Tourism for Tomorrow Newsletter April 2015
Winners of the 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards announced
Collaboration the key across winners of Tourism for Tomorrow Awards - New Chair of the Awards Fiona Jeffery OBE opened the ceremony, telling the packed auditorium that the awards "shine a light on outstanding examples of business practice". The finalists reflected the breadth of leaders in responsible tourism today, and showed the importance of collaboration, whether with guests, communities, staff or wider stakeholder groups.
The luxury sector was represented by Soneva Group, winning the Environment Award for a wealth of innovative schemes, including a compulsory climate levy paid by all their guests, which has raised millions for community projects around the world. At the other end of the financial scale were Reality Tours & Travel, which runs a social business operating tours in the slums of Mumbai's Dharavi in collaboration with the people who live there. When the company's founder Krishna Pujari collected the award, he dedicated it to them. Likewise when Helena Egan, Director of Industry Relations at TripAdvisor, received the Innovation award for the company's GreenLeaders programme - just two years old yet already the largest such scheme in the world - she thanked their many partners, the likes of UNEP, ITP, Rainforest Alliance and Earthcheck - "without whom we couldn't have done it."
Introducing the People Award, Jeff Rutledge from AIG Travel said the finalists were "all opening up opportunities of working in tourism to new audiences", and this could not have been more true than for the eventual winner - the Spanish hotel chain Confortel Hoteles - who work tirelessly to normalise the position of disabled people in their staff, to the point that in two of their hotels there are now 70% of the staff with some form of disability.
The final award showed the impact of taking collaboration right up to a destination level, and so ensuring that local people and visitors both reap the benefits of sustainability initiatives. The Slovenian capital Ljubljana won the Destination Award, and when Petra Stusek, General Manager from Ljubljana Tourism received the award she explained the benefits and challenges of how sustainability in the city is fully integrated for benefit of locals and visitors. "Two years ago people found it difficult to see whole centre of capital city closed to traffic," the said. "Now we couldn't imagine otherwise.". Congratulations to all Tourism for Tomorrow winners.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has launched a new microsite PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility to provide an online tool for information on sustainable and socially responsible travel and tourism issues. The site's Knowledge Hub features a suite of case studies provided by Sustainable Tourism Online, including examples of more than 800 best practice initiatives. They are easy to search and filter by region or topic, which range from innovation to investment or supply chain.
The site also features useful facts and figures, tips and tools, a curated library of recommended reading. There's also a calendar of sustainable tourism conferences events around the world. Future plans for the site include more blog posts, and increased opportunities to engage.
All materials submitted to sustain.pata.org are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – NonCommercial 4.0 International License. To submit case studies or recommended reading for publication on the site, or for more information, please contact ssr@PATA.org.
Current sustainability trends in the US convention industry
Sustainability efforts continue to be a key component in the meetings and convention industry as planners and show organizers realize the environmental impact their events have on the local community. They’ve come to expect a certain level of environmental consciousness from their venues and assistance in implementing greener practices to reduce waste and energy.
The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is active in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Wise Program with a primary objective of diverting recyclable materials away from landfills. Working in close collaboration with building partners, vendors and employees, we achieved a record recycle rate of 51 percent in 2014 by processing 9,000 tons of materials, an increase of 61 percent from 2013. Inside the exhibit halls of the LVCC, the process of converting to energy-efficient lighting that deliver up to 20% more light while using 42% less energy is nearly complete. In addition, low flow faucets and toilets have been installed throughout the facility to reduce water usage and desert landscaping has been maximized throughout the facility grounds.
To reduce fuel consumption, the LVCVA promotes the use of alternative energy with 90 percent of its vehicles powered by electric or propane. Visitors can take advantage of four free electric vehicle charging stations located in the LVCC parking lot. And all these improvements will grow further over the coming decade, as the $2.3 billion Las Vegas Global Business District (LVGBD) project expands and reinvents the LVCC and its surrounding areas, incorporating solar, energy and water efficiency components into its design and construction.
This article is adapted from C&IT Magazine (Corporate and Incentive Travel).
The Travel Foundation is teaming up with Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations for this year's Make Holidays Greener campaign to raise awareness of the damage caused by rubbish in the oceans and the need for cleaner beaches. If current trends continue, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the ocean by 2025. This problem is made worse because plastic never biodegrades - it just breaks into smaller pieces. In this form it is at its most dangerous, as small fish gobble up the microparticles, which then work their way up the food chain.
