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Participation in a community-oriented program in Nepal. Credit: Giving Way

The term “sustainable travel” has a green glow to it, connoting eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility. But the human side of sustainability, as defined by the World Tourism Organization, addresses community impact, both social and economic, and is newly gaining traction among travel companies.

“There’s a lot of people who think ‘eco-tourism’ when they hear ‘sustainable tourism,’ but that’s a piece of the puzzle,” said Kelley Louise, the executive director of the Impact Travel Alliance, an industry nonprofit organization that focuses on sustainable travel. “Sustainability has a positive impact not only on the environment, but the culture and the economy of the destination you’re visiting.”

Organizations promoting social impact travel aim to emphasize not just big do-good trips, but to educate travelers about their smallest decisions, such as eating at a locally owned restaurant.

Read the full article here.

By Elaine Glusac for The New York Times.

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How To Travel With Purpose: A Q&A With Intrepid Travel’s Chief Purpose Officer

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An intrepid traveler takes part in an authentic Kusimayo Ceremony in Peru Credit: Intrepid Travel

Leigh Barnes is the Chief Purpose Officer of Intrepid Travel, a small-group adventure travel company specializing in real-life experiences delivered through sustainable travel.

As Chief Purpose Officer, Barnes is charged with “ensuring that everything we do comes with a purpose.” This involves communicating that message, making sure the Intrepid staff grows with a purpose, leading Intrepid’s responsible business practices, and working with the product teams to ensure that all Intrepid trips have purpose, have impact and are sustainable.

Read the full interview on how to travel with purpose here.

By Ethan Gelber for Greenmatters.

 

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WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards finalists

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is pleased to announce the 15 Finalists for its 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The 2017 Finalists cut across five continents in the following categories: Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People.

The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, now in its 13th year, showcases business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within our sector.

The 2017 Awards fall within the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, all 15 Finalists illustrate great commitment to “support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals”, as the International Year calls for.

Following a rigorous 3-phase judging, which includes an onsite evaluation, Winners of the 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will be announced during the Awards Ceremony at the 17th WTTC Global Summit, taking place in Bangkok, 26 – 27 April 2017.

David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC said: “I am extremely pleased to once again see such inspiring business leadership amongst this year’s Finalists. This year saw a 36% rise of applications, which shows not only that more and more Travel & Tourism companies are looking to operate sustainably but also an increased interest to share company best practices and thereby educate peers and governments.

As the Travel & Tourism sector continues to grow, WTTC currently estimates global Travel & Tourism to have grown by 3.1% in 2016, we have to ensure we safeguard the environment, local communities and cultural heritage, and our Awards programme calls on tourism businesses to showcase just that.”

Awards Lead Judge, Graham Miller, Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey, said: “The 2017 Finalists illustrate how widespread the notion of sustainable tourism has become. While sustainability used to be focused around the preservation of nature, this year, the organisation’s missions are, amongst other things, centred around innovative value creation for societies, travel technology for those with accessibility needs, and empowerment of the young workforce.”

The Finalists of the 2017 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which is Headline sponsored by AIG Travel for the second year, are:

Community Award Finalists, whose organisations are committed to sustainable tourism leadership in local community development, empowerment and cultural heritage

  • Cinnamon Wild Yala, Sri Lanka
  • G Adventures, Canada
  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

Destination Award Finalists, who show commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices in their destinations:

  • Botswana Tourism Organisation, Botswana
  • City of Bydgoszcz, Poland
  • Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Finland

Environment Award Finalists, whose organisations and companies achieved environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats, addressing climate change, and green operations:

  • Biosphere Expeditions, UK
  • Caiman Ecological Refuge, Brazil
  • Misool, Indonesia

Innovation Award Finalists, who provided innovative solutions to overcoming the challenges faced by Travel & Tourism in implementing sustainability in practice:

  • NATIVE Hotels and Accessible Tourism, Spain
  • Soel Yachts, Netherlands
  • The Mapping Ocean Wealth initiative led by the Nature Conservancy, USA

People Award Finalists, who are dedicated to the development of capacity building, training and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future:

  • Desert & Delta Safaris, Botswana
  • STREETS International, Vietnam
  • The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation’s China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI), China

The Winner Selection Committee is chaired by Fiona Jeffery OBE, Chair of the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and include a further 15 independent judges from within the Travel & Tourism sector.

Fiona Jeffery OBE, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Chair, said: “Now more than ever it’s important to highlight how tourism positively connects people across the planet and brings great social and economic benefits to destinations. The 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Award Finalists demonstrate a commitment to long term vision in preference to short term gains and provide inspiring examples of responsible leadership in their businesses. The true value of the awards is the insight and learning which can be shared across the industry and I’m looking forward to hearing their stories during the WTTC Global Summit in April 2017.”

For the full list of finalists and more about the Awards, read more here.

Click here for the original article by WTTC.

To view the announcement of the 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Finalists, presented by Lead Judge Graham Miller, please click here.

Copyright @ WTTC 2017

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Films That Will Spark Your Wanderlust

Categories: Green Tips, Planet, Uncategorized, Wildlife
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Thinking about what to watch this weekend? Here are four films that will deepen your appreciation of the world and inspire you to explore it.

PLANET EARTH

“Four years in the making, this is the earth celebrated as never before.

