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Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories List Unveiled

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Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories List Unveiled - TRAVELINDEXLeiden, Netherlands, October 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The 2021 Top 100 Unveiling Ceremony took place on the 5th of October during the Global Green Destination Days, the annual flagship event of Green Destinations to connect sustainability professionals, destinations, and tourism boards. Every year, the Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories competition collects Good Practice Stories from destinations all over the world to be shared as inspiring examples to others, from tourism professionals to travellers.

With the tourism sector facing very challenging times in the past years, the resilience and hard work of these destinations to become more responsible should be celebrated. The 2021 selection was determined by the quality, transferability, and more than ever by the level of innovation of the stories.

Submissions were evaluated by the Top 100 Team, country experts and Green Destination Partners, coordinated by Green Destinations. Selection to the Top 100 list does not mean the destination is sustainable, but that the destination has demonstrated compliance with at least minimum sustainability standards and presented a quality Good Practice Story.
The 2021 Top 100 list will be available on the Green Destinations website. Top 100 participants have been invited to be featured in the Good Travel Guide, enabling them to tell their sustainability stories to responsible travellers looking for inspiration.

Green Destinations is the world’s leading destinations’ network for responsible tourism. By participating in the Green Destinations program, a destination gains insight into its performance and perspectives in sustainable tourism planning, hospitality, green economy, and the protection of local values. Green Destinations certification enables a place to present itself as a responsible, healthy, and authentic destination towards its visitors, residents, and entrepreneurs.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Cardamom Tented Camp Earns Top 100 Green Destinations Award

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Cardamom Tented Camp Earns Top 100 Green Destinations Award

Cambodia, October 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Cardamom Tented Camp ecolodge in Cambodia has been announced by Green Destinations as one of the 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories in the world. The announcement at the online annual conference of Green Destinations, a non-profit organisation for sustainable tourism, based in The Netherlands. The annual programme has been in existence since 2014.

Cardamom Tented Camp was chosen by the judges among 28 tourism experiences around the world in the Nature and Ecotourism category. The other 72 winners were in the categories of Localisation and Decarbonising the Local Supply Chain; Communities and Culture; Environment and Climate; and Tourism Reset and Recovery.

Green Destinations“Since Cardamom Tented Camp opened in 2017 we’ve helped protect 18,000 hectares of forest by channelling income from the camp to support 12 forest rangers who have done a terrific job of reducing illegal logging, wildlife hunting and sandbank dredging,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures, the camp operator.

“Right from day one our slogan has been, ‘Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing’. The Green Destination judges saw those details of our work. They recognised that our sustainability story as a world-class and inspirational conservation tourism project could be emulated in other places,” he said.

In an earlier Q&A session for the online conference on 5 October, Niemeijer told Green Destination online conference attendees that Cardamom Tented Camp was based on three principles: a belief in visitor dispersion to off-the-beaten-track places away from over-touristed hubs; a commitment to work with experts, such as NGO Wildlife Alliance; and a full-hearted belief in the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, which had to be unwavering if the project was going to be truly sustainable, said Niemeijer.

In an official statement announcing the Top 100, Green Destinations said: “With the tourism sector facing very challenging times in the past year or so, the resilience and hard work of these destinations to become more responsible should be celebrated. The 2021 selection was determined by the quality, transferability, and, more than ever, by the level of innovation of the stories.”

Albert Salman, the President of Green Destinations told the audience that the objective of the top 100 sustainability stories programme was to “inspire responsible tourism leadership around the world”.

About Cardamom Tented Camp
Cardamom Tented Camp is an ecolodge located in the foothills of the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia. Offering nine well-appointed safari-style tents, the lodge aims to minimize the human footprint on the natural world and serve as a role model in promoting sustainable ecotourism practices within both the national park and Cambodia as a whole. Located on an 18,000-hectare (180 km2) concession, the lodge and its surroundings are home to pristine lowland and coastal habitats linking wildlife corridors to the Cardamom Mountains. Eco-friendly trekking and kayaking packages are available for adventure enthusiasts who are keen to be a part of real conservation work.

