Málaga will become the seat of the first ever Future of Tourism Coalition (FoTC) global headquarters and will act as the FoTC’s European hub, following a multi-year agreement announced today. The Coalition of six global tourism NGOs, which formed in 2020 during the COVID pandemic, has not, until now, had a physical office or dedicated staff resources. The Málaga HQ will enable the Coalition to form strong partnerships with businesses, governments, academic institutions and NGOs, and work with these stakeholders to advance a more sustainable tourism system in the Andalucía region.
The headquarters will be hosted by the City Council of Málaga, the Chamber of Commerce of Málaga, the Provincial Government of Málaga through Turismo Costa del Sol, and the Regional Government of Andalucía. This headquarters will also provide a hub for broader project activity in Spain, Europe and the Mediterranean basin.
Málaga will be supported by the Coalition’s six global NGOs (the Center for Responsible Travel, Destination Stewardship Center, Green Destinations, Sustainable Travel International, Tourism Cares, and the Travel Foundation), each with specialist knowledge and tools, to shape a workplan for 2023-24 and beyond. This is an opportunity to put into practice the 13 guiding principles of the Coalition, which put destination needs at the centre of tourism decision-making. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the potential of destination-level activity to deliver on the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, as Málaga also announces its intention to join this initiative.
Jeremy Sampson, Chair of the Future of Tourism Coalition, commented: “This is a hugely exciting and logical next step for the Future of Tourism Coalition. Málaga and the Andalucía region will become our hub for innovation, a testbed for new and existing ideas that demonstrate the Coalition’s guiding principles in action. Together we will show the benefits of a balanced, collaborative, big picture approach to tourism management, drawing on the considerable expertise across the partnership and building on the significant range of initiatives already in place in Málaga. We believe in Málaga’s commitment to sustainable change, demonstrated by their strong candidacy to host the Expo2027 on sustainable cities of the future.”
Arturo Bernal, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport at the Autonomous Government of Andalusia, said: “One of the variables that makes Andalusia and the Costa del Sol a worldwide reference is its capacity for innovation and its ability to adapt. At this time, when the industry is immersed in a change of cycle, the fact that Malaga has been chosen as the headquarters for this initiative is great news that ratifies our leadership.”
Jacobo Florido, Deputy Mayor and Tourism Counselor said: “By providing the Coalition’s headquarters, we support its mission to build the case for a better kind of tourism, while also accelerating Málaga into a global sustainable leading position. We have come a long way on our sustainability journey, and now look forward to working with the global leaders and other worldwide forward-thinking organisations that are part of the Future of Tourism community, to develop tourism that brings real added value to Málaga, as a place to live, work, study, play and, of course, to visit.”
Sergio Cuberos, President of the Málaga Chamber of Commerce said: “The present and future of tourism depends on destinations which incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals into their management and business strategy. For this reason, it is extremely interesting and appropriate that Málaga hosts the Future of Tourism Coalition initiative, as it will represent a magnificent opportunity to inspire markets that are looking for sustainable travel, and thus demonstrate our responsibility and the social role of our companies in tourism activity.”
Further information on the full programme of work that will be undertaken in Málaga and Andalucía will be announced early next year. The experiences and lessons learned from the partnership will be shared widely through the Coalition’s global networks, including its community of more than 700 like-minded organisations that have so far aligned with the guiding principles. There are also plans for a Future of Tourism Summit event to be held in Málaga in 2024.
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