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WWF Appoints Two Female Leaders from Africa to International Board

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WWF Appoints Two Female Leaders from Africa to International Board - TRAVELINDEXGland, Switzerland, January 31, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Rosette Chantal Rugamba, a 24-year veteran of the African ecotourism and protected areas sector, and Dr Paula Kahumbu, one of Africa’s best-known wildlife conservationists joined the organisation’s International Board as trustees on 1 January 2022. Ms Rugamba and Dr Kahumbu’s extensive experience on the African continent will be a strong asset to WWF International as it works with communities and partners to help build a nature-positive world by 2030 and put women’s participation in decision-making at the forefront.

WWF’s work in Africa plays an important role in the organisation’s global conservation efforts. The addition of two new female Board members is an important outcome of WWF’s goal to promote gender equality as an integral part of the mission to ensure that the planet’s natural resources are shared fairly.

Based in Rwanda, Ms Rugamba is founder and Managing Director of Songa Africa and Amakoro Songa Lodge, an East African tourism and hospitality company, and serves on the board of Women For The Environment Africa, a body whose aim is to empower women leaders working in conservation in Africa. She previously served as Director General of Rwanda tourism where she spearheaded the revitalisation of the Rwandan tourism sector between 2003 and 2010. She has also served as Deputy CEO of Rwanda Development Board which oversees the development and management of the country’s world-famous protected areas, as well as being special advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation on sustainable tourism in Africa and a member of the Global Ethics committee at the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Ms Rugamba has also served as a board member of African Parks and Trademark East Africa and is an active member of the Rwanda Private Sector Federation where she has served as President of Tourism in the Women’s Chamber.

Based in Kenya, Dr Kahumbu is the CEO of WildlifeDirect, a charitable organisation which aims to connect people to nature and wildlife so that they treasure it and act to conserve it. She is also the creator of the Hands Off Our Elephants campaign with Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, as well as the producer and host of Wildlife Warriors, Africa’s first wildlife documentary series made by Africans. She formerly worked for the Kenya Wildlife Service heading up the research and parks departments, and Lafarge Eco Systems, the environmental arm of Bamburi Cement. She has won numerous awards and received a special commendation at the United Nations Person of the Year celebrations for her role in raising awareness of the crisis facing elephants in Kenya. She is a lecturer at Princeton University, is the Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year, winner of the Whitley Gold Award, and is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She holds a PhD in Ecology from Princeton University.

Rosette Rugamba said:
“Serving on WWF’s board is a great opportunity to increase my contribution to collective efforts to save our planet and help safeguard the future of nature and humanity. I am humbled and enthusiastic to join the “panda family”!

Dr Paula Kahumbu said:
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with WWF in transforming conservation and climate change outcomes at a global level. It is an honour and a privilege and I look forward to working with the team.”

Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Rosette Rugamba and Paula Kahumbu to the WWF International Board. These esteemed leaders share a passion for and experience in the fields of African conservation, sustainable tourism, protected areas, community engagement and women’s empowerment. They are both an inspiration in their passion and achievements in marrying nature conservation and socio-economic development. Given the significance of Africa to conservation, it is an honour to be able to count on the support of two tremendous African leaders based on the continent who bring with them a wealth of directly relevant experience and insights.

“Additionally, at a time when WWF is working hard with communities and partners to help build a nature-positive world by 2030, our new trustees will provide crucial insight that will help our efforts to promote gender equality as an essential building block for sustainable development and effective conservation.”

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

WTTC to Hold Sustainability and Investment Summit in Puerto Rico

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WTTC to Hold Sustainability and Investment Summit in Puerto Rico - TRAVELINDEXSan Juan, Puerto Rico, January 26, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company are delighted to announce the Sustainability and Investment Summit, which will take place on 14 June in the city of San Juan.

Announced at FITUR, the international tourism fair held in Madrid, Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said:

“This one day event will demonstrate WTTC’s and the wide Travel & Tourism sector’s commitment to preserving the planet, reducing the effects of climate change and, above all, increasing its resilience to ensure its continued sustainable growth.

“From the very beginning of this pandemic, the Government of Puerto Rico through the Puerto Rico Tourism Company have implemented enhanced health and safety protocols to preserve the health of travellers and kept its tourist services open and enhance its recovery.”

Carlos Mercado, General Director of the Puerto Rican Tourism Board, said: “The Sustainability and Investment Summit represents a great opportunity to recognise Puerto Rico as a safe destination, with advanced sanitary protocols, tourist attractions, and ample opportunities for investment and long term sustainable development.

“We thank WTTC for working together with us to hold this event on the island. We are ready to welcome the global tourism leaders who will be participating in this Summit, which will serve as a platform to discuss the present and the future of sustainable tourism.”

