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BANGKOK, May 20, 2017 – A pioneering publication designed to help the travel and tourism industry meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been launched at the PATA Annual Summit in Sri Lanka.

Sponsored by Jetwing Hotels of Sri Lanka this new publication ‘The Olive Tree’ is a joint effort between the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Bangkok-based Travel Impact Newswire.

It features a compilation of announcements, news releases and initiatives by United Nations agencies and other multilateral groupings such as the Asian Development Bank on a broad range of SDG-related themes and topics including ‘messengers of peace’, ‘infrastructure investment’, ‘illegal fishing’ and ‘rice farming’.

Each article is accompanied by a sidebar explaining its importance and relevance to travel and tourism. This ‘ideas bank’ allows industry executives to envisage the linkage and to then decide how to get involved in advancing the cause.

PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a global vision for humanity and one that we all should work to fulfil. The industry has an important and influential active role to play in achieving these goals but this may only be achieved through concerted efforts from the public and private sectors.

“The publication’s title reflects the concept and thinking of peace and understanding. We must remember that travel and tourism provide the perfect opportunity for people from various backgrounds to share their stories with each other in the hope that they may better understand each other as human beings regardless of race, faith or religious beliefs.”

Jetwing Hotels Chairman Hiran Cooray said, “This pioneering publication is a perfect collaboration between the public and private sectors and the media to help make our world a much better place. Sri Lanka has overcome the challenges of a long and bloody war and is now pursuing a path to nation-building. Travel and tourism is a critical contributor to this task and the private sector has a major role to play. As one of the country’s largest private sector players in the travel and tourism sector Jetwing is proud to be contributing to job creation, cultural preservation, poverty alleviation in an environmentally friendly way. We hope that this publication will rally the entire PATA fraternity to forge stronger links with the UN system and other multilateral agencies in pursuit of a common objective, namely the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals, well before the target of 2030.”

Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil, who initiated the project, said, “Travel and tourism is a unique global industry. It can rightfully claim to be the only one that can positively advance all 17 UN SDGs. Globally, travel and tourism is awakening to this powerful potential. So is the UN system. Behind the internal politics, the UN system and many other global multilateral agencies do a lot of great work. Their meetings, activities, reports and research can help the industry to make a robust contribution to the fulfilment of the SDGs.”

Muqbil added, “The Olive Tree publication will help industry decision-makers to explore the treasure trove of UN events, activities, campaigns, statistics and free reports that boost awareness of how the SDGs and the industry are intertwined. In turn, the UN agencies may better appreciate and respect the importance and value of travel and tourism in meeting their goals.”

The publication is available free of charge. Click here to download.

 

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The $1.2 trillion travel industry, which moves more than a billion international travelers around the globe each year, has both the opportunity and the responsibility to contribute to cleaner, greener and more respectful travel practices, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

And with that in mind, for 2017 the organization has launched a yearlong “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.” campaign aimed at educating travelers about how to reduce their environmental impact.

“Global tourism is really big business … but sustainable tourism still only represents a small fraction of the global industry,” said Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UNWTO, which declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

According to the UNWTO, tourism generates an estimated 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and tourists consume much more water while on vacation than they do at home. With the number of global tourists expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2020, issues such as waste generation at resorts and on cruise ships, overfishing on coral reefs to feed visitors and the impact of the ballooning global travel industry on local cultures is cause for concern, the organization said.

Thus the UNWTO is working to inspire a sea change in the travel industry, a message that appears to be resonating with some travel companies that have responded by committing to changing the way they do business.

 

Read more here. 

 

By Michelle Baran from Travel Weekly

 

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The same people and organizations we admire for protecting our wild places also have a history of being apathetic—or plain antagonistic—toward issues of race and social justice

Given the history of conservationists elevating endangered plant life over endangered black lives, it is environmentalism’s soul that most needs saving.    Photo: Kristen Rogers Photography/Stock

 

Facing a new White House administration led by Donald Trump, environmental leaders recently signed an accord pledging their allegiance to civil rights and social justice. Among the signatories are several leaders of the Sierra Club, including its executive director, Michael Brune, who in recent years has steered the organization toward rather bold stances on a range of issues that aren’t traditionally recognized as “green.” In 2013, its board of directors voted that the organization should advocate for immigrant rights. The following year, the Sierra Club endorsed and defended the Black Lives Matter movement. Since President Trump came into office, the organization’s resolve has only strengthened, as Brune indicated in a November 18 blog post: “I’m proud of how the Sierra Club has begun to address the intersection of climate with inequality, race, class, and gender, and I guarantee that we’ll go even deeper.”

This shift toward racial justice matters has not been universally accepted among the Sierra Club’s ranks and may even have cost it a few members. Those who disapprove have often expressed sentiments amounting to “racism is not the environmental movement’s responsibility.” But Brune says the organization won’t be backing off anytime soon, a position he forcefully defended on the group’s blog. He will assure his members, he tells me, “that we are continuing to protect wildlife and wild places, and this is how we can best do that in the 21st century.”

What Brune is acknowledging is the darker legacy of the green movement. Some may believe that environmentalism has little to do with social justice issues, but the mission of the Sierra Club, and many conservation groups like it throughout the late-19th century and most of the 20th century, was anything but race neutral. In many ways, racial exclusivity actually shaped the environmental mission, which is what makes the Sierra Club’s leap toward civil rights advocacy such a radical move. It’s important not because a network like Black Lives Matter needs environmentalists, but because environmentalists need black lives. Given the history of conservationists elevating endangered plant life over endangered people of color, it is environmentalism’s soul that most needs saving.

