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.