Destination Mekong signs Glasgow Declaration

PHNOM PENH, 22 November 2021: Destination Mekong joins a growing list of tourism organisations that signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism at the COP26.

As part of its efforts to play a leadership role in the global tourism community, Destination Mekong became a signatory and launch partner of the Glasgow Declaration on climate Action in Tourism, which was launched earlier this month during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). 

Founded in 2017, Destination Mekong (DM) is a regional tourism organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism in the Mekong region. (Member countries: Cambodia, China — Guangxi and Yunnan provinces — Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam), as a sustainable and inclusive tourism destination.  

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism unites travel and tourism behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalysing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally. 

The Glasgow Declaration encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism by securing commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

As a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, Destination Mekong has committed to aligning its actions with the latest scientific recommendations to ensure its approach remains consistent with a rise of no more than 1.5°c above pre-industrial levels by 2100. It also has agreed to deliver or update climate action plans within 12 months, align programs with the five pathways of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonise, Regenerate, Collaborate, Finance), report publicly on an annual basis, and work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and disseminating information

“More than ever, the global tourism industry has a unique opportunity to demonstrate its transformative power through inspiring and driving climate action. It’s not only an emergency but also a matter of human dignity,” said Destination Mekong CEO Catherine Germier-Hamel.

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism brings together the latest research and global expertise to galvanise climate action. Hosted within the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme’s website, it presents ‘Recommended Actions’ for tourism stakeholders worldwide to consider as part of their action planning, alongside other resources.

As the declaration states: “A just transition to Net Zero before 2050 will only be possible if tourism’s recovery accelerates the adoption of sustainable consumption and production, and redefines our future success to consider not only economic value but rather the regeneration of ecosystems, biodiversity, and communities.”

The need for a globally consistent approach for climate action in tourism has been made clear, notably through research into CO2 emissions carried out by UNWTO/ITF and released at the UNFCCC COP25 in December 2019. This showed that transport-related emissions from tourism were forecast to increase by 25% by 2030 from 2016 levels, against the current ambition scenario. 

As the global tourism industry is slowly getting back on track, Destination Mekong recently appointed a new executive team composed of Catherine Germier-Hamel as CEO, Gerrit Kruger as chief marketing officer, Gavin Bell as the chief development officer, and Jens Uwe Parkitny as a strategic advisor, in an honorary capacity. 

 Destination Mekong founder and former executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) Jens Thraenhart formed the executive team just weeks before he embarked on a new career as CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

About Destination Mekong (www.destinationmekong.com)

Destination Mekong (DM) was created in 2017 by private stakeholders of the travel and tourism industry of the Mekong region (GMS) to promote the Greater Mekong Subregion, comprising of Cambodia, PR China (Provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, as a single destination.  

Endorsed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office in Thailand and aligned with the mandate of the regional collaborative tourism framework of the six-member governments of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, Destination Mekong has executed targeted projects and initiatives, including Mekong Moments, Mekong Memories, Mekong Deals, Mekong Mini Movie Festival, Mekong Innovative Start-ups in Tourism (MIST), Experience Mekong Collection, Mekong Heroes, and Mekong Trends, with feedback from the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) and via public-private partnership investment structure, led by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies.    

About the One Planet network Sustainable Tourism Programme   

https://www.oneplanetnetwork.org/programmes/sustainable-tourism

The One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme has the overall objective to enhance the sustainable development impacts of the tourism sector by 2030 by developing, promoting, and scaling up sustainable consumption and production practices that boost the efficient use of natural resources while producing less waste and addressing the challenges of climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution. The Sustainable Tourism Programme is part of the One Planet network, a multi-stakeholder partnership to implement SDG 12 on Sustainable Consumption and Production.

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