PRESS RELEASES

Vail to be Assessed as the First Certified Sustainable Destination in the U.S.

Vail, CO (July 13, 2017) — After months of preparation, Vail will be hosting an independent site visit next week to determine if it has met the criteria needed to become the first Certified Sustainable Destination in the U.S. The certification process is sponsored by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and Green Destinations, based in The Netherlands.

Conducting the onsite fieldwork taking place July 17-21 will be Magdelena Muir of Calgary, Canada. Her assessment will review the community’s performance on over 40 international standards in the areas of energy, climate, waste, equity, economy, wildlife health and more.

Muir is an internationally renowned professor of energy policy and climate science, published author, attorney and strategist. As the principal of International Energy, Environmental and Legal Services, Ltd. and Climate Sustainability Finance Ltd., Muir provides consulting services on a broad range of economic and energy projects, while also serving on several boards, including the Climate and Global Change, Coastal and Marine Union as well as research organizations including the Arctic Institute of North America.

During her visit, Muir will interview a diverse group of representatives from the resort community including Vail Resorts, Town of Vail, Vail Chamber and Business Association, U.S. Forest Service and Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, among others. She’ll also experience local events and visit top destination gems such as the Vail Farmers’ Market, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Ford Amphitheater Vail Jazz and more.

In partnership with Vail Resorts, the community of Vail and Vail Mountain are aiming to become the first certified sustainable destination in the United States under criteria from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, a non-governmental organization established by the United Nations Environment Programme and several other global partners in response to growth in tourism and the desire to foster increased understanding of sustainable tourism practices. The destination certification criteria include 40 best practices that any tourism destination should aspire to reach. Another global organization, Sustainable Travel International, is also a partner on the Vail project.

Over the past year staff from Walking Mountains Science Center, Town of Vail and Vail Resorts have been assembling supporting data and documentation demonstrating results in criteria categories where the destination excels and as well as a draft implementation plan to improve in areas that may need additional attention. Vail will receive an initial assessment at the end of the audit period and a determination of its certification application in the upcoming months.

“We are creating a new standard that Vail and other mountain resort communities can adopt so that we can all grow and develop in a responsible and sustainable manner. The increasing impacts of our success in promoting mountain tourism have a double-edged sword that requires proactive collaborative planning for the future,” said Walking Mountains Science Center founder and Vail Town Council member Kim Langmaid. The new standard named the Mountain IDEAL will become a model for mountain resort communities across the world.

“The Town of Vail has a long history of environmental stewardship and sustainability including the protection of open space in its Town Charter, the creation of the Vail Nature Center and Preserve in the early 1970s and more recently its proactive approach to restoring the water quality of Gore Creek. We hope to celebrate our successes and elevate our programs in those areas that need more attention,” said environmental sustainability manager Kristen Bertuglia.

The Vail Sustainable Destination Project began when the Environment Committee of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships was tasked to deliver an innovative legacy project. As a first step, the Environment Committee launched the Actively Green Sustainable Business Training and Certification Program which continues to support businesses and other organizations and is coordinated by Walking Mountains Science Center. The Actively Green program supports the larger destination certification project and provides local businesses and employees avenues to participate along the journey to make Vail a sustainable destination. “Vail is a great example of the progress and success that destinations can have when they harness the power of travel and tourism as a force for good,” added Geoff Bolan, CEO of Sustainable Travel International.

Among the certification criteria for destinations are sustainability indicators that address things like tourism infrastructure, planning for climate change, protection of sensitive environments and wildlife, affordable housing, light and noise pollution, programs for youth and seniors, stakeholder participation, cultural heritage protection and sustainability education.

“This whole area of environmental sustainability can become a positive distinguishing feature of the resort, for visitors and residents alike. It’s a wonderful project that can significantly enhance Vail’s future if this becomes a true, community-wide effort,” said long-time Vail resident and Walking Mountains’ board member Alan Danson.

For more information, visit www.walkingmountains.org/vsd or sustainabletravel.org/places/vail/.