Cardamom Tented Camp is a three-way initiative between Minor Group, YAANA Ventures and Wildlife Alliance to ensure the land and its biodiversity does not fall into the hands of loggers, poachers and sand dredging operations.

About Cardamom Tented Camp operator YAANA Ventures
YAANA Ventures is an owner, partner and operator of entrepreneurial travel and hospitality ventures in Asia. YAANA Ventures distinguishes itself by sharing real experiences that are grounded in the cultural richness of Asia. The company is the champion of the triple bottom-line. It empowers its ventures with the values to nurture the people with whom it works.

About Green Destinations
Green Destinations is the world’s leading destinations’ network for responsible tourism. By participating in the Green Destinations programme, a destination gains insight into its performance and perspectives in sustainable tourism planning, hospitality, green economy, and the protection of local values. Green Destinations certification enables a place to present itself as a responsible, healthy, and authentic destination for visitors, residents, and entrepreneurs.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

American Express Global Business Travel Joins Global Sustainable Tourism Council

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American Express Global Business Travel Joins Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States, October 4, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Sustainability is at the top of organizations’ agendas today. According to a report from United Nations Climate Change, the number of businesses and local governments committed to reaching net-zero emissions doubled in less than a year. The majority aims to achieve a zero-carbon economy by 2050 as part of the UN Race to Zero Campaign.

As part of their efforts to help clients realize their sustainability goals and protect global communities, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) recently became a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) – a strategic partnership that will bring more transparency and ease to the process of booking sustainable hotels.
GBT partnership with GSTC

By becoming a GSTC member, GBT will actively promote the widespread adoption of the organization’s sustainable tourism principles and drive demand for more responsible activities and experiences.

During the initial phase of the partnership with GSTC, GBT will highlight hotels and other accommodation partners as “sustainable” that meet GSTC’s standards or, even better, are certified by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body. This information will be available to corporate buyers who are supported by GBT’s consulting arm, Global Business Consulting (GBC), in their hotel sourcing exercise. In the future, GSTC analytics will be incorporated into the booking processes to enable travelers to identify and select qualified accommodation partners.

GBT employees globally will also have access to educational videos and webinars hosted by GSTC to provide knowledge of sustainability topics relevant for the travel and tourism industry.

Through global outreach and plans to drive sustainability in buyers and travelers’ contracting/booking decisions, GBT is well positioned to spur the adoption of sustainable hotels together with GSTC. With millions of room nights booked annually through GBT, its clients’ impact on the environment and within the industry could be massive.

“Sustainability is a top priority for our clients – as it is for GBT too,” said Si-Yeon Kim, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer and Executive Chair of Environmental, Social, Governance at GBT. “By spotlighting suppliers that meet GSTC’s Criteria and steering travelers toward greener choices, we are empowering our clients to make buying decisions that can help preserve this world and create a better reality for future generations to come.”
GSTC welcomes GBT

“We are very pleased to welcome GBT to GSTC and we look forward to collaborating on their ambitious plans. GBT has a leading role in the world of corporate and business travel, and by making it easier for clients to identify sustainable hotels using the GSTC framework, the GSTC-GBT strategic partnership will help drive and promote sustainable business travel,” said Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer of GSTC.
GSTC for corporate and business travel stakeholders

Using the GSTC Criteria as a reference point allows corporates and organizations interested in sustainable business travel to improve their commercial performance and enhance their reputation by adopting sustainable working policies and practices.

With the growing interest, GSTC has designated a page for Corporate and Business Travel and began offering Sustainable Business Travel courses. The 4-week online GSTC Sustainable Business Travel course uses the four pillars of sustainable management to look at how to create a new model for business travel that harnesses the real value of a pro-active and successful business travel program, respects the new needs of travel and creates a responsible, sustainable company. In other words, a balanced approach to sustainable business travel.

Registration is open for the upcoming course on November 18 – December 16, 2021, which includes live sessions convenient for people in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Africa. More courses are scheduled for 2022.

About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and their employees prosper by making sure travelers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organize meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.

About the Global Sustainable Tourism Council
The GSTC is a nonprofit organization created jointly by United Nations agencies and prominent conservation organizations to establish and manage global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, known as the GSTC Criteria.

