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In Spain it is mandatory to reserve 2% of jobs for people with disabilities. Confortel has gone considerably beyond this requirement: of the 500 people who work in its hotels, 10% have some kind of disability. And in two of its hotels they have gone even further and created a ‘Special Employment Centre’ where 70% of the staff are disabled in some way. At Confortel Suites Madrid, for example, 55% of the staff have physically disabilities, 33% sensory (i.e. visual and auditory), and 12% mental. It’s a remarkable example of how inclusive is possible for a hotel to be.

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Central College Nottingham and The Institute of Travel & Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG)

Categories: Academia, Africa, Cultural Heritage, Europe, Human Capital Development, Human Rights, Intercultural Dialogue, North, People and Places, West
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High level training is the main tool for embedding sustainable tourism in any destination. It is also the remit of this partnership between Central College Nottingham and The Institute of Travel & Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG), initiated in 2008. They have a shared mission statement for “Success through Learning”, with Gambian students benefiting from a curriculum created by Central, and UK students undertaking sustainable tourism master classes in The Gambia every year.

Subjects include sustainability, poverty reduction, human rights and social justice which, considering the lack of training in Gambia until then, has had quite an impact. Consequently, ITTOG’s 411 graduates are seguing smoothly into employment, thanks to its growing reputation for excellent, sustainable tourism training.

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Talking Point: Child Protection and the Role of Hotels

Categories: Accommodations, Asia, Case Study, Human Rights, People and Places, Private Sector, Southeast
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Talking Point Child protection and the role of hotels

Photo Credits: Beth Kanter,

In connection with our South East Asia theme in January, Responsible Travel tell us about the role of hotels when it comes to child protection in tourism, with a focus on Cambodia.    

Child protection continues to be a major theme across the tourism industry. In 2013 the World Responsible Tourism Awards introduced a ‘Best for Child Protection’ category, and at World Travel Market, London in November 2014 the main debate on World Responsible Tourism Day was on the topic of child protection, and how the industry can do more to take responsibility for it.

In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge regime left many without education, and with little access to income and healthcare desperate families turn to more insalubrious ‘solutions’  – often including the sex trade, human trafficking and child abuse. And tourism has its part to play. In Siem Reap, gateway to the famous ruins of Angkor Wat, there are 35 orphanages serving a population of just 100,000 people, a number which has increased with a rise in tourism as unscrupulous owners see a profit in volunteer fees and tourist donations. Shockingly a 2010 report suggested that only about a quarter of Cambodian children in orphanages are actually orphans, others placed in residential care by parents struggling to care for them, tempted by idea of a western-style education and promises of a brighter future.

Although tourism may be exacerbating child exploitation, in countries such as Cambodia and Thailand responsible, careful tourism has the potential to make a real, positive difference in reducing it too. In order for a more caring, child-conscious industry to grow, each stakeholder in it must shoulder their part of the responsibility – from individual tourists to tour operators, taxi-drivers, restaurant owners and hoteliers. At the crossroads between local people and international guess hotels are uniquely placed to play a key role in this process.

Read more at Green Hotelier!


Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals

Categories: Case Study, Gender, Human Rights, People and Places, Planet
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Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

The Millennium Development Goals are eight global targets which range from halving extreme poverty to combating major diseases throughout the world by 2015. How can the travel and tourism industry help to achieve them?

What are the MDGs?

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been agreed to by all the world’s countries and leading development institutions and have galvanized global action to meet the needs of the poorest people on the planet.

By 2015 they aim to:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3, Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5, Improve maternal health
6, Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development.

Read more at Green Hotelier!


Addressing Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry

Categories: Accommodations, Human Rights, Management, Manual, Monitoring & Evaluation, Operations, People and Places, Private Sector
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Addressing Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

Our latest Know How Guide has been developed to help hoteliers understand human trafficking and forced labour – what it is, how it may affect them and what actions they can take to reduce the risk of trafficking in their business

Definition of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them. It is a complex problem brought about by inter-related economic, social, cultural, political and personal factors. Those trafficked are exploited into prostitution, forced labour, for the removal of their organs and other emerging forms of trafficking including organised begging, benefit fraud, domestic servitude and forced marriage. In short, it is modern day slavery.

The UN Palermo Protocol definition is globally accepted:

Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime  (UNODC)

Throughout this Know-How Guide, the term human trafficking refers to trafficking for both sexual and labour exploitation.

Read more at Green Hotelier!


Human Rights and the Hotel Industry

Categories: Accommodations, Asia, Human Rights, Manual, People and Places, Private Sector, Southeast
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Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

This Know How Guide is a high-level introduction to human rights for the hotel industry – what human rights are, the context of the hotel industry, steps to implement the UN Guiding Principles and resources for further reading.

It is primarily written for Corporate Responsibility Managers in hotel companies, though it may also be of interest to individual properties. Please download the full guide to see further reading and appendixes. International Tourism Partnership would like to thank Carnstone Partners LLP for their assistance reviewing this Guide.

What are human rights?

Human rights are fundamental principles and standards that aim to secure dignity, freedom and equality for all people. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948 sets out 30 fundamental human rights. This, together with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols, form the International Bill of Rights.

Human rights underpin everything we do, from the way staff are treated, their working conditions, to how guests are treated, in the supply chain and how goods and services for the hotel are produced, in the communities where a hotel is based and in the way a hotel or hotel business is run. Many issues are inter-related, e.g. water is not just an environmental issue: access to water is a human rights issue.

Read more at Green Hotelier!


Intensifying Efforts to Combat Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Tourism Industry

Categories: Asia, Case Study, Human Rights, People and Places, Southeast
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Development Partnership with the Private Sector Supports the Code in Thailand

Tourism plays a significant role in driving economic growth in developing countries. However, an increasing number of tourists influence the sex tourism business. Although the travel sector is not directly responsible for the sexual abuse of children in the tourist trade, the tourism industry has a key role to play in combating the sexual exploitation of minors. It is important to raise awareness of this issue, one that few venture to address.

by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH



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