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About PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility

PATA has been a champion of environmental and cultural heritage since its inception. Measures taken to demonstrate PATA’s stance on social responsibility include the 1970 conference on Tourism and Heritage Conservation, and the adoption of the APEC/PATA Code for Sustainable Tourism in 2001, the establishment of PATA Foundation and of the PATA Gold Awards – of note is an award category of environment, which honours the “best” practices upheld by individuals or organizations in protection and conservation of the environment, and the establishment of the Sustainability and Social Responsibility (SSR) Committee and PATA Task Forces.

History

The PATA story of Sustainability and Social Responsibility began 23 years after the organisation was established in 1951, when the concept of the PATA Development Authority was brought to light. The Development Authority, established with the idea that PATA can assume leadership in environmental matters was a precursor to today’s Sustainability and Social Responsibility Committee. At the time, the scope of activity for Development Authority included environmental, social, and economic planning. After the establishment of the Development Authority, sustainable milestones began to leave their mark on the history of the organization, including the establishment of the PATA Foundation, the inauguration of PATA Gold Awards Environment Category, with the addition of a Corporate Social Responsibility category in 2014, and the APEC/PATA Code for Sustainable TourismPartnerships with relevant and committed organizations have strengthened PATA’s efforts in raising awareness of sustainable and socially responsible travel and tourism.

Today, PATA continues to build its partnerships with sustainability-minded organizations including GIZ, EarthCheck, Travelife for Tour Operators, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), which provide member benefits such as tools to become more sustainable, as well as educational sessions in the form of webinars. Additionally, PATA is striving to formalize ties with various branches of the UN, including UNWTO, ILO, UNEP, UNESCO, and UNISDR, which will give the organization further support in realizing its potential and mission to develop a sustainable and responsible visitor economy in the Asia Pacific region.

In alignment with PATA’s 3 pillars – insightful research, aligned advocacy, and innovative events, PATA’s sustainability strategy objectives are to:

  • Generate tools that will allow sharing of knowledge on good sustainability practices
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing and generate awareness on sustainability issues
  • Advocate for policies related to sustainable development of the visitor economy
  • Advocate for responsible organizational practices
  • Utilize PATA’s network to disseminate key related messages, disseminate awareness and knowledge on sustainability and social responsibility to develop a sustainable and responsible visitor economy
  • Incorporation of sustainability and social responsibility into all facets of PATA’s strategy and activities

PATA Sustainability News

At PATA we empower our members to leave a positive impact on the surrounding environments in which they operate. This also means that as an organisation we must work to improve our own sustainability.

Read more about we do.

 

Charter

The Pacific Asia Travel Association will, by example and facilitation, provide leadership towards the achievement of environmental and economic sustainability, cultural preservation and social responsibility by the travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region.

PATA pledges to:

  • Promote and recognise best practice in sustainability and corporate social responsibility
  • Ensure that PATA events achieve the highest standards of social responsibility and, in turn, create minimal negative environmental impact
  • Advance the role of tourism in poverty alleviation, social cohesion, cultural awareness and the preservation and maintenance of human dignity
  • Identify and promote the adoption of mechanisms, guidelines and practices to better measure, manage and reduce environmentally harmful impacts and resource depletion
  • Establish, undertake and promote education/ training programmes and knowledge exchange networks aimed at achieving best practice management and operation of travel and tourism activities
  • Establish alliances and partnerships with appropriate organisations that strengthen the effectiveness and expand the reach of PATA’s environmental and social responsibility programmes
  • Encourage investment and development of services and infrastructure that minimise adverse environmental impact, support social advancement and community engagement and promote cultural authenticity and preservation

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Photo Credits: Chi Lo, PATA

Traveller’s Code

PATA Traveller’s Code

Sustaining Indigenous Cultures

“Travel is a passage through other people’s lives and other people’s places.”