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Global Tourism Plastics Initiative Releases First Progress Report

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Global Tourism Plastics Initiative Releases First Progress Report - UNWTO - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, December 23, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has welcomed a further 21 signatories, taking the total number past 110. The new signatories have been announced alongside the launch of a first annual report, which makes clear the significant progress made in tackling plastics pollution in tourism over the past year.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Accor, Club Med, Hong-Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Iberostar, Melco, Six Senses have all reported continuous efforts to implement their commitments to tackle plastic pollution. Together, they have eliminated over 108 million plastic items and packaging in 2020, totaling around 804 metric tons.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “In just one year, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has made a real impact. Together, signatories have cut their use of plastic by 800 metric tons, equivalent to 27 large shipping containers full of plastic. I congratulate all those businesses and destinations for their commitment and welcome the 21 newest signatories to the Initiative – a clear sign that tourism is working hard to become more sustainable, even in times of crisis.”

Signatories report plastics progress

In just one year, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has made a real impact

deSter, a member of gategroup and the leading supplier to the aviation, hospitality and foodservice industries has also reported progress, for instance by discontinuing the launch of new products with non-recyclable materials; working on fiber-based technologies and closed loop recycling pilots with customers; and developing new designs.

“We are delighted to have joined the Global Tourism Plastic Initiative through our Bye Bye Plastics program: Club Med has already removed on a global scale disposable plastic items such as cups, straws, cutlery, plates as well as individual plastic packaging from shower gel, shampoo and lotion and from other in-room accessories. We are now aiming to remove single use plastic accessories from our rooms and festive events as well as reducing by up to 50% the use of plastic water bottles in 2024 (compared to 2019),” said Florian Duprat, Sustainability manager at Club Med.

“We are pleased to have been able to formalize our goals and progress in the global commitment of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative report. It gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to developing more sustainable solutions. And, more importantly, by being part of a coordinated action plan with other signatories, we can be sure that we are moving the needle to stop plastic pollution,” said Philippe De Naeyer, Director Sustainability at deSter.

The full report is available online and is also linked to the annual report of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, providing its Tourism chapter (see page 12). A broader reporting mechanism which would allow additional stakeholders that are signatories (e.g. SMEs) to report progress on the implementation of their commitments will also soon be made available.

More sector-wide commitment

Since the last announcement of signatories in July 2021, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has officially welcomed 21 new signatories bringing the total of organizations that have committed to implement circular economy of plastics in the tourism sector to 113.

Among the 21 new signatories, the Initiative welcomes 4 accommodation companies (Alila Villas Uluwatu, JJ’s Hostel Mirissa, Phaea Resorts, Sudima Hotels), 7 tour operators (Adventuretects LLC, Europamundo, Evaneos, Secret Scotland Tours, SEE Turtles, Travel.Bhutan, Turama Pacific Travel Group), 9 supporting organizations (arcenciel, Blue Community, Clewat Ltd, The Environment and Social Development Organization-ESDO, Jaya House River Park Siem Reap, Lombok Tourism Polytechnic, Natufagus Consulting, Union of International Mountain Leader Associations (UIMLA), Worldwide Association of Diving Instructors) and 1 destination (Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB)). These signatories have set concrete targets around the elimination of unnecessary and problematic plastics, the introduction of reuse models and work on value chain level to improve recyclability.

A common goal for tourism

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It is led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative was endorsed by the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization at its 114th meeting held on 1st December 2021 during the UNWTO General Assembly in Madrid, encouraging Member States to take part in the fight against plastic pollution.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

GSTC Recognizes GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Destination Standard

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GSTC Recognizes GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Destination Standard - TRAVELINDEXKelowna, Canada, December 16, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Destination Standard has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status.

GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Standards are used by GreenStep Solutions in their assessment and verification programs which provide tools, resources, and consultative support to destinations and businesses across the tourism industry. The Sustainable Tourism standards enable tourism businesses and destinations to measure their sustainability performance in several key categories; management, social, economic, natural, cultural, and environmental.

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 is 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.

“We are thrilled to have achieved GSTC-Recognized status for our tourism destination standard,” says Angela Nagy – President & CEO of GreenStep Solutions. “Now our industry and destination partners, customers, and those that are using our complimentary online Sustainability Score assessments can rest assured knowing they are measuring their sustainability performance based on globally accepted best practices and standards.”

“Congratulations to GreenStep for their continued development in providing tools and support for systematic approaches to sustainable tourism,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

Currently, 11 destination standards, 32 hotel standards, and 14 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market 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 follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparency, and rigor.

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 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 GreenStep Solutions
GreenStep Solutions was founded in 2008 to help businesses and organizations measure and improve their sustainability performance. To date, GreenStep has worked with more than 3000 businesses and organizations within several sectors, including private, public, non-profit, and academic institutions; in a variety of industries such as tourism and hospitality, retail, professional services, and manufacturing; and with organizations of all sizes, from owner-operated businesses to publicly traded companies. Through their Sustainable Tourism Division, GreenStep provides assessments, training, strategy, and certifications to tourism businesses and destinations. GreenStep is a Certified B Corporation, is powered by 100% renewable energy with Bullfrog Power, and is Certified Carbon Neutral with Offsetters.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Two Oceans Strategy and the Path to Net Zero

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Two Oceans Strategy and the Path to Net Zero

Glasgow, Scotland, UK, November 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / COP26 and its lead up have seen new national and business commitments set to help combat climate change and reach Net Zero targets; these measures will require quantification of carbon emissions, environmental and social impacts to compare and measure progress, identify barriers to progress.

