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The slogan “For The Planet” is projected on the Eiffel Tower as part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015. Francois Mori/AP

 

Representatives from 196 nations made a historic pact on Dec. 12, 2015, in Paris to adopt green energy sources, cut down on climate change emissions and limit the rise of global temperatures — while also cooperating to cope with the impact of unavoidable climate change.

The agreement acknowledges that the threat of climate change is “urgent and potentially irreversible,” and can only be addressed through “the widest possible cooperation by all countries” and “deep reductions in global emissions.”

But how deep will those reductions be — and how soon, and who’s paying for it?

Here are some key figures from the final agreement.

By Camila Domonoske from The Two Way

 

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Voluntourism. It sounds like a beautiful way to combine service and travel. Indeed, many volunteers are flocking to countries, usually for short periods, to Asia and Africa to help children, to save endangered animals or to build houses and schools.

 

However, this form of tourism arguably does more harm than good. It is suggested that voluntourism perpetuates stereotyping, creates dependence on aid and aggravates symptoms of neo-colonialism.  

 

When conducted correctly, however, your community, NGO, or business may benefit from voluntourism. Your organisation needs to stand out from the industry that makes profits from the poverty of local communities in order to have a promising future.

 

Here are some suggestions on how to make the best of your voluntourism initiative:

 

  1. Find your match

Balance the motives of the potential volunteer with those of your company. It is not beneficial to employ volunteers who just want to pad their CVs. Give preference to those who are willing to contribute more time, remembering that it takes some time for a person to settle into a role and on that precious resources are often spent training or wasted in high turnover situations.

 

Do not work with young people who are eager to save a whole community but rather those who are willing to learn from a different culture and who are aware that they are not coming as a type of ‘superhero’.

 

  1. Preparation is key

One of the most important success factors is to match the expectations of the volunteers with your standards. To guarantee a successful tenure, consider hosting a preparation meeting. It is not only important to brief the volunteers about risks and expectations but also about the culture and history of the destination. This will help them to understand the community prior to arrival. Follow up on this meeting with regular discussions during their stay.

 

  1. Community involvement

Remember that the community is also a key stakeholder in voluntourism. To create a lasting and positive impact, match the communities’ expectations with that of your organisation and volunteers. Gather ideas on how a volunteer may engage with the community and where a helping hand is needed. Discuss how voluntourism projects may benefit the community in the longer term. It is also helpful to communicate motives and cultural differences of the volunteers.

 

 

Voluntourism is a controversial subject. It is thus imperative to make special considerations for your programming to create a win-win situation for all parties involved: your volunteers, community and organisation. If undertaken correctly, this form of tourism can be very rewarding and make a contribution to world peace and mutual understanding.

 

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Credit: World Economic Forum.

Many urban centers, like Shanghai and Shenzhen, have gone from modest fishing villages to booming megacities.

 

China is rapidly urbanizing. More than half of China’s population now lives in cities, and over 100 Chinese cities have over 1 million people each.

Many urban centers, like Shanghai and Shenzhen, have gone from modest fishing villages to booming megacities. Others have become mega-ghost cities — high-tech (often luxury) urban centers that fail to attract many residents.

Here’s a look at some of China’s largest real estate developments that will change its cities even more.

 

By Leanne Garfield from World Economic Forum

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PATA members are invited to submit entries for the 2017 Skal International Sustainable Tourism Awards. The awards programme features one new category – Tourism Destinations – as meaningful support to the UNWTO’s ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development’.

 

Any organisation is invited to submit entries. Membership of Skal is not a required and there is no charge for participating in these prestigious awards. Deadline for entries is 30 June.

 

PATA Chief of Staff Dale Lawrence is also President of Skal International Thailand. He said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for public and private sector organisations to display publicly their support for the principles and objectives of sustainable tourism. I commend this awards programme to all PATA members.”

 

The awards will be presented at the Skal International World Congress in Hyderabad on 6 October.

 

More details at: https://www.skal.org/en/sustainableguidelines

 

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Solar panels at the Googleplex, headquarters of Google in Mountain View, Calif. Its data centers worldwide will run entirely on renewable energy by the end of this year, the technology giant announced in December. Credit Smith Collection/Gado, via Getty Images

 

The Trump administration may be pondering a retreat from the United States’ climate commitments, but corporate America is moving ahead with its own emissions goals.

Nearly half of the Fortune 500 biggest companies in the United States have now set targets to shrink their carbon footprints, according to a report published Tuesday by environmental organizations that monitor corporate emissions pledges. Twenty-five more companies adopted climate targets over the last two years, the groups said.

Almost two dozen companies, including Google, Walmart and Bank of America, have pledged to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy, with varying deadlines, compared with just a handful in 2015. Google’s data centers worldwide will run entirely on renewable energy by the end of this year, the technology giant announced in December.

Read the full article on how companies step up on emissions here.

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Courtesy of Ecova

Corporations with a global view are taking seriously their role as leaders in climate action.

With COP21 and COP22 serving as launch pads in the fight against climate change, corporations with a global view are taking seriously their role as leaders in climate action. Despite uncertainty here in the United States, businesses are forging ahead with plans to achieve deep emission reductions and to implement strategies to mitigate climate change risks — not only to protect the environment, but to strengthen business resiliency and the global economy.