Photo Credit: BookGreener.com

Photo Credit: BookGreener.com

  1. Be flexible: Are you prepared to accept cultures and practices different from your own?
  2. Choose Responsibly: Have you elected to support businesses that clearly and actively address the cultural and environmental concerns of the locale you are visiting?
  3. Do Your Homework: Have you done any research about the people and places you plan to visit so you may avoid what may innocently offend them or harm their environment?
  4. Be Aware: Are you informed of the holidays, holy days, and general religious and social customs of the places you visit?
  5. Support Local Enterprise: Have you made a commitment to contribute to the local economy by using businesses that economically support the community you are visiting, eating in local restaurants and buying locally made artisan crafts as remembrances of your trip?
  6. Be Respectful and Observant: Are you willing to respect local laws that may include restrictions of your usage of or access to places and things that may harm or otherwise erode the environment or alter or run counter to the places you visit?

 

The PATA Traveller’s Code was approved by the PATA Sustainable Tourism Committee at its April 13, 2002 meeting in New Delhi, India.

APEC/PATA Code

 

APEC-logo

The Code for Sustainable Tourism was adopted by both PATA and APEC as a reflection of their strong commitment to tourism growth across the Asia and Pacific region that is viable and sustainable over a long-term future.

This code urges PATA International and Chapter members and APEC Member Economies to:

Conserve the natural environment, ecosystems and biodiversity

  • CONTRIBUTE to the conservation of any habitat of flora and fauna, affected by tourism
  • ENCOURAGE relevant authorities to identify areas worthy of conservation and to determine the level of development, if any, which would be compatible in or adjacent to those areas
  • INCLUDE enhancement and corrective actions at tourism sites to conserve wildlife and natural ecosystems.

Respect and support local traditions, cultures and communities

  • ENSURE that community attitudes, local customs and cultural values, and the role of women and children, are understood in the planning and implementation of all tourism related projects
  • PROVIDE opportunities for the wider community to take part in discussions on tourism planning issues where these affect the tourism industry and the community
  • ENCOURAGE relevant authorities to identify cultural heritage worthy of conservation and to determine the level of development if any which would be compatible in or adjacent to those areas
  • CONTRIBUTE to the identity and pride of local communities through providing quality tourism products and services sensitive to those communities.

Maintain environmental management systems

  • ENSURE that environmental assessment is an integral step in planning for a tourism project
  • ENCOURAGE regular environmental audits of practices throughout the tourism industry and to promote desirable changes to those practices
  • ESTABLISH detailed environmental policies and indicators, and/or guidelines for the various sectors of the tourism industry
  • INCORPORATE environmentally sensitive design and construction solutions in any building or landscaping for tourism purposes.

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  • FOSTER environmentally responsible practices for:
    • Reducing pollutants and greenhouse gases
    • Conserving water and protecting water quality
    • Managing efficiently waste and energy
    • Controlling noise levels and
    • Promoting the use of recyclable and biodegradable materials

Encourage a tourism commitment to environments and cultures

  • ENCOURAGE those involved in tourism to comply with local, regional and national planning policies and to participate in the planning process
  • FOSTER, in both management and staff of all tourism projects and activities, an awareness of environmental and cultural values
  • ENCOURAGE all those who provide services to tourism enterprises to participate through environmentally and socially responsible actions
  • SUPPORT environmental and cultural awareness through tourism marketing.

Educate and inform others about local environments and cultures

  • SUPPORT the inclusion of environmental and cultural values in tourism education, training and planning
  • ENHANCE the appreciation and understanding by tourists of natural environments and cultural sensitivities through the provision of accurate information and appropriate interpretation
  • ENCOURAGE, and support research on the environmental and cultural impacts of tourism.

Cooperate with others to sustain environments and cultures

  • COOPERATE with other individuals and organisations to advance environmental improvements and sustainable development practices, including establishing indicators and monitoring
  • COMPLY with all international conventions and national, state and local laws which safeguard natural environments and cultural sensitivities.