 

Read the full article here.

By Brentin Mock from Outside

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The multiple recent terrorist attacks in diverse places such as London and California ought to be a warning to the tourism industry that it is entering into a new and dangerous age.  In the past, most tourism centers assumed that either they would not be targets of a terrorism attack or that the attack would be against a highly specific and well-known target.  Classically it was assumed that we could almost predict which areas would be most prone to terrorism attacks.  The prevailing paradigm argued that terrorists were most likely to strike locations that were high on the following scales:

  • They were centers where a great deal of economic damage would occur.
  • They were centers could generate mass casualties
  • They were places that had some form of iconic significance
  • They were places that were most likely to be covered by the media.

Scholars and security specialists based this paradigm on attacks such as those in New York, London, and Madrid.  The security and tourism industries however did not consider locations such as in the Middle East as being relevant to tourism.  Both the multiple incidents in Europe and the United States creates enough anomalies to cause tourism scholars and practitioners to question if the former paradigm does not need revisions and updating.  Tourism Tidbits presents this month some of the new realities that tourism professionals need to consider.

Read more here.

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Honourable Mention Community Based Tourism Initiative

TheCBT-Vietnam RedDao-hadynyah-copy-e1422561514990 Northern Vietnam Community Based Tourism project is a collaboration of several organizations that make up the overall initiative. It is led by the School of Tourism at Capilano University in association with Hanoi Open University, and the ethnic hill tribe communities of Taphin, TaVan, and Lao Chai in the trekking region of Sapa. The Capilano University School of Tourism lies within the Faculty of Global and Community Studies. Some of the guiding principles of the Faculty are to connect from global to local levels in all facets of learning, demonstrate leadership in stewardship and sustainability, place emphasis on healthy communities and good governance, and actively engage and pursue social entrepreneurship. We have also had the support of the PATA Foundation to run this project for the past five years.

The overall goal of the work has been to provide practical tourism training for three ethnic minority communities (Tavan, Taphin and Lao Chai) to reduce poverty, create employment opportunities, and improve quality of life. The key objectives have been as follows:
• To create healthy business operations for several independent family or individual owners;
• To create social enterprises in the villages to share benefits of tourism
• To build active business partnerships with appropriate values based external tourism operators where mutual benefit results
• To facilitate quality and good value tourist experiences in the villages;
• To generate fiscal resources to sustain and enhance tourist products;
• To improve environmental quality in alignment with the development of tourism in the communities.

When Capilano University and Hanoi Open University were first invited into the villages of Taphin and Tavan in 2002 to begin the work of helping generate sustainable tourism, Sapa was just emerging as a destination and very few visitors were coming to the remote, ethnic minority villages. We were challenged to help locals understand what tourism was, what the perspectives of the visitors were, and to help build skills in a culture based solely on subsistence agriculture and minor trade for hundreds of years. The only way to achieve this was through exceptionally high levels of consultation, community engagement, and relationship building. Details of the work and outcomes are described in following sections of this submission.

 

For more information: CBT Vietnam website

October 29 2015 – iTrack Wildlife is a mobile application to identify animal traces (concretely mammals), printed in the soil through their silhouettes and numerous photographs. Greenapps Read more.

The traditional skill of tracking is an indigenous art form which the Tracker Academy has revived. A need was recognised not just in South Africa, but across its borders too and so the Academy was born out of The Peace Parks Foundation , an organisation set up to enable cross border conservation. They recruit from rural communities, offer full bursaries and have a 97% employment rate for graduates. Each a source of pride for principal trainer Renias Mhlongo: “We had a dream to find people who are not educated, bring them into the bush and teach them about nature and tracking.” Not only has this dream come true, but the vision to become cross border custodians of wildlife has too.

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Lao People’s Democratic Republic may be landlocked, but all doors are open for tourism. However, three quarters of population still works in subsistence agriculture, so education in tourism is fundamental. A need catered for by the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH). Set up in 2008, it has two arms: A diploma in Tourism for undergraduates and The Passport to Success for industry professionals. Supported by Luxembourg Development’s (LuxDev), which offers bursaries and funding, it is Laos’ biggest industry training program with over a thousand people studying customer services, food and beverage operations, management and communications. If only every Passport Control was as successful. LANITH makes it look easy.

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Central College Nottingham and The Institute of Travel & Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG)

Categories: Academia, Africa, Cultural Heritage, Europe, Human Capital Development, Human Rights, Intercultural Dialogue, North, People and Places, West
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High level training is the main tool for embedding sustainable tourism in any destination. It is also the remit of this partnership between Central College Nottingham and The Institute of Travel & Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG), initiated in 2008. They have a shared mission statement for “Success through Learning”, with Gambian students benefiting from a curriculum created by Central, and UK students undertaking sustainable tourism master classes in The Gambia every year.

Subjects include sustainability, poverty reduction, human rights and social justice which, considering the lack of training in Gambia until then, has had quite an impact. Consequently, ITTOG’s 411 graduates are seguing smoothly into employment, thanks to its growing reputation for excellent, sustainable tourism training.

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This study sought to gain insight to international students studying on the Gold Coast. In particular, data were obtained on student needs and perceptions on a range of attributes associated with a study destination. Similarly, the study investigated students’ participation in tourism activities while at the destination. Finally, information on what students spend their money on was also sought. A questionnaire was developed based on relevant  literature and preliminary focus groups. The final questionnaire was distributed to commencing international students studying at Griffith University in 2003.

by Beverley Sparks, Liz Fredline and Chelsea Northrope

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Study Tourism on the Gold Coast 2003

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