Posts Tagged ‘10 Million Better’

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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Tourism Impact Monitoring Climbs the International Agenda

Last week in Washington, DC, the World Bank’s Sustainable Tourism Global Solutions Group organized a high-level meeting on “Measuring for Impact: Convening Thought Leaders in Tourism,” with support from Sustainable Travel International. Besides the World Bank and us, participants included the United Nations Environmental Programme, the World Economic Forum, the UN World Tourism Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council, industry leaders such as Wyndham Resorts and PwC, the world’s largest professional services firm, as well as the World Wildlife Fund and Harvard, Cornell and George Washington Universities.
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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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