The APEC/PATA Code for Sustainable Tourism was signed by the APEC Chairperson and the PATA Chairperson at the 50th PATA Annual Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Responsible Business Travel Guidelines

PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility Statement

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific visitor economy. Headquartered in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, PATA works in partnership with private and public sector members to enhance the sustainable growth, value, and quality of travel and tourism to, from, and within the region.

Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 98 government, state and city tourism bodies, 21 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 68 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 40 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which includes ACICLIAIATA, ICAOWEFUNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney and London.

PATA believes that in order for the complete visitor economy to thrive for generations, all activities should be conducted in the most socially responsible and holistically sustainable way possible. To protect our very reason for being, we must be sustainable.

PATA views sustainability as everybody’s responsibility and are advocates of inclusive stakeholder collaboration and public private partnerships. We aim to provide leadership in travel industry issues, and knowing that sustainability is the way forward, PATA aims to demonstrate its leadership in sustainability by taking a lead position on travel industry and sustainable tourism issues that need to be addressed.

PATA strives to conduct our business in a socially responsible and ethical manner, in a way that is good for people, planet, and profit. PATA endeavours to tread lightly on the planet; we empower our members to leave a positive impact on the surrounding environments in which they operate. We encourage creative, forward-thinking ideas, and collaboration amongst our stakeholders that will continue to drive this sustainability revolution.

PATA endorses the UN Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and supports the work of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. We encourage our members to also do the same.

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PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility Policy

PATA believes that in order for the complete visitor economy to thrive for generations, all activities should be conducted in the most socially responsible and holistically sustainable way possible. To protect our very reason for being, we must be sustainable.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. PATA works in partnership with private and public sector members to enhance the sustainable growth, value, and quality of travel and tourism to, from, and within the region.

Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 98 government, state and city tourism bodies, 21 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 68 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 40 local PATA chapters worldwide. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998, with official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney, and London. Our International Headquarters, which has been awarded with EarthCheck Certified Silver Status, is situated in an office building, of which we occupy 530m2 on the 28th floor. This urban setting means that 30 full time staff and up to 6 interns commute to the office, most of whom travel to work using public transportation. The office features a small pantry, a library, a meeting room, and the Engagement Hub meeting room, which can hold up to 30 people in theatre-style seating.

PATA is committed to treading lightly on the planet; we work in concert with our partners to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and strive towards carbon neutral growth. We empower our members to leave a positive impact on the surrounding environments in which they operate. We aim to demonstrate leadership by being the voice for members on travel industry and sustainable tourism issues that must be addressed, and by ultimately promoting the mainstreaming of sustainability in the tourism sector.

PATA complies with all relevant legislation and regulations and has a dedicated staff member, a Sustainability & Social Responsibility Specialist, who manages PATA’s sustainability and social responsibility programming, including improving PATA’s overall sustainability performance.

We encourage our staff to promote our commitment to sustainability and social responsibility in the travel and tourism sector, and in their daily lives. PATA is committed to ethical business operations, including legal compliance, and compliance with the hiring ratio of foreign to local staff. Where resources allow, PATA is also committed to the procurement of fair trade and locally sourced products and services, and to the implementation of responsible meetings and events practices. PATA respects labour-related human rights, and children’s rights, including non-discrimination, health and safety, and fair wages. We aim to strengthen the understanding of sustainable tourism issues amongst PATA staff and PATA members through trainings, provision of information resources, and generating awareness, and encourage our members to be a part of our journey.

We will demonstrate our commitment by forging relationships with sustainability and social responsibility-minded organisations, by seeking advise from the PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility Committee, by greening events, and by implementing the EarthCheck Environmental Management System in our operations. We strive to minimize our footprint by implementing initiatives that reduce the use of energy, water, and paper at our International Headquarters. We aim to continue benchmarking assessment of PATA’s operational performance, and strive towards maintaining Benchmarked Sustainability Certification at our Headquarters.

December 2016

 

 

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