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New Online Club Lets Travelers Share Experiences, Learn How to Travel More Sustainably, and Gain Exclusive Benefits

The travel industry is coming together to help travelers more positively impact the places they visit and the people who live there

Seattle, WA (March 7, 2016) – Sustainable Travel International, the leading nonprofit working to protect environmentally and culturally sensitive destinations and improve the lives of the people who live there, today launched the “Travel Better Club” – an online club for travelers wanting to make more sustainable choices in how and where they travel and share experiences with other like-minded travelers. To enroll, travelers take a 30-minute online course that explains how the choices they make about everything from hotels and transportation to the activities they do and the meals they eat on their trips can more positively impact the places they visit and the people who live there. Travelers who complete the course receive a personalized Travel Better certificate and can become members of the Travel Better Club. In addition to offering an online community for sustainability-minded travelers to share experiences, members receive exclusive benefits and discounts on tours, lodging, travel gear, visa and passport processing, and more.

Travel Better launched in partnership with Founding Sponsor, G Adventures, and other travel industry supporters at Travel Massive’s ITB kick-off event in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, March 7.  The Travel Better launch is a 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017) event, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme.

With more than one billion people traveling each year, it is increasingly important that travelers be aware of the positive and negative impacts their choices can have on the destinations they visit and the people who live there. Some 60 percent of all leisure travelers in the United States have taken a “sustainable” trip in the last three years, according to a 2016 research report, “The Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism,” by Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research. Compared to the typical leisure traveler, these travelers spend significantly more money, stay longer, and are more likely to believe they have a responsibility to ensure their trips don’t harm a destination’s people, environment, or economy. While an increasing number of travelers want to make a difference, many don’t know where to begin: Travel Better is that beginning.

“Achieving conservation goals and improving lives through the power of tourism requires that destinations, tourism companies, and travelers all do their part,” said Geoff Bolan, Sustainable Travel International CEO. “As an organization with more than 14 years’ experience protecting sensitive environments and improving living conditions in destinations around the globe, we wanted to use our expertise to equip travelers with the knowledge and tools they need to be a force for good. By making sustainable travel guidance and advice much more accessible through Travel Better, we hope this will help grow the community of travelers who feel empowered and inspired to take action that positively impacts the people and places they visit.”

“Employing almost 10% of the globe’s population, the travel industry touches an incredible number of environments, lives, and communities in all corners of the globe. Travel Better is an exciting opportunity to tap into the individual traveler, create a community, and use it for good. Now is the time for the travel industry to come together and work towards the common goal of helping travelers to positively benefit the people and places they visit,” said Rob Torres, managing director of Google Travel.

Sustainable Travel International invites the travel industry, other businesses, and consumers to join the Travel Better effort.  Companies wishing to promote the program to customers and offer special benefits to travelers will receive complimentary access to the Travel Better course and community. In addition, sponsorship opportunities are still available for the Travel Better program as a whole.

Travelers can access the Travel Better course and join the Travel Better Club online at travelbetterclub.org.  For more information, please contact Brian T. Mullis at brianm@sustainabletravel.org or +1-720-273-2975.

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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:
Kaitlyn Brajcich
Sustainable Travel International
+1 917.677.5731
kaitlynb@sustainabletravel.org

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Igniting student interest in sustainability in St. Kitts

For many children, going to school means sitting in a dull classroom, eyes glazed over, watching the clock until it’s time to go home. While this may be an everyday experience for some children, if you step inside a school in St. Kitts, you will quickly realize that this is not always the case.  Primary schools in St. Kitts are a constant flurry of activity. Shouts and laughter can be heard filling the campuses as the children are overcome with the excitement and joy of learning. This enthusiasm is contagious, both inside the school walls and out.  
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Students on Reforestation Trip in Torres del Paine

Engaging Local Youth in the Reforestation of Torres del Paine National Park

Located in Chilean Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park is considered by many as the 8th wonder of the world. This will come as no surprise to those adventurers who have been lucky enough to gaze upon the park’s jagged peaks and turquoise lakes. Of course, where natural beauty and adventure abound, people often do too. In the last four years alone, park visitation doubled, and in 2016 reached a historic record of 252,000. Unfortunately, Torres del Paine’s soaring popularity has also been accompanied by an increase in man-made forest fires. Since 1985, the park has lost one-fifth of its 242,000 hectares to fires, all of which were started by tourists. These fires devastated native Lenga tree forests and the habitats of already endangered species.
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Sustainable Travel International Announces Appointment of Geoff Bolan to CEO

Seattle, WA (October 4, 2016) – Sustainable Travel International, the leading nonprofit focused on improving lives and protecting places through changes in the way destinations around the world manage travel and tourism, announced today that Geoff Bolan is named Chief Executive Officer.  Bolan succeeds Sustainable Travel International’s Founder and CEO, Brian Mullis. Mullis will transition into an Executive Advisor role after nearly 14 years guiding the organization. Bolan will lead Sustainable Travel International in its next chapter of growth, focusing on expanding the organization’s global impact to combat threats like environmental degradation and economic inequality.

GB image 2Bolan joined Sustainable Travel International in January 2016 as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. His background includes more than 25 years of management, business development, and strategic planning on a global scale in both the non-profit and private sectors. Bolan held multiple leadership roles with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), leading all commercial development for the Americas region, then running all aspects of U.S. operations.  He has held previous management positions in the hospitality sector with TravelCLICK, McDonalds, and iExplore. Bolan started his career in enterprise and ecotourism development with Conservation International, working primarily in Latin America. Bolan earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BA in international relations from Tufts University.

“Geoff has exhibited the expertise and leadership skills necessary to guide Sustainable Travel International into its next phase of growth,” said Roger Lang, Chairman of the Board. “The work of this organization is crucial to ensuring the well-being of destinations and people around the world and the Board is confident in Geoff’s vision for the organization and ability to expand this impact going forward.”

“We’re working to ensure a better future for some of the world’s most vulnerable destinations – such as the Galapagos Islands, Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, Panama, and Indonesia. I look forward to helping Sustainable Travel International deepen this global impact,” said Bolan. “Travel and tourism represents 1 in 11 jobs around the world; and harnessing this economic strength to improve living conditions and protect sensitive environments is no small task. It requires the participation of governments, the private sector, and individuals. I greatly appreciate the confidence of our Board, and all the accomplishments of the organization’s founder, Brian Mullis.”  

For any media inquiries regarding the transition, please contact Kaitlyn Brajcich at kaitlynb@sustainabletravel.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 on. By leveraging the power of travel and tourism, which employs 1 in every 11 people on the planet, we aim to ensure that communities thrive and their environments are healthy for future generations. For more information, visit www.sustainabletravel.org.

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