Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C) was established February 2014 as a globally operating NGO in Norway. LT&C made itself public March 10, 2014, in Madrid at the German-Spanish Conference, “Connecting – Natural World Heritage – Sustainable Tourism – How can sustainable Tourism contribute to the conservation of nature reserves?” The European forum was hosted by the German Tourism Board in Spain, the German Embassy in Spain and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, with involvement of UNWTO, UNESCO World Heritage, Lufthansa and others. In the context of the conference focussing on Spanish and German World Heritage Sites and national parks, the concept of LT&C became a center point. Please see the LT&C presentation for more information.
It all started in the 90s when cooperation between conservation NGOs and Arctic tour operators resulted in new national parks and improved environmental policies for Svalbard. Norway even set the goal to make Svalbard the best-managed wilderness area in the world. Building on this success, WWF with partners from tourism business and research, developed the Arctic tourism guidelines “Linking Tourism & Conservation in the Arctic” (PDF), which were distributed in several Arctic languages. The idea grew further when GRID-Arendal developed its own project “Linking Tourism & Conservation” and integrated it into the “Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism” of UNEP, UNESCO, UNWTO and others.