Author Archive

Using “Trends & Statistics” to Advance Sustainability

Guest Contribution by: Rich Shea, Director of Communications at CREST. Every year, the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), collaborating with leading tourism organizations, including Sustainable Travel International, publishes what’s come to be known, shorthand, as “Trends & Statistics.” This report is a compilation of facts, quotations, data, and resources designed to advance the practice of responsible travel worldwide.
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20 Reasons You Should Integrate Tourism into Your Development Agenda

Guest Contribution by: Louise Twining-Ward, The World Bank / Co-Author: Damien Shiels, The World Bank  Sustainable tourism is a proven tool for development, benefitting communities in destinations around the world. A new World Bank Group report released on World Tourism Day explains 20 Reasons to Integrate Tourism in Your Development Agenda. The paper, which also celebrates the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, explains how sustainable tourism counts not just for travelers, but for tourism destinations and local residents.
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Healthy Coral Reefs Are Good for Tourism – and Tourism Can Be Good for Reefs

Guest Contribution by Dr. Robert Brumbaugh, Director of Ocean Planning and Protection, The Nature Conservancy Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, contributing trillions of dollars to the global economy and supporting the livelihoods of an estimated one in ten people worldwide. Much of that tourism depends on the natural world—on beautiful landscapes and seascapes that visitors flock to in search of escape, a second wind, and a direct connection with nature itself. Coastal and marine tourism represents a significant share of the industry and is an important component of the growing, sustainable Blue Economy, supporting more than 6.5 million jobs—second only to industrial fishing. With anticipated global growth rates of more than 3.5%, coastal and marine tourism is projected to be the largest value-adding segment of the ocean economy by 2030, at 26%.
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How You Can Support Those Affected by Hurricane Irma

Most of us have seen the photos and videos filling up our news feeds, but for countless people across the Caribbean, the devastation from Hurricane Irma is not just something they’ve seen from afar. It hit home and it hit home hard. People watched as their houses, schools, and hospitals were reduced to rubble and their homeland transformed into a landscape of uprooted trees and debris. Too many families lost nearly everything and have been forced to leave their lives behind, not knowing when they will be able to return.
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Travel+SocialGood partners with major sustainable travel organizations to make sustainable tourism more accessible to travelers

With a focus on increasing transparency in the industry, Travel+SocialGood (TSG) is teaming up with Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Sustainable Travel International (STI), Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and Tourism Cares to present the 2017 TSG Summit this Nov. 16-17 in New York City. The TSG Summit agenda will be centered on a core challenge and theme aimed at increasing accessibility and awareness of sustainable tourism.  

The TSG team is developing a “primer,” or introduction, to easily showcase sustainability options to consumers. The goal is to empower travelers with tools to think critically about a business’s efforts in sustainable management and its impacts on a destination’s local economy, environment and cultural heritage. The primer is meant to be a simple distillation of existing sustainable tourism certification bodies, making it easier for travelers to make more informed decisions, and arm them with access to resources to continue to learn more about sustainable tourism.

“While many travelers want to travel sustainably, they don’t always know how. We want to make these resources simple and easily available to all,” said TSG Executive Director Kelley Louise. “Each organization coming to the table brings its own perspective, experience and resources to create a comprehensive overview system. It’s a first for us to all work together and incredibly important. We’re proud to join forces around this common mission.”

Leading up to the TSG Summit, TSG, GSTC, STI, CREST and Tourism Cares will work together to build out the TSG Summit agenda, which will focus on showcasing an easily accessible, universal primer to sustainable tourism – a platform meant to act as an introduction to the basics of sustainable tourism.

“The primer is designed to help travelers understand that sustainability can be integrated into any type of travel; it doesn’t have to be about volunteering,” Louise said. “Our goal is to help make sustainability feel more accessible to travelers, and act as an introduction that will hopefully lead to travelers seeking out more in-depth resources from our Summit Partners.”

The organizations will have a chance to share their concepts during the TSG Summit’s design-thinking workshop, a key portion of each TSG Summit that is focused on developing concrete and actionable solutions that anyone can implement into their business model.

The TSG Summit is limited to 150 innovators and visionaries in the travel and impact space. An application to attend the 2017 Summit can be found here.

TSG was born in early 2013 as a partner of the +SocialGood initiative, headed by the United Nations Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Case Foundation and Mashable. Today TSG is a highly engaged and active global community with 20 Hubs (local chapters) in cities around the world. A registered nonprofit pursuing 501(c)3 status, TSG is driven entirely by volunteers and the passion of more than 200 active Hub leaders and Media Network members.

ABOUT CREST

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a policy-oriented research organization dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. CREST helps governments, policy-makers, tourism businesses, nonprofit organizations, and international agencies find solutions to critical issues confronting tourism, the world’s largest service industry. It also provides analysis and innovative solutions through research, field projects, publications, consultancies, conferences, courses, and documentary films, recognizing tourism’s potential as a tool for poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation. For more information, visit www.responsibletravel.org or call +1-202-347-9203.  