The Criteria are organized around four main themes: effective sustainability planning, maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community, enhancing cultural heritage, and reducing negative impacts to the environment.

As the global authority on quality sustainable tourism standards, the GSTC engages with a worldwide network of members – from leading tour operators and international hospitality brands to government organizations and national tourism boards. Along other leading sustainability schemes, GSTC is an ISEAL Community Member.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ENVI Lodges – First Experiential Eco-Lodge Brand from the GCC

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ENVI Lodges – First Experiential Eco-Lodge Brand from the GCC

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 22, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / A new luxury experiential eco-lodge brand and management company officially launched yesterday during the Arabian & African Hotel Investment Conference at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. ENVI Lodges is co-founded by Chris Nader and Noelle Homsy, both avid travellers and experts in the hospitality industry. Over the last decade, they witness the change in tourism in the MENA region and foresaw the travel revolution when it was still in “evolution”.

But revolution it is. According to Businesswire, the global experiential lodging (glamping) market size is expected to reach $3.9 billion by 2027, rising at a market growth of 17.5% CAGR.

“Travellers are looking for meaningful trips. They want to have a positive impact on the place they visit,” said ENVI Lodges co-founder Noelle Homsy. “We believe that the current hospitality offering in the region needs to evolve to remain relevant. So, we created a hotel brand in line with this global shift towards transformational and regenerative tourism, focusing on eco-lodges that are immersed in nature and anchored around experiences: adventure, wellness, agritourism, cultural immersion, and environmental discoveries.”

ENVI offers three types of accommodation (tents, prefab suites, and alternative pods), all built with low impact on the environment and with a sense of place, following the brand’s seven sustainability pillars. In fact, ENVI lodges will be developed and operated based on globally recognized sustainable tourism standards. According to a recent report by Booking.com, 83% of global travellers now believe sustainable travel is vital.

With the push from governments in the MENA region, particularly the GCC, to promote eco-tourism, and the development of nature-centric tourism projects in KSA, the UAE, and Egypt, ENVI lodges is well positioned to grow its portfolio within a short time frame. Chris Nader, Co-Founder of ENVI, said:

“Last June, we raised funds from European and GCC investors to develop the brand and we’re getting ready for our second round in 2022. What is very encouraging is to see the growing interest of investors in developing lodges with ENVI at such an early stage of our inception, and we already have a promising pipeline of projects under negotiation, particularly in the UAE and KSA”.

ENVI Lodges has brought on-board world-class hospitality experts and advisors specialised in experiential travel, and signed several partnerships, including with a world-class experiential designer, an eco-lodge marketing firm, and a large distribution platform. ENVI is also set to announce the signing of a major partnership with an alliance of eco-resorts and a renowned loyalty programme that will enhance the brand’s global reach.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

GSTC Formally Joins ISEAL as Community Member

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GSTC Formally Joins ISEAL as Community Member

London, United Kingdom, September 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has formally became an ISEAL Community Member. The ISEAL is the global membership organisation for ambitious, collaborative and transparent sustainability systems. ISEAL advocates for the development and adoption of credible, effective sustainability systems, and works to promote the conditions for their uptake. ISEAL members are sustainability systems and accreditation bodies dedicated to delivering benefits for people and the planet. They are committed to continually improving their systems and impacts through learning and innovation; collaborating with stakeholders and peers; and are transparent and truthful about how their systems work and how they measure their impacts.

The GSTC establishes and manages the GSTC Criteria, global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism.

GSTC Chairman Luigi Cabrini said, “As a tourism-related scheme, we are proud that GSTC meets ISEAL’s eligibility criteria to become an ISEAL Community Member, be part of the important group of organizations that form the alliance. The GSTC has been dedicating years of effort to adhere to the concepts inherent in ISEAL and to apply them to the travel and tourism industry. From our inception our Bylaws have continuously referenced doing so, and as an ISEAL Community Member, GSTC will continue to improve its system.”

GSTC Assurance Manager Claudia Bustinza said, “One of the key activities of the GSTC is Providing Assurance for Sustainable Tourism, which includes Accreditation of Certification Bodies and Recognition of Standards and Systems.”