Media Contacts:

Suzanne Silverthorn, APR
Town of Vail
ssilverthorn@vailgov.com
(970) 479-2115

Scott Robinson
Walking Mountains Science Centre
scottr@walkingmountains.org
(970) 688-4250

Kaitlyn Brajcich
Sustainable Travel International
kaitlynb@sustainabletravel.org
(917) 677-5731

 

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Jacada Travel will offset the carbon emissions from all trips booked from May 2017 forward, including international flights booked independently

Jacada Travel is excited to announce that they will be offsetting 100% of the carbon footprint of all trips booked from May 2017 forward. This even includes international flights travellers book for themselves. International flights are the biggest contributor to the travel industry’s carbon emissions, and as such, we are proud to be the one of the first travel companies – and the only one of our size – to automatically offset the impact of these flights. Jacada Travel is donating a part of the profits from their trips to compensate for the carbon footprint of each trip on the behalf of its customers.

To achieve this, Jacada Travel has partnered with Sustainable Travel International – a global non-profit organisation with over 10 years’ experience developing successful Carbon Offset programs for tour operators and other travel and tourism industry leaders – to calculate the carbon footprint of trips and select a portfolio of high impact carbon offset projects. The portfolio selected includes community-based Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) projects in Brazil and Tanzania, and a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) zero energy water filter production and dissemination project in Cambodia. Jacada Travel’s investment in these projects will not only work towards mitigating carbon emissions, but will also provide community benefits in their respective surrounding areas, such as local livelihood creation and education and health services.

Jacada Travel’s founder, Alex Malcolm, says: “Jacada Travel is committed to being a leader in sustainable and responsible travel. With 2017 being the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development it’s now more important than ever to put these initiatives at the forefront of not only the industry but also travellers’ minds. Offsetting our carbon impact is just one of a number of ways in which we are committed to making travel uplifting for everyone, and this initiative is just the beginning for us.”

About Jacada Travel

Jacada Travel is a luxury, award-winning travel company specialising in creating bespoke, inspirational journeys to Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australasia and the polar regions. Founded in 2008 by Alex Malcolm, Jacada Travel offers unique and inspired itineraries for travellers seeking a truly personal travel experience with attentive service from start to finish – from quaint vineyard hotel stays in Mendoza and Amazon tribe encounters in Peru to archaeologist-guided private tours of the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana.

Developing strong, lasting relationships with their local partners, Jacada Travel works to promote a sustainable and long-term boost to the economy of their destinations. For every trip they sell, they donate to a regional charity, the ultimate aim of which is to make travel uplifting for everyone.

About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organisation 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 contact us at+1 917.677.5731.

Media Contacts:

Leila Al-Qattan, Jacada Travel: leila@jacadatravel.com; Jacadatravel.com

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

 

 

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Eco-Friendly Plumber Wins Vail 2016 Success Award

Vail, CO, May 12, 2017: American Plumbing Heating and Solar, Inc. has won the prestigious 2016 Success Award. The 14th Annual Success Award recognizes businesses that have excelled over the past year and acknowledges their hard work and dedication as the best in the Vail Valley. APHS is nominated in the Actively Green category that is awarded to a local business for promoting a community culture of sustainability. APHS may be the first and only plumbing business certified Actively Green in the world. The winner was announced at a community luncheon on May 12th in Bachelor Gulch, Colorado.

A Commitment to Sustainability. “Growing up in Turkey, learning my trade in Europe, and then moving to the United States, has been a rewarding experience. I love my adopted country, thus the name of my business – American! I have grown as a person as my business has grown. One direction that I have brought forth from my home is the introduction of water and energy saving products for the customers I service. I believe we owe it to our children and our planet to be as efficient as possible, and a plumber has a responsibility to help.” says owner Mustafa Aydin.

