This Tuesday, September 27, is World Tourism Day, which is celebrated under the slogan “Rethinking Tourism”. After two years in which the sector was strongly affected by the pandemic, it is once again considered the safe-conduct for the economy of many countries, including Spain.
In this sense, the Vatican assures that tourism can now become one of the engines of the reconstruction of a “more just, sustainable and global” world, we can read in the press release published on Tuesday.
In the press release, the Holy See assures that tourism reactivation must be inspired by thhe‘Global Code of Ethics for Tourism’,who sees this activity “as a living force in the service of peace and a factor of friendship and understanding between peoples, a factor of sustainable development, a factor of use and enrichment of the cultural heritage of humanity, a beneficial activity for the countries and communities of destination”, he underlines.
Tourism with decent jobs and distribution of benefits
Under these premises, the Vatican considers that a change of course is necessary in the sector, which contributes to reducing the inequalities and injustices generated during the crisis. A narrowing of the gap which, according to the Holy See, can be achieved”respect the labor rights of those working in the sector, at all levels and in all countries, and when tourism itself, as a leisure and recreational activity, develops with full respect for the fundamental rights and dignity of people”.
Likewise, asks in the statement that the profits obtained by companies from their tourist activity be distributed fairly, “Overcoming a predatory logic, particularly with regard to populations and geographical areas particularly affected by the multiple crises that afflict the contemporary world”, he points out.
In this sense, the statement regrets that there are still tour operators who operate “in precarious and illegal conditions, with unfair wages, forced to work hard, often far from the family, with a high risk of stress and subject to the rules of aggressive competition.
More sustainable tourism
The Holy See also recalled that tourism has an impact on the environment. In this sense, they recommend to tourists betting on local tourism due to the pandemic and the current energy crisis: “Knowing how to look around us, recognizing and appreciating the heritage, gastronomic, folkloric and even spiritual wealth that neighboring regions have to share. Today, local policies can be deeply rethought, in terms of reception and quality of life for historical residents, newcomers and immediate neighbours,” he explains.
In line with this idea, the Vatican bulletin points out that pollution is not the only measure of sustainable tourism, because “it requires a sensitivity that extends the protection of ecosystems in a concrete way, to guarantee a harmonious passage of tourists through environments that do not belong to them, nor to a single generation”.
VIII World Congress of Pastoral Tourism in Santiago de Compostela
To conclude, the Vatican stressed that the Church has an interest “in promoting this renewed vision of tourism, in the perspective of integral human development. The synodal process, which is experienced all over the world, from the most peripheral communities to the most important decision-making centres, represents a methodology of listening and participation, which can also provide civil society and economic organizations with greater ability to compose conflicting interests. and points of view. The art of discernment and the collective ability to arrive at new syntheses represent historic challenges, on which depends a future on a human scale for all. precise.
In this sense, remember that from October 5 to 8, the VIII World Congress of the Pastoral Care of Tourism will be held in Santiago de Compostela under the slogan “Tourism and Pilgrimage: Paths of Hope” to reflect and deepen this fairer vision and more sustainable tourism.