in local destination and transport infrastructure development planning in emerging or growing tourist destinations and raise potential human rights-related issues (see value chain risk assessment on this website) and suggest measures to prevent negative human rights impacts linked to tourism development.
Swisscontact WISATA (2017): Comunity-based Tourism in Flores Impacts and Carrying Capacity.
Endeva (2015): Destination mutual benefit: A guide to inclusive Business in Tourism.
Find more information in the Resource Centre.