APHS was quick to accomplish. The business received certification in a few short weeks’ time. This is mostly due to a pre-existing commitment to running a green business; they had many key items in place, such as recycling. The company has recorded 739.75 lbs. that was recycled. The ratio of waste to landfill vs. recycle is greater than 3 to one – for every pound sent to landfill, we recycle 3.5 lbs. And the local recycle center pays the company for a lot of the standard plumbing waste. APHS has earned over $500 since recording the waste. A new LED lighting system was the number one action item for them. The lighting project in the office and shop is done and will pay for itself in less than three years. “It feels great!” says the employee green team member.

An honor among peers. Success Awards are presented by the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce for the Vail, Eagle County mountain resort community. For the past fourteen years, the Vail Valley Partnership has had the honor of recognizing businesses, non-profits and individuals who have helped make the Vail Valley and Eagle County a dynamic and diverse business community. The Success Awards are given for business achievement, business growth and community involvement. APHS was one among seventeen nominees in their category, and then won among the three finalists.

“I never imagined my company, my little plumbing business, would achieve such an honor. Wow! It’s a mind blower. And it’s especially rewarding knowing that other local businesses recognize our achievement. This really makes me want to do more to set a good example for our community.” says Mr. Aydin.

That Green Thing:

American Plumbing Heating and Solar, Inc. earned the Actively Green 2017 eco-award certification from Sustainable Travel International and local organization, Walking Mountains Science Center. This certification demonstrates the APHS commitment to the environment and to sharing that commitment with clients and the Eagle Valley community.

Contact American Plumbing, Heating and Solar to schedule a consult about your home or business energy savings or general plumbing needs – 970-748-8667. Online: http://www.aphsolar.com/contact-us. View our company message and video about solar heating systems on our You Tube channel.

About American Plumbing Heating and Solar, Inc.:

American Plumbing Heating and Solar is a leading residential and commercial plumbing contractor in Vail, Eagle County, Colorado. We offer full-service plumbing, hvac and solar hot water (solar thermal) solutions. As part of our mission, we operate in an energy efficient, sustainability manner. In fact, as a Lodging Quality Assurance (LQA) certified vendor, we offer our clients attractive and energy, water saving fixtures when we replace or remodel their plumbing system. For more information, contact APHS at P.O. Box 9134, Avon, CO 81632. Tel: 970-748-8667, Fax: 970-692-8381. Visit our website and blog at www.aphsolar.com.

About the Vail Valley Partnership and the Success Awards:

Vail Valley Partnership, a 501c(6) nonprofit organization, has been engaged in the community from the early days of Vail, starting in 1964 as the Vail Resort Association. Vail Valley Partnership is the regional community development organization, dedicated to the economic vitality of the Vail Valley. We support local businesses. We unite key stakeholders. We lead collaborative efforts throughout the community.

With a membership of 800+ organizations that spans the Vail Valley and beyond and which represents 80% of the local workforce, Vail Valley Partnership is dedicated to ensuring local business success and fostering regional economic vitality by offering local business tools & resources, promoting the Vail Valley to destination guests, and initiating economic development efforts.

What are the Success Awards? The Partnership has had the honor of recognizing businesses, non-profits and individuals who have helped make the Vail, Eagle Valley a dynamic and diverse business community. The Success Awards are given for business achievement, business growth and community involvement. Each year, the business community nominates organizations and individuals for recognition via the success awards. Our nominating committee poured over the applications and selected three finalists in each category. Learn more about the Success Awards and the Vail Valley Partnership at this link: https://www.vailvalleypartnership.com/events/annual-success-awards/

About Actively Green – Local and International:

The Actively Green Sustainable Business Certification Program is part of a larger movement to create a culture of sustainability throughout the Eagle Valley. Over 140 businesses have participated in the trainings with 51 businesses, including American Plumbing Heating and Solar, currently certified and many more actively working toward certification.

The Actively Green Sustainable Business Training and Certification Program was launched as an innovative legacy initiative of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek. Through a partnership with the global non-profit Sustainable Travel International the Eagle Valley has its own credible certification program and sustainability management system. Founding program sponsors are Sustainable Travel International, The Town of Vail, Walking Mountains Science Center, Vail Valley Foundation. APHS encourages others to take advantage of the training and incentives through the Vail Valley Partnership and Eagle County.

