PRESS RELEASES

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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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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Skål International Partners with Sustainable Travel International To Improve 10 Million Lives and Protect Places Through Travel and Tourism

Skål International Partners with Sustainable Travel International To Improve 10 Million Lives and Protect Places Through Travel and Tourism

NEW YORK, June 20, 2015 –  Skål International, the world’s largest multi-discipline travel and tourism organization, has endorsed Sustainable Travel International’s 10 MILLION BETTER campaign, which aims to monitor and scale up social and environmental benefits from travel and tourism, and to protect the resources on which the industry depends.

The initiative convenes leading tourism corporations, organizations, and destinations around the goal of tracking and demonstrating improvements in the lives of at least 10 million people and their families by 2025, including growth in income and opportunity, and better protection of destinations’ natural, cultural and heritage sites. To enable travel and tourism destinations and businesses to track and share their progress and demonstrate collective impact, the campaign is developing an open-source Impact Monitoring System.

Skål International and Sustainable Travel International’s expressed their partnership and commitment to achieving these goals in a Memorandum of Understanding released today. Skål International brings to the campaign its membership drawn from all parts of the industry, including clubs in 85 countries, their member contacts within local and national governments and a vast network of in-depth local knowledge.

“Skål International represents one of the biggest reservoirs of knowledge and cooperation in the industry,” said Nigel Pilkington, Skål’s Senior Vice President and Director, PR & Communications / Business Affairs. “Our reach can help scale up this effort and help the campaign meet its goals.  We’re committed to helping our members improve lives and protect places, both because it’s the right thing to do, and because it will allow tourism businesses and destinations to remain relevant, competitive and attractive to the large and growing consumer segment that values transparency and accountability.”

In committing to the 10 MILLION BETTER campaign, Skål International joins other industry leaders including Carlson, Delaware North, Intrepid Travel, Sierra Club, and Starwood. The Sustainable Travel Leadership Network and Sustainable Destination Leadership Network—which include brands like A&K, Globus, Finnair, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and United Airlines—have also committed to the campaign.

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For more information on 10 MILLION BETTER, please visit Sustainable Travel International’s website at www.sustainabletravel.org.

For more information on Skal International visit their website at www.skal.org.

 

Contacts:  

In New York: Carol Goodstein, carolg@sustainabletravel.org, +845-353-7620; or Stephen Kent, KentCom LLC, skent@kentcom.com +914-589-5988

In Auckland: Nigel Pilkington, nigel@delamer.com  +64 9 445 4351

 

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Through Sustainable Travel International Partnership United Airlines Eco-Skies Passengers Fly Carbon Neutral During Earth Month

CHICAGO, April 14, 2015 — In honor of Earth Month, United Airlines customers traveling aboard the company’s signature Eco-Skies aircraft in April will be flying carbon neutral. Through United’s Eco-Skies CarbonChoice program, the airline is obtaining carbon offsets for all passengers and crew on every flight of the specially painted 737-900ER – aircraft #432. The Eco-Skies aircraft is also retrofitted with fuel-efficient Split Scimitar winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by up to an additional two percent over traditional winglets. Carbon offsets alleviate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing emissions from other sources.

United’s Eco-Skies 737-900ER aircraft. To download a high-res image, click here.

In collaboration with Sustainable Travel International, a non-profit organization and long-time United partner, the CarbonChoice offsets from the airline’s Eco-Skies plane are third-party verified to internationally recognized standards and will support GreenTrees’ Advanced Carbon Restored Ecosystem (ACRE) project along the Mississippi River Valley. To date, GreenTrees and its landowners have planted over 36 million trees on nearly 100,000 acres along the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. United’s support will allow GreenTrees to accelerate its success in emission reductions from 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to entirely new levels of conservation impact.

“Our Eco-Skies plane represents United’s strong commitment to the environment, and we’re proud of the work we do to be an environmentally responsible airline and reduce our emissions, not just in the month of April, but all year around,” said the airline’s Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Angela Foster-Rice.

Customers can purchase CarbonChoice offsets for travel when checking in at united.com or any time before or after a flight, and MileagePlus members can also utilize miles to purchase offsets, both by visiting united.com/carbonchoice. In addition, United’s corporate sales and cargo customers now have the ability to purchase a complete carbon-neutral travel option for all flights on United. For more information on this enterprise-level solution, please visit united.com/carbonchoice.

Along with its robust carbon-offset program, United has further demonstrated leadership in environmental sustainability by establishing several ambitious initiatives and programs. United’s recent achievements include:

  • United is a leader in the advancement and use of sustainable aviation biofuel, making history in commercial aviation with its partnership with AltAir Fuels to bring commercial-scale, cost-competitive renewable jet fuel to its Los Angeles hub this year and was awarded in 2015 by the World Bio Markets for Excellence in Advanced Biofuels for this program.
  • The company in early 2014 became the first airline in the world to fly with the split scimitar winglet technology that cuts fuel consumption by up to an additional 2 percent over the airline’s existing fuel-saving winglet technology.
  • The company in 2014 reduced CO2 emissions by more than 1 million metric tons and reduced fuel consumption by more than 110 million gallons through fuel efficiency, equal to removing more than 225,000 cars from the road.
  • The airline increased orders for new Boeing and Airbus aircraft that are 15 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than those they will replace, and now has more than 260 of these new, fuel-efficient aircraft on order.
  • United Eco-Skies continues to partner and provide sustainable travel options to our customers, most recently with the introduction of Eco-Skies Vacation packages available on unitedvacations.com.
  • United Eco-Skies is partnering with Smithsonian.com to encourage and recognize sustainable travelers who demonstrate leadership and an active commitment to travel for environmentally responsible purposes, generating positive social, economic, or environmental outcomes in the local communities visited. Photographers can submit their pictures in the Sustainable Travel category, made possible through the support of United Eco-Skies, by visitinghttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/photocontest/tags/sustainable-travel/?no-ist.
  • The company’s Eco-Skies Community Grants program encourages United employees who volunteer their time and efforts to environmental organizations in their communities. To date, United has awarded nearly $100,000 to environmental organizations.
SOURCE United Airlines  
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AT WTTC Summit, Sustainable Travel International Announces Campaign to Rally the Travel and Tourism Industry Around Monitoring, Demonstrating and Scaling Up Benefits

[Madrid, Spain – April 14, 2015] At the World Travel & Tourism Council 2015 Global Summit in Madrid today, the NGO Sustainable Travel International unveiled an industry-wide campaign entitled 10 Million Better to monitor and scale up social and environmental benefits from travel and tourism.