Scale majestic mountains, explore waterways and caves, starlit deserts and spectacular ice-worlds. See awe-inspiring landscapes from all across the globe and incredible footage of the rarely spotted, almost mythical creatures that live in these habitats. 

The Blue Planet blew audiences away with its footage of the alien-like depths of the ocean. Now track great migrations, witness split-second actions, and watch amazing footage of land-based animals in their natural habitats, whether on a mountain top, in the remotest of deserts, or the darkest depths of the forest floor. 

This is the definitive look at the diversity of our planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough. 

Prepare to be overwhelmed by the beauty of Planet Earth.”  (Source: http://www.bbcearth.com/shows/planet-earth)

Note: The sequel, Planet Earth II is coming out soon! Click here for the epic trailer.


LIFE


“Packed with excitement, revelation and entertainment, this breathtaking ten-part blockbuster relates 130 incredible stories from the frontiers of the natural world.

Life explores the glorious variety of life on Earth and the spectacular and extraordinary tactics animals and plants have developed to stay alive. This is evolution in action, individual creatures under extreme pressure to overcome challenges from adversaries and their environment, pushing the boundaries of behaviour.

Witness unprecedented, astonishingly beautiful sequences: birds running and dancing on the water’s surface in dazzlingly intricate displays of courtship and fidelity, fish outwitting predators by using their fins to take flight, and flies competing in a mesmerising eyeball-inflation contest.

More than four years in the making, filmed over 3,000 days, across every continent and in every habitat, this is life as you’ve never seen it before.” (Source: http://www.bbcearth.com/shows/planet-earth)


BARAKA

“Originally shot in 25 countries on six continents, Baraka brought together a series of stunningly photographed scenes to capture what director Ron Fricke calls “a guided meditation on humanity.” It was a shoot of unprecedented technical, logistical and bureaucratic scope that would take 30 months to complete, including 14 months on location, with a custom-built computerized 65mm camera.

“The goal of the film,” says producer Mark Magidson, “was to reach past language. nationality, religion and politics and speak to the inner viewer.”” (Source: http://www.barakasamsara.com/baraka/about)


SAMSARA

“Prepare yourself for an unparalleled sensory experience.  SAMSARA reunites director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson, whose award-winning films BARAKA and CHRONOS were acclaimed for combining visual and musical artistry.  

SAMSARA is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives.  Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders.  By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.” (Source: http://www.barakasamsara.com/samsara/about)

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WTTC challenges: T4T Logo_RGB

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) challenges Travel & Tourism organisations to show how sustainable they are by entering their sustainable business initiatives for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2017.

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC said: “I am pleased to announce that the twenty-eighth annual Tourism for Tomorrow Awards programme is now open for entries. Through the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2017 we shall highlight the commitment of the Travel & Tourism sector to the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all 193 Member States of the United Nations in September 2015.

Companies and organisations that enter for these awards can show WTTC challenges: applynowgovernments and other tourism organisations how growth and successful business models go hand in hand with the safeguarding of local communities, the environment and cultural heritage.

Fiona Jeffery OBE, former Chairman of World Travel Market and Founder and Chairman of the international water aid charity Just a Drop, will be chairing the Awards for the third time. She commented: “Tourism is a force for good, it connects people from different cultural backgrounds and environments. The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards celebrate the achievements of ethical tourism businesses around the world that look to give back to local communities by enhancing livelihoods where they operate and protecting the environment and cultural traditions to ensure a sustainable world for the future.

I am delighted to be chairing again, and hope to again see many inspirational businesses apply for the 2017 programme.”

AIG Travel, Inc., the travel insurance and global assistance division of leading international insurance organisation American International Group, Inc., will be the Official Headline Sponsor of the Awards programme for the second year.

Jeff Rutledge, CEO, AIG Travel, Inc., said: “AIG is committed to furthering the sustainability efforts of the Travel & Tourism industry, and we are honored to continue our support of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in 2017. Through education and the sharing of best practices, I am confident we can all make a difference by implementing eco-friendly business processes.”

Lead judge, Professor Graham Miller, chair in sustainability in business at the University of Surrey, will oversee a rigorous independent judging and on-site evaluation process carried out by an international panel of experts representing academia, non-profit organisations, government and the private sector.

This year applicants can enter in the following five categories: Community; Destination; Environment; Innovation; and People.

The 2017 Finalists will be announced in January 2016 and the winners will be announced during the WTTC Global Summit 2017 in Bangkok, 26-27 April 2017.

The 2016 award winners were; Community Award: Expediciones Sierra Norte, Mexico; Destination Award: Parkstad Limburg, Netherlands; Environment Award: The Botswana Rhino Conservation Project by Wilderness Safaris, Botswana; Innovation Award: Carmacal Carbon Calculator by ANVR – The Netherlands Travel Trade Association, Netherlands; People Award: Youth Career Initiative, United Kingdom & worldwide.

Have a look at the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2017 Brochure.


Media Relations
For Press Kits and any other downloadable material, please click here.
For any media enquiries or interview requests, please contact

Annebeth Wijtenburg, Communications Manager
annebeth.wijtenburg @wttc.org
+44 (0) 20 7481 6483

Read more at: http://www.wttc.org/media-centre/press-releases/press-releases/2016/WTTC-challenges-tourism-businesses-to-show-how-sustainable-they-are
Copyright @ WTTC 2016

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