Contact : Debbie Marquez, Marketing

American Plumbing Heating and Solar, Inc.

5 Murray Rd., #C-3, Edwards, CO 81632

Phone: 970-748-8667 Fax: 970-692-8381

Email: Debbie@aphsolar.com

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Caribbean Tourism Organization Teams Up with St. Kitts and Sustainable Travel International to Host Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum

The 6-8 September event is in observance of  International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (9 May, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, is partnering with the ministry of tourism in St. Kitts to host a sustainable tourism forum, with a focus on climate change.

Themed, Good for Us, Better for All, the 6-8 September Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum is being held in observance of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and will bring together local, regional, and international representatives from public and private sector tourism entities, as well as development agencies that offer programming in sustainable tourism, for three days of interactive engagements.

Major elements will include best practice sharing and strategic consultations for a CTO climate adaptation project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, in order to strengthen holistic destination management approaches in the Caribbean.

“The CTO is honoured to partner with St. Kitts and Nevis to host this forum, which will explore various facets of sustainable tourism, in view of the threats and opportunities for regional tourism development, as a result of climate variability and climate change,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist.

The winner of the 2004 CTO/Travel Mole Sustainable Tourism Award in Destination Stewardship, St Kitts is one of the first destinations in the world to be accepted as an early adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for destinations. It also is a founding member of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the Americas, an initiative by the CTO, the Organization of American States, Sustainable Travel International and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited to promote sustainable destination management in the Caribbean and Central America.

Its many initiatives include the establishment of the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation and Sustainability Charter, which helps businesses understand how their operations contribute to destination-wide sustainability, and to support community projects that make St. Kitts a more sustainable place to live and experience.

“There is an inexorable link between tourism activity and climate change. Tourism therefore must play an integral role in the global response to climate change; a charge St. Kitts takes very seriously. Through the investment of considerable resources into sustainable tourism, St. Kitts is changing the way tourism is perceived and practiced globally, regionally, and at home,” minister of tourism Lindsay Grant said.

The Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum will also feature experiential field visits, a meeting of CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Technical Committee, and winning presentations from CTO’s Primary School Tourism Writing Competition. The event culminates with the presentation ceremony for CTO’s 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards which recognise regional sustainability champions.

Organising partners include the CTO, the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, and Sustainable Travel International. For sponsorship opportunities, and to signal your interest in attending please contact Amanda Charles at acharles@caribtourism.com or  Kennedy Pemberton at pembertonk@caribtourism.com.

About St. Kitts

St. Kitts is currently ranked by US News & World Report, with sister island Nevis, at #1 on a list of Best Caribbean Honeymoons, #2 on a list of the Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations in the World, #5 on a list of Best Family Vacations in the Caribbean, #7 on a list of the Best Islands in the World and #7 on a list of theBest Places to Visit in the Caribbean.  The destination is also ranked at #8 on a list of the Top 10 Best Islands for a Holiday by Places To See In Your Lifetime and one of the Top 12 Best Caribbean Vacations on FlipKey.com, the vacation rental company of leading travel website, TripAdvisor®.

Most recently, The Wall Street Journal ranked St. Kitts as #9 on a list of 10 places across the world for Where to Vacation in 2017, Coastal Living ranked St. Kitts as #16 of The World’s 21 Top Luxury Beach Destinations in 2017, and Caribbean Journal ranked St. Kitts as #11 of 25 Caribbean Destinations to Visit in 2017. St. Kitts has also been named #8 of the Top 10 Sexiest Places on the Planet by Reader’s Digest (Canada), one of the Best Caribbean Cruise Destinations by Thrillistand one of 6 Caribbean Islands You Need to Visit Now by Travelocity.

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach.  For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

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.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean. Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology. In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail:CTObarbados@caribtourism.com

The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., Suite 3302, New York, NY 10004, USA; Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail:CTOny@caribtourism.com;

The CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England;  Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail:CTOlondon@caribtourism.com; For Canada contact Nancy Drolet at droletn@caribtourism.com; Tel:  905-857-1986.

