TRAFFIC supports QYER in push for “responsible travel” amongst Chinese tourists
Beijing, China, July 2017–QYER, one of China’s leading online travel operators, launched its Responsible Travel Guide booklet at an event to help promote responsible travel by Chinese tourists abroad.
The travel guide is the first in China to addresses the issue of sustainable travel, providing Chinese tourists with detailed guidance on how to avoid adverse travel practices. The guide aims to improve awareness on the importance of protecting local ecosystems, wildlife and plants, and communicate how this in turn can make positive contributions to local cultures and economies.
Co-founders and high-level managers from QYER, which provides travel services to over 80 million Chinese nationals, attended the travel guide launch along with representatives from TRAFFIC, WWF and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Local celebrity advocates also lent their support, including “Responsible Travel” ambassador and famous gourmet chef Zhang Xiaohua as well as the popular songwriter Li Xiaoyun.
The guide itself reinforces the fact that all travellers are merely visitors to a destination and as such have an inherent responsibility to ensure that their visit is conducted sustainably. To this end, the guide showcases a “Responsible Travel” initiative which combines the three main approaches to sustainable travel: social responsibility, cultural responsibility and environmental responsibility.
The initiative aims to both expand the contributions to local economies brought about by sustainable travel as well as demonstrate key ways in which tourists can minimize negative impacts on local ecosystems. TRAFFIC, WWF and FSC provided expert contributions on domestic and international wildlife trade regulations as well as on other key conservation topics.
QYER also announced the establishment of the “Responsible Travel Alliance”; formed from government tourism departments and private travel operators including the Australian Tourism Bureau, the New Zealand Tourism Board, the Swiss National Tourism Administration, Singapore Airlines, Australia Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and U-Tour World. The partnership has significant potential for TRAFFIC and WWF to work closely with the travel and tourism sector to promote responsible tourism further.
As one of the first online international travel operators for Chinese tourists, QYER has documented China’s annual outbound travel spending increase from a few million US dollars a year to several billion. In response to this dramatic increase in international tourism, QYER has advocated “responsible travel” since 2011.
QYER has jointly promoted responsible travel with TRAFFIC and WWF since early 2017, hosting wildlife conservation conferences every quarter. Core topics concern illegal wildlife trade and aim to reduce consumer demand for threatened species.
Tourists should be well informed as to which souvenirs or wildlife products violate international laws and contribute to the loss of local species or habitats. It is vitally important that Chinese nationals travel sustainably and minimize their impact on local ecosystems throughout both Asia and Africa
Chenyang Li, Project Manager at TRAFFICThe joint wildlife conservation conferences have already drawn the interest of thousands of participants and continue to promote the issue of responsible travel.
The United Nations has proclaimed 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, in recognition of the tremendous potential of the tourism industry, which accounts for some 10% of the world’s economic activity