The ten-year initiative convenes leading tourism corporations, organizations and destinations around the globe with the goal of tracking and demonstrating improvements in the lives of at least 10 million people and their families by 2025. Improvements to be monitored include growth of income and opportunity, and better protection of destinations’ natural, cultural and heritage sites.

Sustainable Travel International announced the 10 Million Better campaign in a joint presentation today at WTTC’s “Tourism for Tomorrow” awards event, entitled “Tourism for Tomorrow, Today: Launching the Next Decade’s Worth of Positive Impacts Starting Now.” It featured Dr. Louise Twining-Ward, CEO of Sustainable Travel International, Brian Mullis, Chairman of the Board and Founder of Sustainable Travel International, and Inge Huijbrechts, Vice President Responsible Business at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. She is among the industry leaders serving as a campaign ambassador.

Other trend-setting ambassadors to the campaign include representatives of such leading travel companies as Delaware North, Intrepid Travel, and the Soneva Group.  The campaign is also endorsed by Sustainable Travel Leadership Network and Sustainable Destination Leadership Network, two Sustainable Travel International-convened collaborations which represent leading brands committed to advancing the industry’s sustainability efforts, including Globus, Finnair, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ltd., United Airlines and others.

“Collectively, our industry has the power to influence the protection of the environment, promotion of economic equality and preservation of the social well-being and cultural traditions of communities around the globe,” said Jerry Jacobs, Jr., Co-CEO of the global hospitality and entertainment group Delaware North Companies, Inc. “Not only do we believe that acting responsibly on behalf of the environment and communities is the right way forward, from our perspective it’s the only way forward. We’re wholly committed to ensuring travel and tourism continues to do better by our world.”

“There is a new readiness and urgency to act together,” said Sustainable Travel International’s Twining-Ward. “For the first time the tourism sector has a UN Mandate to act. A big shift is now needed 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.”

“Sustainability in global tourism is achievable, but not if we work in silos,” said Ingunn Sornes, senior adviser to Innovation Norway, which helps to ensure Norway’s destinations are viable for the long-term through its Sustainable Destinations program. “We must work together to improve our collective performance, which is why this campaign is so important. Sustainable Travel International has helped us to develop sustainability management tools and metrics, and we’ve seen the difference they made to the health of our own tourism sector. Ensuring that such tools (and experiences) are widely available and accessible would do the same for destinations and businesses around the world.”

Travel and tourism is the world’s leading economic driver, representing 9.5% of the global economy and generating 1.1 billion arrivals last year and 1 out of 11 jobs worldwide. It’s poised for explosive growth over the next decade, and represents vast resources for improving lives and generating livelihoods globally while protecting places and the planet.

Sustainable travel and tourism are growing especially fast, but so are the industry’s energy, water, land and food use and its environmental, climate and social impacts.  As a result, the business imperative to tackle sustainability issues and the stakes of sustainability-related risks are intense.

Adverse impacts from unmanaged growth can include overcrowding, pollution, biodiversity loss, cultural homogenization and increased economic inequality. But if properly planned and responsibly executed, tourism can also powerfully incentivize protection of natural and cultural resources and enable destinations to prosper.

“Non-sustainable tourism won’t continue to exist,” said Dr. Edward (Ted) Manning, advisor to Sustainable Travel International, President of Tourisk, Inc., and lead architect in the development of the UNWTO program on Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism. “If you allow your natural and human capital to decline over time, you will not be able to stay in business. Earlier iterations of sustainability indicators were about sensitizing destinations to their impacts. Today it’s about managing key risks and surviving.”

The UNWTO identifies destination monitoring as a key element of sustainable tourism management. It helps to both manage business risk and to protect the environmental, economic and social fabric of destinations. But like other industries working to integrate sustainability goals, travel and tourism has lacked adequate tools to track its impacts reliably, measure and communicate progress in an accountable way, and realize tourism’s larger potential for positive change.

The new campaign aims to change that, in part by creating and distributing an accessible, open-source impact monitoring tool which companies and destinations can help develop. It is designed to overcome existing barriers to monitoring and reporting, and balance data relevance with technical feasibility and financial viability.

“Organizations need to graduate from simply reporting their investments in sustainable or ethical practices to tracking their actual impacts on environmental quality, livelihoods, education and training, well being, and so forth” said Nick Desolino, member of Sustainable Travel International’s Board and an Energy & Sustainability Adviser at KPMG in the UK. “But they need objective tools to quantify and report on them.   Sustainable Travel International is helping to provide those tools, beginning to aggregate the data and engaging the industry in the common cause of using it to leverage the good we can do together.”

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Contacts: On-site in Madrid: Brian Mullis, founder and chair, Sustainable Travel International, brianm@sustainabletravel.org, +720-273-2975

In New York:  Carol Goodstein, carolg@sustainabletravel.org, +845-353-7620, Stephen Kent, KentCom LLC, skent@kentcom.com +914-589-5988    
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