GSTC Accreditation: GSTC partners with ASI (Assurance Services International) to provide accreditation services for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations and tour operators as sustainable. GSTC also provides accreditation services for Certification Bodies that certify destinations as sustainable. This provides the marketplace a credible means of selecting Certification Bodies that have been verified by an impartial, credible assurance provider.*

GSTC Recognition: GSTC provides a formal indication of other standards that align with the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized means that a sustainable tourism standard has been deemed equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. This designation is made by GSTC’s expert, independent Assurance Panel. GSTC-Recognized refers to a standard or a system and does not mean that the Certification Body using the standard is accredited.

ISEAL Executive Director Karin Kreider stated she is delighted to be able to welcome GSTC to the ISEAL community. “I applaud the Global Sustainable Tourism Council on becoming an ISEAL Community Member. This step reflects their commitment to credible and effective practices. I look forward to GSTC sharing their experience as a well-established sustainability system and becoming a valuable part of the ISEAL learning community.”

* The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators/transport providers, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but provides an accreditation program through its partner ASI (Assurance Services International) to accredit Certification Bodies.

About the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. They are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism. The Criteria are arranged in four pillars: (A) Sustainable management; (B) Socioeconomic impacts; (C) Cultural impacts; and (D) Environmental impacts (including consumption of resources, reducing pollution, and conserving biodiversity and landscapes). Since tourism destinations each have their own culture, environment, customs, and laws, the Criteria are designed to be adapted to local conditions and supplemented by additional criteria for the specific location and activity.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

About ISEAL
ISEAL is the global membership organisation for ambitious, collaborative and transparent sustainability systems. We’re driving collective efforts to tackle the most pressing sustainability issues and create a world where markets are a force for good. Joining ISEAL’s learning community helps sustainability systems and their partners to deliver real, lasting, positive change. Our Community Members are sustainability standards and similar systems that collaborate to scale and demonstrate positive impact. Our Code Compliant members go further, adhering to our Codes of Good Practice – a globally recognised framework for best practice.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

The Glasgow Declaration: Accelerating Climate Action in Tourism

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The Glasgow Declaration: Accelerating Climate Action in Tourism

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, September 4, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Glasgow Declaration aims to catalyse an acceleration of climate action across travel and tourism during the COVID-19 recovery and beyond. It defines a clear and consistent sector-wide message and approach to climate action in the coming decade, aligned with the wider scientific framework and urgency to act now.

Online launch of Glasgow Declaration defines a clear and consistent sector-wide approach to climate action in the coming decade.

The Declaration will be launched on 21st September 2021, in two separate sessions to allow as many people as possible from all around the world to attend. The morning session is scheduled at 10:00 CEST and the afternoon session is at 17:00 CEST with interpretation into Spanish.

During the session, the pathways proposed in the Glasgow Declaration to accelerate tourism’s ability to transform and achieve net zero as soon as possible will be presented. The audience will be informed about how to subscribe to the Declaration and demonstrate their public support for scaling up Climate Action in Tourism.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Centara EarthCare Announced as GSTC-Recognized Standard

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Centara EarthCare Announced as GSTC-Recognized Standard

Bangkok, Thailand, August 31, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Centara EarthCare has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status. Centara Hotels & Resorts is a Thai leading hotel operator with 48 properties throughout the Kingdom of Thailand, and 36 properties overseas including the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, China, Japan, Oman, Qatar, Cambodia, Turkey, Indonesia and the UAE. There are six different brands within Centara.

The Centara EarthCare is Centara’s internal sustainability standard, used by the group’s hotels and resorts for adherence to sustainable practices based on the GSTC Criteria. For tracking, measuring and improving in areas of environmental sustainability and social responsibility at property or multi-site level, Centara is using the Greenview Portal, which is a GSTC-Recognized System. The platform allows Centara to track, benchmark, report and improve on various aspects of environmental and social performance.

By 2025, Centara aims to have 100% of its properties certified as sustainable by accredited certification bodies, further demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to long-term sustainability.

