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UN agency issues Green Passport campaign at Berlin Tourism Fair

A ‘Green Passport’ campaign launched today at a world tourism fair aims at shrinking the environmental footprint of vacation travellers, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). The goal of the internet-based campaign, introduced at the Berlin Tourism Fair, is to raise tourists’ awareness of their ability to contribute to sustainable development by making responsible holiday choices, the agency said today in a press release. “Packing a Green Passport along with airline tickets, the swimming costume and the sun lotion means tourists no longer need to leave their green credentials at home but can make them part of the holiday of a lifetime,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said at the fair. He said that tourism had great potential for development, as the world’s biggest industry. By 2020, he noted, the number of international arrivals by air and by sea could reach 1.6 billion annually. As tourist numbers grow, so will their demand for energy, water, and natural resources to support their holidays. “The challenge is to manage this growth sustainably,” Mr. Steiner said. “Governments have a key role to play, but so too do individuals and families when planning and going on holiday,” he added. Among many tips on the Green Passport website, the campaign encourages tourists to choose responsible service providers, reduce the consumption of energy in transit or in hotels and buy locally made, environmentally-friendly souvenirs. The French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning, and the Brazilian Ministries of Environment and Tourism co-sponsored the campaign launch. The website, developed in English, Portuguese and French, together with additional communication tools, is available for dissemination among other partners in the tourism community, UNEP said. 7 March 2008A ‘Green Passport’ campaign launched today at a world tourism fair aims at shrinking the environmental footprint of vacation travellers, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). read more