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|Author :||Meng-Mei Chen & James Holleran|
|School/Work Place :||Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne, Switzerland|
The number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) increased from 31,246 to 37,281 (19.3%) between 1990 and 2000, (Human Development Report, 2002). The importance of NGOs is documented in United Nations Local Agenda 21 Chapter 27, 'Strengthening the Role of Non-Governmental Organizations: Partners for Sustainable Development'. In 'Sustainable Tourism: A Non-Governmental Organization Perspective' prepared by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, specific NGO actions were identified. These include: to provide solutions for influencing consumer behaviour, promote sustainable tourism while safeguard the integrity of local cultures and protect the environment. The growing importance of NGOs and their capabilities is a matter of fact.
The objective of this preliminary and exploratory study is to investigate the purpose and activities of tourism focused NGOs. In addition, the relationship among NGOs through hyperlinks will be examined. For purpose of this analysis, NGOs included travel associations, professional associations, and UN agencies.