Read more on how major international events have led to action. By Jana Schmidt

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Social InclusionTom Steyer and Van Jones talk about the importance of building coalitions when crafting sustainability solutions at VERGE 15.

Solar panels that only the rich can afford. Urban bike-share programs that limit participation to those using credit cards. Pricey organic grocery stores for communities where many people rely on SNAP benefits. No matter how well-intentioned, if a solution isn’t appropriate for part of the population, then it is not truly a sustainable solution. Please visit this link to read more on the importance of including people to improve sustainability.

By Sureya Melkonian

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Mario-Hardy-PATAMario Hardy, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), speaks with Anula Galewska about the organisation’s commitment to sustainable tourism and what Asia needs to take sustainability to the next level.

Dr. Mario Hardy is Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Dr. Hardy has close to 30 years of combined leadership, corporate development and change management experience. Prior to PATA, Mario worked 14 years for UBM/OAG a business with a focus on data analytics and events for the aviation sector and occupied several leadership roles in London, Beijing and Singapore.

ANULA: PATA actively advocates for sustainable tourism. What is your goal?

MARIO: Our aim is to educate, train and create awareness. We want to educate people from the tourism industry on practical ways of being more environmentally friendly, how they can engage with local communities, and also to inspire people to think about sustainability differently than they were thinking before.

People usually link sustainability with the environment, which of course is very important but shouldn’t be limited to it. Sustainability includes social, economic and cultural aspects, and my feeling is that we don’t address these issues enough. For example, we should educate people as to how tourism can improve the wealth of local communities.

People usually link sustainability with the environment, which of course is very important but shouldn’t be limited to it. Sustainability includes social, economic and cultural aspects, and my feeling is that we don’t address these issues enough.

By  Read the original article here.

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'green' events planning

In line with 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, it is important that we take steps towards implementing sustainability in our day-to-day activities. This includes events – a major component of our industry.


There are many things that event planners, service providers and meeting participants may do as a means of contributing to sustainable and responsible event management.

Here are a few simple ‘green’ meeting tips:

1. Use online registration to reduce paper usage

Forget about archaic paper registration methods. Use an online registration tool. Online registration and ticketing not only eliminates excess printed materials but also saves time. Participants love being able to register from any device at any time. Check out Eventbrite, an example of a low-cost online event registration mobile app that can be used to promote and manage your event events.

2. Use electronic communication and marketing

Save a tree by going digital. Send out invitations, real time information, announcements and updates through online media and other online channels. electronic devicesDraw attention to eco-friendly aspects of your event with digital signage and information.

3. Choose a green venue

The venues, and their facilities, have a huge impact on the sustainability of your event. Consider first whether the building itself is certified, for example, by the US Green Building Council. Select an event site that’s easily accessible by foot, bicycle or public transport. This reduces the carbon footprint of your event. If your event is attracting international delegates, give them ‘green’ hotel options.

4. Encourage sustainable transportation

Choose energy efficient, hybrid or electric vehicles for your event. Encourage delegates to travel by public transportation by making it easy for them to navigate. As an alternative, set up carpool service (e.g. liftshare.com) or shuttle bus service for your attendees. Find out more about how to commute in an eco-friendly way; check out 30 ideas on green event transportation.

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5. Recycle and reduce waste at events

Provide bins for recycling and composting to minimise waste-to-landfill. Make recycling stations highly visible and accessible. Liaise with the venue management team about arrangements for composting food waste and donating any excess food to local charities.

6. Minimise energy use

Using natural light instead of artificial light reduces bills and helps the environment. Where electric lighting is required, make the switch to LED bulbs. Switch off lighting and equipment when it is not being used.

7. Go local

Use local vendors for ancillary services such as food, décor, gift items, and rentals. This reduces emissions and gives important support the local economies. Hire local staff to reduce travel times, costs and pollution.

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8. Inspire sustainable practices

Educate and inspire attendees by making your ‘green’ event practices highly visible to all stakeholders, including the public and the media. Encourage responsible behaviour among all stakeholders and foster understanding and appreciation of sustainability by adapting the PATA Responsible Business Travel Guidelines. Finally, check out our favourite 5 tips to become a responsible green delegate.

 

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Waste disposal is expensive – for your pocket and for our planet, our only home.

ed_DSC0499_lowAccording to Green Hotelier’s “Waste Management,” a hotel guest generates about 1kg (2lb) of waste per night, more than half of it in paper, plastic and cardboard. In addition to negative environmental impact, minimizing the amount of waste a business produces is important because waste has rising cost implications in both disposal and initial purchase, if the materials are not used. As described by Green Hotelier, in the UK, for example, landfilling costs are now £48 per tonne (1.1 tons) compared to £18 a tonne in 2005.

Tourism operators generate a range of different wastes. The size and type of operation will influence how much waste is produced. The location of the tourism operation will also affect the impact its waste has on the surrounding community and environment. By considering the availability of possible reuse and recycling options, we help reduce waste to landfills.

Reducing the amount of waste is one of the simplest and most effective ways for tourism operators to both reduce their environmental impact and improve their bottom line. Here are some more resources to help you start: