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White Paper Technical Application of Business Standards for Sustainable Tourism

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The rapid growth of international tourism is remarkable. The 2016 Annual Report of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) says that international tourist arrivals reached 1,235 million in 2016, the result of a continuous growth of around 4 per cent a year during the past seven years. Tourism is one of the most rapidly growing business domains and will, inevitably, need to make use of the most advanced technologies available at this time to accommodate the needs of this growing market.

There are four related business standards for sustainable tourism including with (1) Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), (2) International Standardization Organization (ISO) 21401:2018, (3) ISO/technical Committee (TC) 228, and (4) United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Green Paper on Sustainable Tourism. After the Green Paper on Sustainable Tourism – Experience Programs was published by UN/CEFACT in April 2019, the working experts of Travel and Tourism domain found it necessary to develop the business standards for sustainable tourism. This white paper suggested ten categories according to the service content or products provided by the tourism sectors, including the core sectors, such as food and restaurant, accommodation, transportation, destination, shopping, entertainment, tour agency, local government, experience program and traveler.

And the concept of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be and should be well considered in development of business standards for sustainable tourism. Necessary data on sustainability information will surely be communicated between trading parties, which necessitates new business data.

In achieving the SDGs by 2030, this document discussed the sustainable planning and actions pertaining to the core services provided in tourism sectors. It is expected that more discussion on business standards of sustainable tourism can serve as a reference to foster the feasibility of building a future electronic exchange system database. 2. Purpose and scop