ABOUT GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable tourism standards with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices among public and private stakeholders. The GSTC is an independent and neutral nonprofit organization that establishes and manages global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The standards are two sets of GSTC Criteria: Destination Criteria and Industry Criteria, the minimum requirements for tourism businesses and destinations to pursue in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, along with conservation and poverty alleviation. The GSTC represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, leading travel companies, hotels, country tourism boards, tour operators, individuals and communities – all strive to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.For more information, visit www.gstcouncil.org or email: info@gstcouncil.org

ABOUT SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL INTERNATIONAL

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of people around the world and the environments they rely upon. By leveraging the power of travel and tourism and providing business and government leaders with the guidance, policies and solutions they need, we aim to ensure that the communities they’re engaged in thrive and their environments are healthy for future generations. For more information, visit www.sustainabletravel.org or call +1-917- 677- 5731.

ABOUT TOURISM CARES

Tourism Cares, Inc., a US 501(c)(3) public charity, advances the travel industry’s social impact to help people and places thrive. We unite the industry to make a greater impact on shared priorities, and to help each company fulfill its giving goals. Our members include leading travel associations and companies, together helping destinations in need, supporting our workforce, and improving our corporate social responsibility. Learn more at www.TourismCares.org and @TourismCares.

Media contact:

Meghan Aftosmis

Travel+SocialGood

meghan@travelsocialgood.org

212-729-8634

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Mountain IDEAL Standard for Destinations Achieves GSTC Recognition

(July 27, 2017) – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Mountain IDEAL Standard for destinations has achieved ‘GSTC-Recognized’ status.

The Mountain IDEAL destination standard has been developed to address sustainability in mountain environments that include winter and summer activities. These unique challenges and opportunities include issues like water and energy use related to snow making and snow melting systems, affordable housing for residents and seasonal employees, collaborating with public land managers and the business community, and embracing mountain cultural heritage. Sustainable Travel International, Walking Mountains Science Center, and other partners have collaborated on the development of the Mountain IDEAL destination standard.

Achieving the GSTC-Recognized status means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel and deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. Additionally, an organization that meets GSTC requirements must administer the standard. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that the certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify includes the minimum elements to ensure sustainability. The purpose of the GSTC programs is to reward genuine practitioners of sustainable tourism, which in turn builds confidence and credibility with consumers.

“GSTC Recognition of a standard means that the standard, Mountain IDEAL in this case, includes the four pillars of sustainability: management, social/community, cultural, and environmental issues. The Mountain IDEAL standard requires mountain resort communities to work to improve in all those four areas,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

“The goal of Mountain IDEAL is to elevate collaborative sustainability performance and share best-practices across mountain resort communities.” says Kim Langmaid Ph.D., Walking Mountains Science Center’s founder and vice-president.

In addition to the Mountain IDEAL destination standard, Walking Mountains’ industry standard Actively Green, is currently under review for recognition by GSTC.

To date, 7 destination standards, and 28 hotels and tour operators standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The completion of these step-wise programs rewards standard owners for their commitment to sustainability while offering the market a proof that these standards adhere to international norms.

The GSTC will continue to work with organizations around the world to provide GSTC Recognition of standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria.

GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to complete the Accreditation process which relates to the quality and neutrality of their certification process. Achieving a GSTC-Accredited status affirms that their certification process follows the highest international standards while further distinguishing their standards and processes amongst other certification programs. Learn more about GSTC Accreditation.

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable tourism standards with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices among public and private stakeholders. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that establishes and manages global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. The standards are two sets of GSTC Criteria: Destination Criteria and Industry Criteria, the minimum requirements for tourism businesses and destinations to pursue in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, along with conservation and poverty alleviation. The GSTC represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, leading travel companies, hotels, country tourism boards, tour operators, individuals and communities – all strive to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

Media Contact: communications@gstcouncil.org

About Walking Mountains Science Center

Walking Mountains Science Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Avon, CO and their mission is to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. Their sustainability and stewardship department provides the Eagle County community education and coaching through their Energy Smart, Actively Green, Eco Schools and Zero Waste programs. Most recently Walking Mountains facilitated the creation of the Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Community and is supporting the Town of Vail through the ongoing Sustainable Destination project. Visit www.walkingmountains.org or call 970.827.9725 for more information.

Media Contact: scottr@walkingmountains.org

About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of people around the world and the environments they rely upon. By leveraging the power of travel and tourism and providing business and government leaders with the guidance, policies and solutions they need, we aim to ensure that the communities they’re engaged in thrive and their environments are healthy for future generations. For more information, visit www.sustainabletravel.org or call +1-917- 677- 5731.

Media Contact: kaitlynb@sustainabletravel.org

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