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Ten countries that protect their environment and respect human rights

Chile_made the list of the ten most ethical travel destinations for 2017

Chile made the list of the ten most ethical travel destinations for 2017, in part due to its expanding solar industry in places like the Atacama Desert, pictured above. Photo credit: Danielle Pereira / Flickr

Travel is more than an opening for good will, writes Ethical Traveller. It is one of the world’s most powerful economic engines, and can drive the way countries treat their citizens, indigenous peoples, wildlife and the environment. Travel is the world’s largest industry, with a trillion-dollar annual footprint. This means that travelers have enormous power. Where we put our footprints has reverberations reaching far beyond our personal experience. By “voting with our wings” – choosing our destinations well and cultivating our roles as citizen diplomats – we can help to change the world for the better.

Every year, Ethical Traveler reviews the policies and practices of over one hundred developing nations. We then select the ten that are doing the most impressive job of promoting human rights, preserving the environment and supporting social welfare – all while creating a lively, community-based tourism industry. By visiting these countries, we can use our economic leverage to reward good works and support best practices.

 


The Winners
Ethical Traveler congratulates the countries on our 2017 list of The World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations. The winners, in alphabetical order (not in order of merit), are:

  • Belize
  • Cabo Verde
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • Mongolia
  • Palau
  • Tonga
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu

By Ethical Traveller. Find out how the list is created – click here to read the original article.

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Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, spoke with Skift Founder and CEO Rafat Ali at the Skift Global Forum in New York City in September. Sorenson penned a moving open letter to U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump, urging him to ‘disprove his critics’ and ‘make America even greater.’ Skift

Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson wrote the following open letter to President-Elect Donald J. Trump on LinkedIn. Sorenson has not been afraid to express his views on social and political issues that impact the hospitality industry, and society as a whole, and the following letter details his hopes for the future, not only for the hospitality industry, but for the country, and its place in the world. It should be pointed out that Marriott and its leadership have a history of supporting Republican candidates and former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is on Marriott’s board of directors. By Deanna Ting, Skift. Read more.

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The key to creating a vibrant and sustainable company is to find ways to get all employees—from top executives to assembly line workers—personally engaged in day-to-day corporate sustainability efforts.

engaging engaging_employees_top                                                                                                                                            Illustration by Irene Rinaldi

Inspired by Unilever’s sustainability slogan, “Small actions can make a big difference,” workers at the company’s PG tips tea factory in Trafford Park, England, had a bright idea. In Britain, most tea comes in paper tea bags. By reducing the end seals of each tea bag by 3 millimeters, 15 huge reels of paper could be saved every shift. Since its launch in 2015, this factory-floor suggestion has resulted in savings of €47,500 and 9.3 tonnes of paper (about 20,500 pounds). By Paul Polman & CB Bhattacharya. Read more.

 

 

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In some parts of Ethiopia, finding potable water is a six-hour journey. People in the region spend 40 billion hours a year trying to find and collect water, says a group called the Water Project. And even when they find it, the water is often not safe. A possible solution: a new product called Warka Water, an inexpensive, easily-assembled structure that extracts gallons of fresh water from the air.  By Tuan Nguyen. Read more.

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

Panamanian Jungle

It’s 10 am on a Tuesday in the Tres Brazos jungle, a jagged two-hour trek outside Panama City, where a handful of American twentysomethings have been awake and working since sunrise.

Aaron Prairie leads a group of biology students on a nature hike, using a machete to hack his way through an overgrown trail. Max Cooper cuts long strips of plywood with an electric saw powered by a solar generator, the beginnings of an open-air thatch hut he’ll eventually build by hand.

Jake Cardoza is on his hands and knees in the adjacent permaculture farm, planting a baby banana tree. A few yards away in the kitchen, also fashioned as an open-air thatch hut, Brigitte Desvaux chops onions. Later, she’ll saute them for dinner along with with fresh katuk, a tropical green with a nutty taste, harvested from the farm that morning. By Carly Schwartz. Read more.

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Africa

The Africa continent is increasingly becoming a desired destination for millions of world-class travelers, who enjoy the white sandy beaches, wildlife safaris, and cultural tours in every region of Africa.

Some 55.7 million international visitors traveled to Africa in 2013, according to the UN World Tourism Organization. Amini Kajunju Read more.

Five reasons funding should go directly to local NGOs

Locals give out food after a fire in an South African township. Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Less than 2% of humanitarian aid goes directly to local NGOs, but Jennifer Lentfer argues that grassroots groups are best placed to help those in need, giving five reasons for that. Read more.