WTTC has produced this report on sustainability reporting to help Travel & Tourism companies understand the key concepts behind reporting, to provide an outlook on the regulations and trends that are driving this practice forward and to identify the implications and opportunities for the sector.

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • North America

Sectors of activity
Tourism, Transport

Type of initiative
Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Business Sector

Shared by

Rochelle Turner

Research Director

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

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Objectives

The UN Sustainable Development Goals set a path towards the pursuit of global sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Goal 12 focuses on sustainable consumption and production (and specifically calls out a role for Travel & Tourism). Within the Goal, 12.6, aims to “encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle”.

WTTC has produced this report on sustainability reporting to help Travel & Tourism companies understand the key concepts behind reporting, to provide an outlook on the regulations and trends that are driving this practice forward within countries, among investors, from stock exchanges and from various other stakeholders, and to identify the implications and
opportunities for the sector.

With Travel & Tourism companies slightly less likely than those in other industry sectors to report on non-financial measures, the report also provides best practice guidance on how to approach reporting. It also delivers detailed briefs for eight critical issues for Travel & Tourism: Climate Change, Community, Energy, Governance, Risk & Compliance, Supply Chain, Waste Generation and Diversion, Water and Workforce.

As regulatory and market pressures continue to increase the need for reporting prevalence, depth, and quality, companies of all sizes – and both public and private – also have a story that can tell about how their responsible practices benefit their stakeholders. Reporting on these formally enables companies to connect the dots among various activities across their organisation, and create continuous improvement opportunities.

Activities

There are four elements to this research and guidance:

1. Background on Sustainability Reporting - Introduces the concepts of sustainability reporting and the evolution of regulation in this area.
2. Outlook & Reporting Trends - Provides detail on the future trends for sustainability reporting.
3. Sustainability Reporting in Travel & Tourism - Looks at how reporting is being approached among industries within the Travel & Tourism sector
4. Reporting Guidance for Travel & Tourism Businesses - Supplies a 12-step process on how to begin reporting and presents comprehensive details on 8 key issues.

Impact and Results

The research is published on the WTTC website and is freely available for companies that want to understand why and how to begin reporting on issues of sustainability.

This work updates a previous report from 2014 and shows that sustainability reporting within Travel & Tourism has seen considerable uptake in recent years. Reporting is common but not necessarily mainstream.

Among the universe of potential reporters through 2016, Travel & Tourism had an increase of reporters of 50%, despite the overall universe of potential reporters only growing by 4%. Among the similar universe of 568 companies for the last three years (like-for-like), reporting has increased by 45% since 2014. Travel agencies and tour operators continue to report the least, with only 16% of the universe reporting through 2016. Airlines continue to report the most, with 35% of the universe reporting.