Fife Tourism Partnership to sign the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism
Councillors at Fife Council’s Cabinet Committee unanimously approved the decision for Fife Tourism Partnership to become a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism when they met on Thursday, 7 September, 2023.
The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, created at COP26, is a commitment to reduce the tourism industry's environmental impact, led by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and One Planet Network.
The signatory process involves submitting an application to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and One Planet Network, with the application review and acknowledgement due late 2023. Once the application has been accepted, the Fife Tourism Partnership will officially register as a signatory of the declaration.
Signing the Declaration will provide clear business benefits for the tourism sector, with sustainable tourism rapidly becoming an important demand by visitors. There are already over 840 signatories internationally, including VisitScotland, national tourism boards, hotel groups, destination managements companies, tour operators and cruise companies.
The tourism industry has both a responsibility and an opportunity to protect the resources it depends on, including the natural environments, wildlife, and cultural heritage that bring travel experiences to life. Tourism can contribute significantly to climate change, and the organisations that make up Fife Tourism Partnership are committed to reducing impact.
By signing the Declaration, organisations commit to delivering a climate action plan. Part of the action plan will focus on key goals, such as supporting the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero by 2050.
Fife’s Tourism Partnership will gain access to a range of resources and a network of destinations to collaborate and support businesses to transition to a more sustainable way of operating.
Fife Council declared a climate emergency in September 2019, and has since been delivering the Climate Fife Action Plan. Any work carried out in line with the Declaration will fit in with the Council’s Climate Action Strategy and in consultation with climate action partners.
Spokesperson for Finance, Economy and Strategic Planning, Councillor Altany Craik, said: “Businesses are already making changes towards achieving climate action goals and becoming more sustainable. As more and more visitors become conscious of the climate emergency and sustainable travel, it’s vital that our businesses become even more sustainable to meet these demands.
“Operating sustainably can offer businesses savings on cost, food, and electricity, increase staff engagement and retention, and help meet increasing customer demand.
“A circular economy can help create a more resilient and inclusive Fife. By signing the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism we can continue to help businesses in Fife thrive, while also addressing the climate emergency.”
The Declaration also aligns with the newly updated Fife Tourism Strategy, which has placed responsible tourism as a key priority. The new strategy includes sustainability being a core message which will be at the forefront of all Fife Tourism Partnership and Welcome to Fife campaigns.
The aim is to achieve the goals set in the Declaration in several ways, including conducting surveys in the tourism and hospitality sectors on energy saving measures, setting up a sustainable tourism working group with internal and external partners, and using the networks and resources from the Declaration to implement more sustainable tourism initiatives.