In an exclusive article, Tom Mills, Founder and Managing Director of Two Oceans Strategy, a natural resource and energy consultancy, discussed some of the challenges of meeting these Net Zero targets and the critical role rigorous and comparable measurements enabled through technology will play in support of these goals. In the article he discussed:

  • Drivers for Net Zero
    Cutting down carbon leakage has been one notable focus of COP26 and will require an understanding of the carbon intensity of production of goods. For this system to work, carbon emissions and greenhouse gases need to be quantified at each stage of the supply chain and Tom will explore some of the legislation and policies around this drive, such as the UKs path to NetZero. He will also touch on the change in consumer mindset, and how this is key to driving change.
  • Challenges of meeting targets
    What can be measured can be managed. As it stands, sustainability reporting is an alphabet soup of fragmented and varying frameworks and Tom can discuss why, some of the biggest barriers to achieve Net Zero, are due to lack of effective and comparative ways of measuring carbon emissions.
  • The Challenges of Carbon Tunnel Vision
    There are signals towards a shift in a narrow focus on pure carbon emissions towards measuring and understanding holistic impacts on biosphere health the lens we should view climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • The future of sustainability accounting and the role technology can play in helping achieve Net Zero targets
    Tom can set the scene of where we are today when it comes to reporting against people and the planet and where we are likely to be in five years’ time, including the consolidation of sustainability disclosure through a process similar to accounting principals in finance. To overcome the challenge of fragmented reporting, new tools enabled by technology must be developed to streamline the process, standardise methodologies used to generate metrics, and create useful, comparable outputs.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Sustainable First Signs Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism as Launch Partner

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Sustainable First Signs Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism as Launch PartnerLondon, United Kingdom, November 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Sustainable First announced today that it has become a signatory and launch partner of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.

The Declaration unites travel and tourism behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalysing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally.

The Glasgow Declaration will be officially launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on the 4th of November 2021 and encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism by securing commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade, and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

“The time for climate action is now and everyone in the industry has an important role to play. We work closely with the brilliant UNWTO and UNEP team that lead the One Planet Network programme and are thrilled to be launch partners of this important initiative.

The message is clear, we need a unified approach from the sector in order to accelerate climate action and therefore we extend the invitation to every tourism Business, Destination or Supporting Organisation to join us signing the Declaration and be a part of the solution.” said Mafalda Borea, CEO of Sustainable First.

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism brings together the latest research and global expertise to galvanise climate action. It will be hosted within the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme’s website, supported by Recommended Actions for tourism stakeholders across the world to consider as part of their action planning, alongside other resources. As the declaration states: “A just transition to Net Zero before 2050 will only be possible if tourism’s recovery accelerates the adoption of sustainable consumption and production, and redefines our future success to consider not only economic value but rather the regeneration of ecosystems, biodiversity and communities.”

The need for a globally consistent approach for climate action in tourism has been made clear, notably through research into CO2 emissions carried out by UNWTO/ITF  and released at the UNFCCC COP25 in December 2019. This showed that transport-related emissions from tourism were forecast to increase by 25% by 2030 from 2016 levels, against the current ambition scenario. One  Planet  Vision  for  a  responsible  recovery  of  the  tourism  sector

In  2020, the One Planet Vision for a Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector  was  adopted  with  the aim  of  emerging  from  the  COVID-19 crisis both  stronger  and  more  sustainable.  Climate  action  is  a  central element  of  the  Vision,  which  calls  for  monitoring  and  reporting  CO2  emissions  from  tourism,  promoting the introduction of science-based targets, accelerating the decarbonisation of tourism operations, and engaging the tourism sector in carbon removal.

About  Sustainable First
Sustainable First is a sustainable tourism platform that features truly sustainable tourism destinations, accommodations & businesses and links the impact their initiatives have in their local communities to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals they are working towards.

Sustainable First inspires actions and strategies for moving towards a more sustainable pattern of development in tourism providing prosperity and opportunities for all. #BeSustainableFirst

About  the  One  Planet  Network  Sustainable  Tourism Programme
The  One  Planet  Sustainable  Tourism Programme  has  the  overall  objective  to  enhance  the  sustainable development impacts of the tourism sector by 2030,  by  developing,  promoting  and  scaling  up  sustainable consumption  and  production practices  that  boost  the  efficient  use  of natural  resources  while  producing less  waste  and  addressing  the  challenges  of  climate  change,  loss  of  biodiversity  and  pollution.  The Sustainable  Tourism  Programme  is  part  of  the  One  Planet  network,  a  multi-stakeholder  partnership  to implement  SDG  12  on Sustainable  Consumption and  Production.

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First published at – Global Travel News

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.

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First published at – 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

First published at – 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

First published at – 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, 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

First published at – Global Travel News