Motion on the refugee crisis adopted by the ISTO General Assembly

Motion on the refugee crisis adopted by the ISTO General Assembly

In what is probably the first sign of collective action on the refugee crisis by a tourism body, International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO) has called on its members, professionals and volunteers who work there, to take their share in welcoming refugees.

Speaking on the issue at its General Assembly on the 21st of October in Albufeira, Portugal, the organisation underlined the efforts done by some countries, mostly Italy and Greece despite their own problems, and stated that tourism professionals and stakeholders who focus on the social dimension of the industry can’t be indifferent or inactive to the tragedies taking place.

ISTO highlighted the initiatives already done by its members: such as the Aylan Program of the INATEL Foundation (Portugal); those of the Union Nationale des Associations de Tourisme – UNAT, ANCAV-TT, and VVF Villages (France); of the Gîtes d’étape Belgian Centre for Youth Tourism – CBTJ; the Youth Hostels as well as the Peace Village Mesen of Volkstoerisme (Belgium); and those of the Italian Culture and Sport Association – AICS in partnership with the Italian Association of youth hostels – AIG Hostels (Italy).

The organisation then invited members to see how they can act, within the resources they have, on this issue and called upon States and the international community, particularly in Europe and the Americas, to work continuously on the political resolution of the underlying causes of this unprecedented crisis.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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