“By adopting sustainable, green practices, we are actively choosing to be more aware of our environmental impact. This not only protects the natural surroundings that enhance the guest experience in so many of the locations where we operate, it also creates long-term benefits for the company, our customers and our employees. Setting long-term sustainability goals allows us to incorporate green practices into our identity and ensures that all our stakeholders are aligned with Centara’s values and vision for a more mindful, ecologically conscious future,” said Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts.

The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself and means that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards are based on the 4 pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Environment, Social, Cultural, and Management principles. This does not relate to the process of certification, nor to accreditation.

“Centara is the first Asian hospitality group to formally incorporate the GSTC Criteria in its internal sustainability system, along with long-term sustainability plans and goals, applying meaningful sustainability practices into their management approaches. We are proud to formally confirm Centara EarthCare’s compliance with the GSTC Criteria by undergoing the process of GSTC Recognition,” says Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC. “By using GSTC-Recognized systems, hotel and tourism companies are able to embed the GSTC Criteria, which includes the full range of environmental and social considerations specifically developed for the tourism sector, throughout their management processes and set them on the path of continuous improvement and towards third-party external certification.”

Currently, 11 destination standards, 34 hotel standards, and 15 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market a proof that these standards adhere to international norms. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparent, and rigor. List of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.

About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, NGO’s, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

About Centara Hotels & Resorts
Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading hotel operator. Its 84 properties span all major Thai destinations plus the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, China, Japan, Oman, Qatar, Cambodia, Turkey, Indonesia and the UAE. Centara’s portfolio comprises six brands – Centara Reserve, Centara Grand Hotels & Resorts, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Centara Boutique Collection, Centra by Centara and COSI Hotels – ranging from luxury island retreats and upscale family resorts to affordable lifestyle concepts supported by innovative technology. The group’s newest Centara Reserve brand was unveiled in 2020 as an experiential luxury collection, inviting guests to discover a new era of story-driven hospitality starting with Centara Reserve Samui.

Centara also operates state-of-the-art convention centres and has its own award-winning spa brand, Cenvaree. Throughout the collection, Centara delivers and celebrates the hospitality and values Thailand is famous for including gracious service, exceptional food, pampering spas and the importance of families. Centara’s distinctive culture and diversity of formats allow it to serve and satisfy travellers of nearly every age and lifestyle.

Over the next five years Centara aims to become a top 100 global hotel group, while spreading its footprint into new continents and market niches. As Centara continues to expand, a growing base of loyal customers will find the company’s unique style of hospitality in more locations. Centara’s global loyalty programme, Centara The1, reinforces their loyalty with rewards, privileges and special member pricing.

 

 

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO: Tourism Takes Action on Plastic Waste and Pollution

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UNWTO: Tourism Takes Action on Plastic Waste and Pollution

Madrid, Spain, July 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Tourism businesses and destinations are stepping up their commitment to sustainability. Aimed at reducing waste and pollution across the sector, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) is welcoming 32 new signatories, with every global region represented behind the shared goal.

The Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses, governments and other tourism stakeholders to lead by example in the shift towards a circular economy of plastics. Among the 32 new signatories  are organizations such as TUI Group, AC Hotels by Marriott, Palladium Hotel Group, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Hostelling International, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association  and Visit Valencia. These new additions bring the total number of signatories up to 93 companies and organizations. These include organizations from stages of the tourism value chain, including accommodation providers, tour operators, online platforms, suppliers, waste managers and supporting organizations.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Andreas Vermöhlen, Manager for Sustainability, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development at TUI Group said: “Together we can make important steps towards less unnecessary single-use plastic in the world and shift towards a circular economy.”

Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action

To mark the confirmation of the new signatories, UNWTO and the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, held a special  panel discussion with the theme Eliminate. Innovate. Circulate. Strategies from the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative. Participants included Accor Group, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Palladium Hotel Group, Chumbe Island Coral Park and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General said: “Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action. We are proud to see the number of signatories growing continuously since the launch of the initiative.”

