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Don’t Bother Me With Sustainability – I’m On Vacation!

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by Peter Berg Schmidt, Owner, Beachmeter.comPeter Berg

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

 

Photo credits: Tourism Authority of Thailand

Photo credits: Tourism Authority of Thailand

Our holiday is a time to free ourselves from our worries

Join a sustainable tourism seminar today, and you will walk away thinking that sustainable tourism is the next big thing. If we could turn back time and enter the 90s, you would have walked away from the seminar with the same conviction; that tides were changing and a big boost in responsible travel was right around the corner. “A growing number of tourists prefer sustainable travel”, “One out of three travelers would pay more for staying at a sustainable hotel, up 10% from 5 years ago” etc. etc.

After 2-3 decades with positive outlooks on the growth of sustainable tourism, where do we stand today? It may be that ecotourism and other responsible forms of travel have become more visible and have seen an increase in total numbers, but so have other forms of travel during the steady growth of the tourism sector. No matter how we look at it, sustainable tourism is still an “alternative” and nowhere near the norm.

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by Susan Kloulechad, Branding and Communications Representative II, Palau Visitors Authority

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

Pristine Paradise. Stop there and imagine what it really means, and how beautiful it might look. Then pamper your eyes on speckles of emerald green mushrooms floating on a seemingly infinite cobalt sea. Then say “Palau” out loud, and see just how many people know that this island country exists. Better yet, say “Pristine Paradise. Palau”, and wonder what makes it so special. I’ll tell you the secret – it’s the people and their culture.

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by Shanna Schubert and Brooklynn Downing, Intern-Associates, PATA

Brooklynn Downing and Shanna Schubert, intern-assocaites, PATA

Brooklynn Downing and Shanna Schubert

Being recent female graduates originally from North America, we quickly realised our commonalities soon after meeting each other. When you’ve been out of your comfort zone for a period of time, travelling abroad, living with a host family, etc., to come across someone from a similar background can be heartening. We soon struck up an interesting conversation about cultural differences and similarities, and what an educational experience travelling can be, more so, how eye opening it is as a reflection on others and especially on one’s self. Often when we think of sustainable travel we think of the obvious, for example, pollution, consumption, transportation, and other tangible factors. But what we frequently forget to discuss is the importance and impact of cultural interaction through tourism in a sustainable manner.

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Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier

Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier

by Siobhan O’Neill, Editor, Green Hotelier 

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

How can hotels offer guests a luxury experience but also make rooms sustainable?

The drive to increase sustainability in hotels is growing year on year. The responsibility case for properties to demonstrate good environmental practice has been proved beyond argument and now they have the bottom line figures to prove the business case as well. But focus is invariably on good energy, water and waste stewardship whilst preserving the guest’s in-room experience. Going forward, if hotels want to continue to reap the rewards of sustainable practice, they may have to build it into the fabric of their rooms. Read more

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by Jude Kasturi Arachchi, Director, Jetwing Hotels

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

Jude Kasturi Arachchi, Director, Jetwing Hotels

Known as Sri Lanka’s premier hospitality brand, the Jetwing story spans over four decades. A family owned company from inception, the brand currently owns and operates 21 properties (hotels and villas) within the country, with plans for five more in the next two to three years. Focusing on creating spaces for guests to live, relax and enjoy the best Sri Lanka has to offer, Jetwing has placed a great deal of prominence on sustainable practice and community development through the Jetwing Eternal Earth Programme (JEEP).

JEEP is a result of genuine caring, and ensuring that tourism existing not in isolation but beneficial to all stakeholders involved – especially communities, and the reduction in usage of natural resources. With the latest in sustainable technology implemented at Jetwing properties, the company seeks to reduce burdens on operating environments, as the island of Sri Lanka is a gift that is meant to be treasured.

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by Stewart Moore, CEO, EarthCheck

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

Stewart Moore, CEO, EarthCheck

Stewart Moore, CEO, EarthCheck

The MICE Sector and Responsible Meetings and Events

In the first part of this two part series, we introduced you to the size and economic importance of the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events (MICE) sector in the Asia Pacific region. In that blog entry we looked at its direct and indirect economic contribution to host countries and the need to balance economic contributions with social and environmental considerations. We explained the simple steps that an event organiser or venue can take with EarthCheck to deliver more responsible and sustainable events and meetings.

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by Stewart Moore, CEO, EarthCheckStewart Moore, CEO, EarthCheck

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

Stewart Moore, CEO, EarthCheck

Welcome to a two part series of entries related to the business events sector, sometimes referred to as the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events (MICE) sector. Three aspects of this industry will be discussed in this first blog: 1) The economic significance and reach of the sector; 2) Why we need to take action to ensure that economic benefits are balanced with social and environmental outcomes; and 3) What operational systems need to be in place to deliver sustainable meetings and events.

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Boeing: Commercial Aviation and Environment Leadership

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Schubert_John

John Schubert, Managing Director – Marketing, Asia Pacific and India, The Boeing Company

by John Schubert, Managing Director – Marketing, Asia Pacific and India, The Boeing Company

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

 

Boeing understands that environmental leadership and innovation are crucial to the long-term sustainable growth of the travel, tourism and commercial aviation industries.

Air travel helps drive economic growth and prosperity and brings the people of the world closer together. Since 1980, air travel – measured in revenue-passenger-kilometers – has grown at a rate of approximately five percent annually – a trend we expect to continue.

We anticipate even higher growth rates in our industry, in markets such as Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and Latin America, where a growing middle class will have the means and desire to travel. To meet this passenger demand, Boeing has forecast that the commercial airplane fleet will double in size over the next 20 years. Growth in our industry is good news: air transport supports an estimated 56.6 million jobs and about 5 percent of global gross domestic product.

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When We Talk About Sustainability, What Else We Can Talk About?

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by Echo Yu, Graduate Student, School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

 

Echo Yu, Graduate Student School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Echo Yu, Graduate Student School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Stemming from ecotourism, sustainable tourism has been discussed for several decades in western countries. A variety of both empirical and conceptual studies related to this area can be found easily. However, for the Chinese tourism industry and its travelers, sustainability remains a new term and concept despite being a hot topic in recent years.

In comparison to a relatively long history of tourism development in western countries, China’s tourism industry only started booming in the recent one and a half decades. It is also true that environmental issues and social responsibility are typically the last issues being discussed; however, is it possible to inject sustainability at this early but rapidly-developing stage of Chinese tourism industry?

When we talk about sustainability, what else can we talk about?

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By Willem Niemeijer, Founder and CEO, Khiri Travel

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

 

Khiri Travel

Willem Niemeijer, Founder & CEO, Khiri Travel

In a recent interview with PATA Conversations, Shannon Stowell, President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, said: “Our hope is that destinations will focus on low-impact and high-quality travel…” Quite.

At Khiri Travel we cater to companies that want their guests to have authentic encounters and meaningful experiences that delight and broaden cultural and environmental horizons. These companies often identify themselves as adventure travel operators. They are not catering to outdoor sports people, but to those who see adventure as venturing off the beaten track and finding out what is really going on. Sometimes ‘off the beaten track’ can be one street down from the main tourist attractions.

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