Designing an Action Plan for Implementing the UN-WTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism in an Undergraduate Tourism Education Program
Designing an Action Plan for
Implementing the UNWTO Global
Code of Ethics for Tourism in an
Undergraduate Tourism Education
Sultan Qaboos University
“one cannot demand greater clarity than a subject
allows; ethics are not discernable per se.”
“ethics reside between the “is” and the “ought”;
ethics- and the feelings and values on which they are
(John Hultsman, 1995)
“Tourism as an industry and a sociocultural
phenomenon is rapidly expanding. With this
tremendous growth and transformation has come a
relatively recent interest in the ethical conduct of the
(Fennell and Malloy, 1999)
“In regard to education, it was mentioned that the
encouragement of an awareness of the importance of
personal and professional ethical principles ought to be
a prime goal of any higher education program”
(Glenn F. Ross, 2004)
Significance of the study:
(1) Ecological issues.
(2) Marketing issues.
(3) Sustainable development issues.
(4) Humanistic and social issues.
(5) Tourism education issues.
(John Hultsman, 1995)
Tourism and Ethics in the
Established in 2004, the World Committee on Tourism
Ethics is the impartial body responsible for
interpreting, applying and evaluating the provisions
of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
The tasks assigned to the Committee include the
promotion and dissemination of the Code of Ethics,
as well as the evaluation and monitoring of the
implementation of the principles.
The World Committee on
The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) is a
comprehensive set of ten principles whose purpose is
to guide stakeholders in tourism development:
central and local governments, local communities, the
tourism industry and its professionals, as well as
visitors, both international and domestic.
The UNWTO Global Code of
Ethics for Tourism
Article 1: Tourism's contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and
Article 2: Tourism as a vehicle for individual and collective fulfillment
Article 3: Tourism, a factor of sustainable development
Article 4: Tourism, a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and contributor to its
Article 5: Tourism, a beneficial activity for host countries and communities
Article 6: Obligations of stakeholders in tourism development
Article 7: Right to tourism
Article 8: Liberty of tourist movements
Article 9: Rights of the workers and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry
Article 10: Implementation of the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism
The Code’s 10 principles
The Sultanate of Oman’s renaissance was accompanied by an
incremental interest in enhancing the tourism industry.
Thus, Sultan Qaboos University aimed to contribute to the on-going
interest in tourism by establishing the Tourism Department in the
College of Arts and Social Sciences in 2001.
Such program graduates qualified Omani human resources to work
in the various fields of tourism and hospitality.
The Tourism undergraduate program awards the Bachelor of Arts
Degree in Tourism Management and Hospitality Management. The
average enrollment is about 200 students for the four years.
The Undergraduate Tourism
The Department of Tourism at the College of Arts & Social Sciences
– SULTAN QABOOS UNIVERSITY -was the first institution in the
MIDDLE EAST to receive UNWTO TedQual certification for its
undergraduate tourism program in May 2013.
The UNWTO TedQual certification system contributes to the quality
and efficiency of tourism education, training, and research. It
proposes a methodology and voluntary standards with universal
scope to more clearly define the quality of tourism education
The UNWTO TedQual certification system is a quality
assurance system for tourism education, training, and
research. The specific aims of the UNWTO TedQual
certification system are to:
(1) establish a quality standard for tourism education and
training systems, and
(2) smooth the way towards greater pedagogic
productivity in tourism.
The UNWTO TedQual
Several preliminary meetings were held at the department level to
introduce and discuss the global code of ethics for tourism ten principles.
To inform the students and professors about the principles of the global
code of ethics for tourism, the program has invited a UNWTO
representative to conduct a workshop about the principles for everybody.
Five faculty members were directly involved with the goal of designing an
action plan for the implementation of the global code of ethics in five
major areas of concerns; the management, the curriculum, the employers,
the students, and the faculty.
Each faculty member was in charge of accomplishing the
task in one of the five areas mentioned earlier. These same
faculties were the members of the TedQual Committee in
the department. The main goal was to design clear set of
actions that could be implemented, controlled, and
evaluated by the program administration.
One major challenge was the transformation of some of
the articles into applicable actions in the tourism and
hospitality higher education setting.
It is hoped that this study could share and disseminate
some useful guidelines for hospitality and tourism
students, faculty and administrators who sincerely seek
ways to integrate the ten principles of the global code
of ethics for tourism in their academic life and careers.
The finding of this study will be of value and use for
hospitality and tourism program administrators who
intend to prepare and plan for the process of self-
assessment for obtaining the UNWTO TedQual
Implication / application for
hospitality & tourism education:
The aim of this paper was to add to the new but
growing body of literature on implementation practices
of ethical issues in tourism higher education.
It was attempted to provide a humble and novel efforts
of five faculty members of tourism and hospitality
management education program and convey their
interpretation of what should be done in an academic
tourism education program with regards to the
implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics
for Tourism in their undergraduate tourism education