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit www.OneCaribbean.org. Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism. Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization. Follow CTO on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ctotourism/

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Johnson JohnRose – CTO

Tel: (246) 427-5242

Email: jjohnrose@caribtourism.com

 

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Global tourism stakeholders to convene at sustainability summit

GreenBiz Group will host a Sustainable Tourism Summit during its VERGE Hawaii: Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit, which returns to Honolulu on June 20-22. The Summit will be produced in collaboration with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and global NGO, Sustainable Travel International, and will take place on Wednesday, June 21.

Tourism is one of the fastest-growing business sectors in the world and the primary industry and producer of jobs for many island economies and developing nations, including Hawaii.

Many of tourism’s leaders, including the Hawaii Tourism Authority, are committed to seeing the industry grow sustainably while also generating increased global awareness about the need to preserve natural resources and perpetuate native cultures.

“We envision Hawaii being a global leader in showing destinations worldwide how unique, welcoming travel experiences can be created for visitors while Hawaii’s environment is preserved and its culture treasured by generations to come,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “We are pleased to support the launch of the Sustainable Tourism Summit at VERGE Hawaii. It’s vital that tourism leaders from the Hawaiian Islands and around the world come together to build a healthier, more sustainable tourism industry.”

The Sustainable Tourism Summit is a half-day, invitation-only working session that will convene more than 100 stakeholders — including global hotel brands and local operators, property owners and management companies, airlines, cruise lines, government tourism departments and policy makers, and service providers. The Summit will recognize the destination as a shared responsibility and focus on new technologies, policies and business models for accelerating sustainable tourism — in Hawaii and worldwide. 

Reaping the economic, social and environmental benefits of tourism requires a shared vision of what it means for the industry to become sustainable. Addressing the myriad challenges and opportunities requires the entire ecosystem — industry, government, nonprofits and community stakeholders — in Hawaii and beyond.

In 2015, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to mandate a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2045. Fulfilling this ambitious mandate will require support from the tourism industry combined with other clean energy stakeholders in order to create powerful new partnerships, technologies and business models.

“As one of the world’s largest industries, tourism has the potential to combat some of the world’s most pressing issues, including poverty, hunger, gender inequality and environmental degradation. But achieving this vision and ensuring that tourism maximizes benefits for communities and environments takes collaboration from all the relevant players,” said Geoff Bolan, CEO at Sustainable Travel International. “The Sustainable Tourism Summit at VERGE Hawaii is an ideal platform to bring together key stakeholders from Hawaii and beyond to chart a clear path toward a sustainable future.”

Goals of the Sustainable Tourism Summit include: 

  • Establish a shared vision of what it means for the tourism industry to become more sustainable while enhancing visitor experiences and supporting sustainable management of the destination and business.
  • Convene a diverse group of stakeholders and organizations from Hawaii and beyond.
  • Identify roles of key stakeholders in overcoming challenges and unlocking opportunities.
  • Continue to support Hawaii’s position as a leader in sustainable tourism.

Produced in partnership between GreenBiz Group and the Hawaii State Energy Office, VERGE Hawaii brings together nearly 1,000 key stakeholders — from government, military, utilities, energy producers, entrepreneurs and other solution providers — to have candid, action-oriented conversations addressing the challenges and opportunities in transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy.

“For five years VERGE has uniquely brought together leaders and key stakeholders to accelerate the clean economy,” said Eric Faurot, CEO of GreenBiz Group. “We look forward to launching the Sustainable Tourism Summit at VERGE Hawaii as a destination for global leaders to establish a shared vision of what it means to become more sustainable, in a way that enhances visitor experience and supports local communities and businesses.”

To learn more about the VERGE Hawaii Sustainable Tourism Summit, click here.

ABOUT GREENBIZ GROUP

GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website GreenBiz.com and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and conferences: the annual GreenBiz forum and VERGE. www.greenbiz.com

ABOUT HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawai‘i, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success For more information about HTA, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org. Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

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. 

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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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