Marrakech Task Forces

Sustainable Tourism Development (led by France)

Background and objectives

The International Task Force on Sustainable Tourism Development chaired by France was launched in 2006
The role of the Task Force has been to encourage participants in the Marrakech Process to undertake actions that promote sustainable tourism, such as providing support tools and presenting existing initiatives that may inspire pilot projects and good practice in other countries.

Overview outcomes of the Task Force

The International Task Force on Sustainable Tourism Development (ITF-STD) has implemented its Programme of Work by developing projects and actions under the following activity areas:

  • Policy tools - Work related to broad policy recommendations, standards and certification processes, international financing mechanisms, governance issues and some specific policy tools.
  • Good practices - Collection, classification and dissemination of good practices on sustainable tourism development.
  • Education and capacity building - Development and dissemination of training manuals and e-learning tools focusing on the main stakeholders of the tourism value chain.
  • Strategies and pilot projects - Work on Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility (CSER) related issues; frameworks for national and regional sustainable tourism development strategies; and pilot demonstration projects.
  • Information, communication and networking - Dissemination of information, collaboration between websites, networking activities, sharing of good practices, and awareness-raising activities.



The Task Force agreed in 2009 on a set of policy recommendations mainstreaming sustainable tourism
During the 5th International Meeting of the International Task Force on Sustainable Tourism Development (ITF-STD) in Marrakech, Morocco, April 2009, its members agreed on a set of policy recommendations to reinforce sustainability parameters in tourism planning and management. The overall aims are to guide tourism stakeholders on the identification of opportunities and their strategies of implementation to improve the economic resilience of the sector, guarantee long-term sustainability of tourism development and engage the tourism industry on key universal concerns such as poverty alleviation and climate change.

Policy Recommendations will be showcased at high-level UN Meetings
The policy recommendations will be presented during preparations for the 18th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in 2010, where the development of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) will be discussed. It will also be presented at the UNWTO General Assembly in October 2009.

Around 40 projects have been implemented by the Task Force members and partners
The members of the ITF-STD and other partners have developed around 40 projects, policy tools, methodologies and publications to promote sustainable tourism development.
Main projects include:

  • The Sustainable Investment and Finance in Tourism Network (SIFT) is a knowledge and investment network meant to mainstream sustainability into tourism development investments and financing. The main outcome of this network in collaboration with the World Bank, the UN foundation, GEF, UNWTO, and other partners will be the establishment of a common and voluntary standard to encourage greater sustainability in tourism investments by public, private and multilateral investors. See Fact Sheet.

  • Tourism Sustainability Council (TSC) - The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), sponsored in part by UNEP, have become a worldwide criteria for the minimum requirements that hotels and tour operators should strive for in sustainability. The Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (STSC), also sponsored in part by UNEP, will serve as the accreditation body for sustainable tourism certification and ecolabels worldwide. In September 2009 both initiatives formally announced uniting to form the TSC, and plan for its official launch in March 2010. UNEP, with support from the United Nations Foundation, will play a key role in this major outcome of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Tourism Development.

  • Green Passport – Holidays for a Living Planet
    The internet-based campaign, 'Green Passport', aims to raise tourists' awareness of their potential to contribute to sustainable development by making responsible holiday choices. The Green Passport website has been developed in English, French, Greek, German, and soon in Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese. Its hardcopy version was launched in English and Spanish in June 2009 during the World Environment Day celebrations in Mexico. Paraty city in Brazil was chosen to be the first destination to implement communication materials of the internet-based campaign 'Green Passport' on the local level. This Portuguese version of the guide, as well as radio and TV spots, will be launched in Brazil in November 2009. It is also expected to launch nationally specific Green Passport travel guides for Costa Rica and Ecuador by the end of 2009.
    > Download the Green Passport in English and Spanish.
    > National Green Passports: Brazil (Pilot Project) I Ecuador (Soon available)
    > Fact sheet: English I Chinese, (soon also in French)

  • Promoting heritage-based tourism: Preserving today's treasures for tomorrow's generations

  • Sustainable Coastal Tourism: The Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

  • Sowing the Seeds for Change (Practical Guide)

  • Disaster risk management for coastal tourism destinations responding to climate change

  • Improving environmental management of SMEs in the accommodation sector (E-tool)



Contact person:

Mr. Philippe RAMET (