77th Annual Meeting


WHEREAS, travel is one of the nation's leading exports, generating over $100 billion yearly; and

WHEREAS, travel and tourism create one of the nation's only balance of trade surpluses; and

WHEREAS, The Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism Criteria is a coalition of 32 organizations working together to foster increased understanding of sustainable tourism practices and the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles; and

WHEREAS, the Partnership was initiated by Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Foundation, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization, and launched the Sustainable Tourism Criteria at the World Conservation Congress in October 2008; and

WHEREAS, these criteria will be the minimum standard that any tourism business should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world's natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for poverty alleviation; and

WHEREAS, consumer demand for "green" sustainable travel is growing, and travel industry suppliers are developing new green programs, and governments are creating new policies to encourage sustainable practices in tourism; and

WHEREAS, the criteria are organized around four main themes: effective sustainability planning; maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community; enhancing cultural heritage; and reducing negative impacts to the environment; and

WHEREAS, cities across the United States that adopt internationally recognized standards of sustainability will be more attractive to international and domestic tourists; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism Criteria, and urges member cities to adopt the criteria.