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The 10 Million Better Campaign Launches as a Focus for Tourism that Improves Lives and Protects Places

PORTLAND, Oregon, Sept. 25, 2015 – The industry-wide 10 Million Better campaign to monitor and scale up social and environmental benefits from travel and tourism was officially launched at the Travel and Tourism Collective Impact Summit in Portland, Oregon this week.

Spearheaded by the NGO Sustainable Travel International, the campaign convenes industry leaders worldwide around the goal demonstrating improvements in the lives of at least 10 million people and their families through travel and tourism by 2025. Targeted improvements include growth of income and opportunity, better protection of destinations’ natural and cultural resources and heritage attractions, and more efficient resource use. Campaign participants have begun pooling their impacts using Sustainable Travel International’s impact counter, which currently shows they’re reaching nearly 300,000 people and counting.

“The impact counter demonstrates the power of tourism to improve lives and protect places,” said Louise Twining-Ward, CEO of Sustainable Travel International. “Great efforts to turn the industry’s impacts positive exist, but they’re scattered across the globe. Adopting shared objectives, tracking progress and aggregating the data are key to leveraging tourism’s enormous power to do good and to help meet global sustainability goals, as the UN has mandated it to do.”

Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries. It provides one out of eleven jobs worldwide and has an enormous global environmental and social footprint, including 5% of greenhouse gas emissions. The Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit September 25-27 include promoting sustainable tourism and monitoring its impacts. The UNWTO declared September 27 World Tourism Day to highlight what UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called “the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.”

Many travel industry and sustainability leaders have endorsed the 10 Million Better campaign and pledged their support.  Corporate sponsors include G Adventures and Globus. Afar, Carlson, Delaware North, G Adventures Intrepid Travel, Sierra Club, Skål International, Starwood and others have designated campaign ambassadors. Sustainable Travel International’s Leadership Networks including such brands as A&K, Finnair, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and United Airlines have endorsed the campaign.

Contact:  Stephen Kent, skent@kentcom.com, 914-589-5988

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Portland To Host Summit on Travel and Tourism’s Collective Impacts

Gathering of Global Industry Leaders Anticipates UN Sustainable Development Goals to be Adopted 9/25 and World Tourism Day 9/27. Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams of World Resources Institute Will Give Keynote Address.

Portland, Oregon, September 9, 2015 A ground-breaking meeting of industry and sustainability leaders to lay out a collective agenda and methodologies for addressing impacts from travel and tourism will take place in Portland, Oregon September 22-23.

The “Travel and Tourism Collective Impact Summit” is organized by the NGO Sustainable Travel International and co-hosted by Travel Oregon, with additional support from Travel Portland. It will convene invited leaders of tourism destinations, major companies in travel and other industries, industry associations, NGOs and sustainability experts to work on critical issues related to the travel sector’s global impacts, and to leverage opportunities for tourism to be a major contributor to achieving global sustainability goals.

“Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and a high-stakes piece of the global sustainability puzzle,” said Sam Adams, Portland’s former Mayor and current director of the US Climate Initiative of the World Resources Institute, who will give the keynote address at the Summit. “It can be an important part of the solution, provided the industry comes together and works toward common goals.  That’s what this gathering is about.”

Worldwide, travel and tourism is a $6.6 trillion industry, generating 9% of global GDP and one out of every eleven jobs.  In the US, it generates $2.1 trillion a year (including $10.3 billion in Oregon), 10% of US exports and one of every nine American jobs (including over 100,000 jobs in Oregon).  Tourism also has a large social and environmental footprint, including generating 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and impacts on land, water and ecosystems.

“The world faces enormous challenges: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, fix climate change. Tourism can be an engine of innovation for sustainable consumption and production. No other industry has the same potential for job creation, to provide opportunities for women, to conserve land and marine resources” said Dr. Louise Twining-Ward, CEO of Sustainable Travel International.   “Through partnerships and careful resource use, sustainable tourism generates positive impacts on people and places.  It enhances the economic vitality, livability and sustainability in places like Oregon, and it could  have those effects anywhere in the world.  Now, finally, after all these years, we have a UN mandate for sustainable tourism.”

The Sustainable Development Goals will be finalized and adopted at the UN in New York September 25-27.  They include specific goals for promoting sustainable tourism and developing and implementing tools to monitor its impacts.   The UN World Tourism Organization has declared September 27 its annual World Tourism Day to focus attention on tourism’s potential to improve lives, relieve poverty, create livelihoods, drive inclusive development, and protect natural and cultural heritage.

To help tourism do its part to fulfill global goals, Sustainable Travel International has organized the industry-wide 10 Million Better campaign. Working with partners across the travel industry, the campaign aims to demonstrate improvements in the lives of 10 million people through travel and tourism by 2025, and is developing an accessible, shared impact monitoring system tourism businesses and destinations can access to demonstrate and aggregate their progress.

