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© National Geographic

There can be little doubt that Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II had a transformative impact on the debate around plastics in the UK. But, while popular, I’m not sure this ‘national treasure’ has the same clout abroad.

We’re going to need other icons to step up and speak out.

Luckily, National Geographic is doing just that with the launch of its Plastic or Planet initiative.

Read the full article here.

By  for treehugger.

 

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Standing room only: Tourists walk along Matsubara-dori street approaching the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. Credit: BLOOMBERG

More than 28 million tourists from abroad visited Japan last year, and it seems for sure that the stated goal of reaching 40 million tourists a year by 2020 will be achieved if not surpassed, with or without legalized casino gambling, which is part of the official tourism plan.

That said, a downside has emerged — something the media is calling “kankō kōgai,” or “tourism pollution.” However effective the tourism promotion scheme has been, it didn’t take into account the numbers that actually materialized, nor the fact that many places, even those ostensibly set up for tourism, are not capable of handling the amount of traffic they’ve seen.

Read the full article here.

By Philip Brasor for the japan times.

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Credit: Shutterstock

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef will receive A$500 million ($379.10 million) in new funding to restore water quality and protect the coral from starfish attacks, government ministers announced on Sunday.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said in a televised interview that some of the money would go directly to farmers to modify their practices “to ensure that the reef doesn’t get the large amounts of sediment, nitrogen and pesticide run-off which is so damaging to coral and which helps breed this crown-of-thorns starfish.”

Read the full article here.

By Alison Bevege for Reuters.

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Credit: “Instant Vacation: 2018’s best travel photos” on cnn.com – In this aerial photo taken on April 1, 2018, a group of children join a learning tour to experience tea-picking in Meitan County of Zunyi, southwest China’s Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin) (lmm)

Some gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, trap heat in the atmosphere, producing a “greenhouse effect,” and so make the planet warmer. The amount of greenhouse gases released by a particular activity is referred to as its “carbon footprint.”
The increasing carbon footprint of global tourism between 2009 and 2013 represents a 3% annual growth in emissions, according to University of Sydney researchers.
Their paper was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Overall, the US tops the carbon footprint ranking, followed by China, Germany and India, Malik and her colleagues estimate. Domestic travel, which includes business travel, makes up a majority of the carbon footprints for each of these countries.
Read the full article here.
By Susan Scutti for CNN.
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Recent studies have led to a global push for more reef-safe sunscreens. Credit: Chip Litherland for The New York Times

On May 1, Hawaii became the first state to pass a bill banning the sale of sunscreen containing chemicals believed to harm coral reefs.

The legislation prohibits the distribution of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have foundcontributes to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean. The Hawaii sunscreen bill now awaits the signature of the governor. The new rules will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen is believed to be deposited in oceans annually with the greatest damage found in popular reef areas in Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Read the full article here.

By Elaine Glusac for The New York Times.

 

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Mr Pololikashvili presenting at a conference in Asturias, Spain / Credit: Green Matters

On January 1, 2018, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili took over as Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism.

GM: Many tourism professionals see sustainable tourism as necessary for the survival of the planet. Can sustainable tourism really make a difference?

ZP: While tourism brings socioeconomic development and inclusive growth to millions of people worldwide, its mismanaged expansion can put fragile environments at risk, deplete natural resources, and disrupt the social structures and cultural values of host communities – the very elements that tourism greatly depends on.

Sustainability is therefore tourism’s fundamental challenge and should be regarded as a comprehensive condition of the sector as a whole. This entails meeting the rising demands of today’s tourists while safeguarding the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of destinations and communities worldwide.

Read the full interview with Zurab Pololikashvili here.

By Ethan Gelber for Green Matters

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Longtail boats in Surin Island, Thailand. Credit: Getty Images on cnbc.com

As part of a shift toward natural resource preservation, some major destinations — and the people who visit them — are becoming more attuned to the environmental impact of tourism.

 The shift is disrupting some of the traditions associated with tourist hotspots, and given rise to a trend where environmentally sustainable outcomes are emphasized over mere ‘experience’ vacationing.

The dynamic is taking place against a backdrop of a very busy market for international tourism, which the World Tourism Organization expects to climb to 1.8 billion by 2030. Since 2000, worldwide destination seeking has jumped by more than 50 percent, the organization notes.

Read the full article here and learn more about a trend that is underway, where environmentally sustainable outcomes are emphasized over mere ‘experience’ vacationing and how sustainability can improve our vacation and then affect us when we go home.

By Samantha Kummerer for CNBC.com

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Credit: unknown on Travel Weekly

Heathrow plans to cut and recycle all single-use coffee cups collected from more 20 outlets and lounges as part of a longer-term ambition to phase out single-use plastics.

The airport estimates that its 78 million annual passengers use more than 13.5 million disposable coffee cups.

The London hub has set a target to standardise and recycle all single-use coffee cups by the end of the year and continue efforts to completely rid staff areas of these cups.

Read the full article here.

By Phil Davies

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Useless plastics provide a few minutes of convenience, little utility, and are disposed of in large quantities. / © WWF-Singapore

A supermarket plastic bag serves its real purpose for 30 minutes, the duration of a short commute. In a drink, a straw is utilised for just 5 minutes. The use of a plastic stirrer is even more short-lived: all of 10 seconds.

These items have fleeting lifespans, but they outlive us by a long shot — 400 years, to be exact.

Left in our environment, plastics affect ocean health and biodiversity. The problem does not simply end there.

Read the full article on ‘useless plastic’ and more here.

By Kim Stengert for Medium.

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Credit: GLP Films

We’ve all seen it, a destination experiences a tragedy – natural disasters, war, economic problems… Then, global media outlets start to spread the word, bookings decrease and tourism drops dramatically. Negative and/or inaccurate press about the state of tourism economy in a destination can be a challenging uphill battle. However, marketing can very quickly provide solutions to change global traveler perceptions and help market that a destination is “open for business”.

So, how can you quickly and effectively get the message out to the global travel community that a destination is still “open for business” even if it is still a state of recovery? The key to changing perceptions is a strategic distribution plan driven by story-driven content marketing.

Read the full article on marketing resiliency here.

By Laura Knudson & Hilary Lewkowitz for GLP Films.

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