The Big Holiday Beach Clean provides an opportunity for the travel industry to do something positive about these issues and help keep them on the agenda. Last year, over 100 companies took part, cleaning 97 beaches in 22 countries, and collecting over 600 bags of rubbish. This year will see a greater emphasis on raising awareness about the amount of plastic currently entering the oceans. “We’re delighted to have Travelife as a partner for the Make Holidays Greener campaign," said Salli Felton, Chief Executive of the Travel Foundation. "The campaign looks set to be even bigger and better than last year. "
Companies can support the campaign by organising a beach clean during or before July and by sharing their stories on Facebook and Twitter, using #greenerhols. Visit Make Holidays Greener for a range of free resources, including how to organise a beach clean and top tips for customers.
UK-based tour company Responsible Travel has pub
lished the first league table of national tourist boards graded by their commitment to responsible tourism. To do so, it examined the national tourist board websites of the top 50 selling countries on its own website, and looked to answer the following six questions:
Is there any mention anywhere of responsible or sustainable tourism?
Does responsible or sustainable tourism feature in their vision/mission?
Do they have any specific policies for responsible or sustainable tourism?
Do they have evidence based reports on any achievements in responsible or sustainable tourism?
Do they identify holidays on their site that have been screened or audited for responsible tourism?
Do they provide any educational information or tips for tourists about responsible tourism?
as published on their websites, and asks whether more should be done to ensure tax payers’ money is being used to promote local over global initiatives.
The best ranked national tourist boards were Bhutan, Great Britain, South Africa and Sweden, which all scored 6 points. However, seven tourist boards scored 0 points - China, Finland, Ethiopia, Vietnam, France, Japan and the USA, meaning they had no reference to responsible or sustainable tourism anywhere on their sites. "We are very surprised that so many tourist boards’ vision statements include no or little reference to sustainability; and by how many have no published responsible tourism policies or activities," said, Responsible Travel CEO Justin Francis. "We think that serious questions should be asked of the tourist boards at the bottom of our league table. Their tax-payers’ money is potentially being spent developing and promoting tourism with no regard to whether it’s contributing to creating local jobs or expat jobs; whether they source locally to support local suppliers/producers or source from global markets; or whether they contribute to sustaining natural and cultural heritage or to destroying it. "
INNOVATION FOCUS: New booking platform ranks hotels by green practices
Considering that companies with the reach of TripAdvisor and Booking.com have both launched green hotel programmes recently, any new company seeking to competewill need a significant point of difference. Launching at ITB in March, GreenHotelWorld hopes two key features of its new hotel booking platform will do just that. First, it features a “Green Rating” algorithm, which it says assures that green hotels certified by the highest-quality eco-labels are given the highest priority to consumers. Secondly, through a partnership with myclimate, it also compensates the carbon emissions of all overnight stays of its customers at no additional cost to the consumer.
“We provide the eco-conscious traveler with a platform to filter more than 5200 hotels in 107 countries by their green practices,” said Willem Blom, Co-founder and Head of Business Development and Partnerships. “And if you cannot find a green hotel in your preferred destination, we provide you with more than 120,000 other options through our partnership with Expedia. To assure you a green stay in these hotels as well, we compensate the CO2 emissions of all your overnight stays at no additional cost.”
Nepal's tourism ministry has announced its plans to strictly enforce rules aimed at cleaning up the world's highest mountain. For 2015's climbing season, each mountaineer will have the bring back 8kg (17.6lb) of rubbish from their expedition, in addition to whatever waste they create.
An office is being set up at base camp, and only when mountaineers have submitted their 8kg rubbish will their deposit - worth £2,390 - be returned. "Our earlier efforts have not been very effective," said tourism ministry official Madhusudan Burlakoti. "This time, if climbers don't bring back garbage, we will take legal action and penalise them."
The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative is a free methodology and calculation tool to enable hotels to measure and report on the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting in a consistent way.
In partnership with the Association of Green Property Owners and Managers (AGPOM), the International Tourism Partnership invites hotels to join their free webinar on Tuesday 28 April 17:00hrs GMT+1, where they will be explaining, step-by-step, how to use HCMI to calculate the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting in order to:
– Provide carbon footprint information your customers are increasingly requesting
– Understand your environmental impacts and start to reduce these, as well as your costs!
– Enhance your reporting
– Demonstrate your commitment to good environmental management
If you have not used HCMI so far, this is a perfect opportunity to learn more. With over 21,000 hotels globally using HCMI, you'll be in good company! To register for the webinar please visit Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative Webinar. For more information, please email Fran Hughes, Head of Programmes at the International Tourism Partnership via email@example.com