At the Travel and Tourism Collective Impact Summit September 22-23 industry leaders will address common challenges, discuss the specifics of how they will work together towards shared objectives, and review methodologies for monitoring, verifying and scaling up positive collective impacts from sustainable tourism. Among the presenters and moderators are Jamie Sweeting of G Adventures/Planeterra Foundation, CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg, Shannon Stowell of Adventure Travel Trade Association, Dr. Twining-Ward of Sustainable Tourism International and many other business and thought leaders.

The Summit will be held at the Hotel deLuxe, 729 SW 15th Avenue in downtown Portland. Journalists and bloggers are invited to attend and cover the morning session on September 22, which includes the keynote address by Mayor Adams and a presentation on collective impact by Travel Oregon’s Director of Destination Development Kristin Dahl.  Journalists and bloggers are also invited to the cocktail party formally launching the 10 Million Better campaign that evening.  Side interviews with Summit presenters and participants are available at other times on request.

Live tweeting from the Summit, as well as ongoing conversations about collective impact in travel and tourism, and about the 10 Million Better campaign, can be found and joined at the hashtags #travelchanges and #10millionbetter.

For more information, to RSVP or to request interviews, please contact Stephen Kent, skent@kentcom.com914-589-5988

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Q&A with Seleni Matus, Vice President of Global Programs

One of the most effective ways of  addressing the interrelated issues that impact a tourism destination’s economic, social and environmental well-being is to take a region-wide approach to planning and to equip local people with the information and tools they need to prepare for their future. Here, Sustainable Travel International’s Seleni Matus provides an overview of the regional alliance model and its promise for improving lives and protecting lands through tourism.
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Communities in Suriname Tap the Potential of Tourism

We have been working with IICA-Suriname, community and business leaders, local NGOs, and donors in Suriname since 2013, helping to facilitate a vision and path forward for the country’s indigenous groups. With few options available to them, the Arawak and Carib peoples—who live in the country’s vast and heavily forested interior—are determined to maintain their cultural traditions, protect local biodiversity and to create economic opportunities where few exist. Tourism provides the most promising path forward.
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RETOSA and Sustainable Travel International Join Forces in Southern Africa

Partnership to improve lives and livelihoods through travel and tourism

JOHANNESBURG, August 13, 2015 – The Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) and Sustainable Travel International have announced a leading-edge partnership to drive sustainable tourism development across Southern Africa. The main objective of this partnership is to assist governments, communities and businesses’ efforts to use travel and tourism as a driver for sustainable development across a region where over 72% of young people live in abject poverty.

Through this partnership, RETOSA will become the first organisation on the African continent to endorse and support the aims of the 10 MILLION BETTER industry-wide campaign, launched by Sustainable Travel International to monitor and scale up social, economic and environmental benefits from travel and tourism, with the goal of demonstrating tangible improvements in the lives of at least 10 million people by 2025.

“It is our mandate as a Southern African Development Community (SADC) institution to transform the tourism sector to achieve these goals,” said Simba Mandinyenya, acting Executive Director of RETOSA. “In order to succeed, our member states require tools to better manage tourism development and to be able to track its impacts on environmental quality, livelihoods, education and training, well being, and so forth. Sustainable Travel International is helping to provide those valuable tools.”

“There is a new readiness and urgency to act together,” said Sustainable Travel International’s CEO, Dr. Louise Twining-Ward. “For the first time the tourism sector has a UN Mandate to shift towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns. The time is now for the industry to come together with a clear vision and focus its enormous economic power on solid goals and metrics for improving lives. We are excited about our partnership with RETOSA, and look forward to working together with them to improve lives, promote economic equality and preserve the region’s rich natural resources and cultural traditions.”

 

About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International’s mission is to improve lives and protect places through travel and tourism. A global non-profit and industry thought leader since 2002, Sustainable Travel International has helped communities, hotels, airlines, cruise lines and governments to plan responsibly—to chart their road maps for responsible growth so that they can contribute to the economic and social well-being of people around the globe whose lives and livelihoods depend on the world’s wanderlust.

Many of the world’s most popular travel destinations are threatened by interrelated problems including climate change, overcrowding and unsustainable development. Rather than address these challenges in isolation, Sustainable Travel International is convening like-minded travel and tourism leaders—destinations, companies, NGOs, and academics that are also determined to contribute to the long-term well-being of people and places most impacted by travel and tourism—to improve the lives of at least 10 million people by 2025. To achieve our goal, we are working across industries and geographies on comprehensive and holistic solutions that lead to long-term sustainability and collective impact through regional alliances in the Caribbean and Latin America, the South Pacific and Africa.  Visit us at http://sustainabletravel.org to learn more.

About RETOSA

The Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) is a Southern African Development Community (SADC) institution responsible for tourism growth and development across Angola, Botswana, D R Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The primary objective of RETOSA is to facilitate and promote the development of equitable and ethical tourism throughout the Southern African Region taking due consideration of the overall development of the people, vis-a-vis the Region’s natural and cultural resources. The organization works together with Member States’ Tourism Ministries, Tourism Boards and private sector partners to increase tourist arrivals to the region through sustainable development initiatives, improved regional competitiveness, and effective destination marketing. Visit us at http://www.retosa.co.za/ to learn more.

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