Support the Travel Better Program

Achieving sustainable travel at scale requires destinations, tourism companies, and travelers to all do their part. An increasing number of destinations are protecting their natural and cultural heritage and improving the well-being of residents through travel and tourism. More tourism companies are improving their practices through environmental management systems, as well as community development and conservation initiatives. Millions of travelers, however, remain unaware of their impacts and don’t know what they can do to benefit the people and places they visit.

To take action, Sustainable Travel International is developing Travel Better™, scheduled for launch at the ITB travel trade show in March 2017 during a UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development event. Our vision is to build a community of passionate travelers and consumers who wish to be part of the solution when it comes to traveling in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.

Travel Better Club and Certificate Course

One way we are empowering and inspiring travelers to positively impact the people and places they visit is through the Travel Better certificate course, an interactive and easy to use online learning module developed in partnership with Planeterra Foundation. The course is designed for travelers interested in learning about what it means to travel responsibly and sustainably in order to maximize their positive (and reduce their negative) impacts on a destination and the people who live there. Travelers who successfully complete the course and pass a brief knowledge check receive a Travel Better certificate and can activate their membership in the Travel Better Club to receive benefits from sponsors and supporters.

With generous support from G Adventures, the first founding sponsor, the Travel Better Club and online learning program were soft launched on World Tourism Day in September 2016. More than 1000 travelers have completed the program since then.  We now need support from travel industry leaders to get more travelers involved and spread the word.

Why should you get involved?

  • Become part of a founding group of tourism industry leaders helping to improve people’s lives and protect the environments relied upon by the industry
  • Position your company as an advocate and supporter of responsible and sustainable travel practices and traveler behavior
  • Invest in the future of the travel industry and the destinations your business depends on by helping to protect them

How can you get involved?

We are looking to partner with tourism industry leaders to support the Travel Better Certificate in the following ways:

  • Partnership to create a multiplier effect of positive impact and take the program to scale
  • Chapter or founding sponsorship to underwrite the overhead costs and receive a branded or fully customized version of the learning course
  • Provide travel incentives to be offered to Travel Better Club members (e.g., savings on travel and tourism-related products and services, gifts, and members-only access to trip giveaways/sweepstakes)
  • Promotion of the course through your communications channels with incentives to your existing and prospective customers to participate

Course Overview

The 30-minute online learning module introduces sustainable travel and addresses activities that take place during the three phases of travel. The course incorporates multi-media content, real world examples, and travel tips.

  • Introduction: Overview of sustainable travel including the positive and negative socio-cultural, economic and environmental impacts of tourism
  • Trip Planning and Preparation: How to be conscientious when conducting destination research, booking travel providers, determining what to pack, etc.
  • When Traveling: What to be aware of and making decisions broken down into four chapters: sightseeing, arts and culture, local cuisine, and nature and wildlife
  • Returning Home: Opportunities to continue making positive impact after the trip is over by spreading awareness and giving back to the destination

For more information on Travel Better, and to get involved:

Please contact Brian Mullis at brianm@sustainabletravel.org or +1 720 273 2975

The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates 1.5 billion people will be traveling across borders per year by 2020. Destinations all over the world are facing increasing pressures. For many travelers, the negative impact that they have on a place is often unintended. At the same time, the recent “Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism” research by Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research revealed the importance of the sustainable traveler – looking for more, worth more, and representing a large and growing segment of the overall travel industry

Leisure travelers represent 71% of the U.S. adult population (175.5 million Americans). 60% of all leisure travelers (105.3 million Americans) have taken a “sustainable” trip in the last three years. They spend significantly more (on average $600 per trip), stay longer (seven days compared to four days), and are significantly more likely to make purchases from travel companies based on their sustainable practices – The Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism, 2016