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Alongside this, a keynote presentation on “A Life Cycle Approach – Key messages for tourism businesses” further highlighted the aims of the GTPI, with a special focus on innovation and the importance of context-based approaches to ensure plastics are circulated back into the economy rather than thrown away after use.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Global Economy Could Lose Over $4 Trillion Due to COVID-19

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Global Economy Could Lose Over $4 Trillion Due to COVID-19

Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Economic losses are mounting in developing countries due to the absence of widespread COVID-19 vaccinations. The crash in international tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic could cause a loss of more than $4 trillion to the global GDP for the years 2020 and 2021, according to an UNCTAD report published on 30 June.

The estimated loss has been caused by the pandemic’s direct impact on tourism and its ripple effect on other sectors closely linked to it.

The report, jointly presented with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), says international tourism and its closely linked sectors suffered an estimated loss of $2.4 trillion in 2020 due to direct and indirect impacts of a steep drop in international tourist arrivals.

A similar loss may occur this year, the report warns, noting that the tourism sector’s recovery will largely depend on the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines globally.

“The world needs a global vaccination effort that will protect workers, mitigate adverse social effects and make strategic decisions regarding tourism, taking potential structural changes into account,” UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism is a lifeline for millions, and advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, many of which are highly dependent on international tourism.”

Developing countries hurt by vaccine inequity

With COVID-19 vaccinations being more pronounced in some countries than others, the report says, tourism losses are reduced in most developed countries but worsened in developing countries.

Tourism is a lifeline for millions, and advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, many of which are highly dependent on international tourism

COVID-19 vaccination rates are uneven across countries, ranging from below 1% of the population in some countries to above 60% in others.

According to the report, the asymmetric roll-out of vaccines magnifies the economic blow tourism has suffered in developing countries, as they could account for up to 60% of the global GDP losses.

The tourism sector is expected to recover faster in countries with high vaccination rates, such as France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, the report says.

But experts don’t expect a return to pre-COVID-19 international tourist arrival levels until 2023 or later, according to UNWTO.

The main barriers are travel restrictions, slow containment of the virus, low traveller confidence and a poor economic environment.

Up to $1.8 trillion loss expected in 2021

A rebound in international tourism is expected in the second half of this year, but the UNCTAD report still shows a loss of between $1.7 trillion and $2.4 trillion in 2021, compared with 2019 levels.

The results are based on simulations that capture the effects of international tourism reduction only, not policies such as economic stimulus programmes that may soften the pandemic’s impact on the sector.

The report assesses the economic effects of three possible scenarios – all reflecting reductions in international arrivals – in the tourism sector in 2021.

Figure 1: As tourism falls world GDP takes a hit in 2021 (3 alternative scenarios)

The first one, projected by UNWTO, reflects a reduction of 75% in international tourist arrivals – the most pessimistic forecast – based on the tourist reductions observed in 2020.

In this scenario, a drop in global tourist receipts of $948 billion causes a loss in real GDP of $2.4 trillion, a two-and-a-half-fold increase. This ratio varies greatly across countries, from onefold to threefold or fourfold.

This is a multiplier and depends on the backward linkages in the tourism sector, including the unemployment of unskilled labour, according to the report.

For example, international tourism contributes about 5% of the GDP in Turkey and the country suffered a 69% fall in international tourists in 2020.

The country’s fall in tourism demand is estimated at $33 billion and this leads to losses in closely linked sectors such as food, beverages, retail trade, communications and transport.

Turkey’s total fall in output is $93 billion, about three times the initial shock. The decline in tourism alone contributes to a real GDP loss of about 9%. This decline in reality was partly offset by fiscal measures to stimulate the economy.

Figure 2: Estimated losses in GDP by region from reduction in tourism (percentage)

The second scenario reflects a 63% reduction in international tourist arrivals, a less pessimistic forecast by UNWTO.

And the third scenario, formulated by UNCTAD, considers varying rates of domestic and regional tourism in 2021.

It assumes a 75% reduction of tourism in countries with low vaccination rates, and a 37% reduction in countries with relatively high vaccination rates, mostly developed countries and some smaller economies.

Job losses across countries

According to the report, the reduction in tourism causes a 5.5% rise in unemployment of unskilled labour on average, with a high variance of 0% to 15%, depending on the importance of tourism for the economy.

Labour accounts for around 30% of tourist services’ expenditure in both developed and developing economies. Entry barriers in the sector, which employs many women and young employees, are relatively low.

Losses worse than previously expected

In July last year, UNCTAD estimated that a four- to 12-month standstill in international tourism would cost the global economy between $1.2 trillion and $3.3 trillion, including indirect costs.

But the losses are worse than previously expected, as even the worst-case scenario UNCTAD projected last year has turned out to be optimistic, with international travel still low more than 15 months after the pandemic started.

According to UNWTO, international tourist arrivals declined by about 1 billion or 73% between January and December 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer points to a decline of 84%.

Figure 3: International tourist arrivals (in thousands)

Developing countries have borne the biggest brunt of the pandemic’s impact on tourism. They suffered the largest reductions in tourist arrivals in 2020, estimated at between 60% and 80%.

The most-affected regions are North-East Asia, South-East Asia, Oceania, North Africa and South Asia, while the least-affected ones are North America, Western Europe and the Caribbean.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

WTTC and Harvard T.H. Chan School Release Papers to Drive Sustainability in Tourism

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WTTC and Harvard T.H. Chan School Release Papers to Drive Sustainability in Tourism - TRAVELINDEXLondon, United Kingdom, June 21, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, and faculty and scientists of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, today release four research insight papers to support the pursuit of sustainability in Travel & Tourism.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

The research insights aim to support decision-makers in Travel & Tourism broaden their understanding of sustainability as it relates to policies and practice in the sector.

WTTC and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have a long history of collaboration, working towards a more sustainable future for Travel & Tourism. Together, they aim to raise awareness, shift mind-sets, and enact systemic change.

WTTC hopes that these research insights will help move the agenda beyond immediate operational impacts, with sustainability positioned as central to long-term business success. Indeed, many private sector organisations in Travel & Tourism embed sustainability into their strategy.

WTTC and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have a long history of collaboration, working towards a more sustainable future for Travel & Tourism. Together, their work is aimed at raising awareness, shifting mindsets, and enacting systemic change.

The learning insights focus on four key sustainability-related issues, notably: setting science-based targets in Travel & Tourism; adopting a culture of health to advance sustainable Travel & Tourism; behavioral economics in Travel & Tourism; and leadership in sustainability.

Insights include:

  • Aligning business strategy with global commitments
  • Translating environmental benefits secured by climate action, such as switching to renewable energy sources and transitioning to electric vehicles, among others
  • Making sustainability the default option and an expected norm.
  • Simplifying options and choice sets, incorporating sustainability as the most likely option a traveller will make
  • Visualising pro-sustainability choices and behaviours, where possible
  • Ongoing investment in sustainability education and training to drive sustainability at all levels, including Board members
  • Ensuring sustainability leadership traits, attributes and impact are woven into staff development plans, appraisal, and reward mechanisms

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, WTTC said: “We are delighted to be working with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health once again– a leading academic institution globally.

“WTTC is thrilled to champion sustainability leadership and innovation practices in Travel & Tourism and be involved in creating meaningful outputs on sustainability within the sector. We hope this work will help bring in a new era within the sector that encourages social and environmental responsibility.

“Sustainability has become an integral part of the new normal that we’re seeing the sector move towards, and it’s clear that businesses must learn to integrate it as part of their organisational DNA if they want to thrive in a post-COVID world.”

Dr. Wendy Purcell, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead researcher for the research insights said: “This is an important collaboration where sustainability, public health and business come together to advance research-led practice in the Travel & Tourism sector. Given the importance of the Travel & Tourism sector for people, planet and shared prosperity, research-led practice in the sector is central to inclusive and sustainable growth.”

Professor Jack Spengler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said: “We value our long-term collaboration with WTTC. These important research insights draw attention to opportunities to help accelerate change in the sector.”

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

This collaboration between WTTC and Harvard encourages the sharing of best practices and supports sustainability as a core strategic priority to ensure the viability of the Travel & Tourism sector and the co-creation of thriving sustainable societies.

To read the learning insights in full, please click here.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News