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You might be a champion of sustainability and your tourism business might be addressing all sustainability issues – environmental, social and economical, but do customers know it?

Communicating Sustainability

Solar powered Koh Mak Seafood Restaurant, Thailand

Communicating sustainability practices is important both for educating the visitors of solutions to problems and for marketing – telling a story to customers can change their experience for the better.

While some might not communicate sustainability at all, others might communicate failing sustainability messages, perhaps  because the sustainability messages are put out as a list of facts without thought to how they might be received.

If you have some great environmental or social initiatives, you should tell people about them, be proud of it and influence others to follow. How can you do that?




Tourism Leakage – this is how little your money contributes locally!

Categories: Monitoring & Evaluation, Private Sector, Public Sector, Return
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Tourism LeakageHave you ever heard of tourism leakage? You will be surprised to learn how little of your holiday expenses actually remain to benefit the local community. This is especially an issue in low-resource settings. This article explores why this is so, and why tourism leakage is problematic. Peter Berg Schmidt. Read more.

Source: World Economic Forum (WEF):

This last use case from the Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience highlights tangible examples from Nepal of where multi-stakeholder partnerships between the public and private sectors and civil society organisations made a difference, and where they could be scaled up to be more effective in future.

Building resilience in Nepal through public-private partnerships

The report offers the following key observations based on the analysis of the aftermath of the earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May 2015:

  • Resilience is a social and political issue as much as an economic and developmental one. Efforts to “build back better” must also incorporate support for Nepal’s political transition as a foundation for resilience;
  • Strengthening pre-established partnerships between the public and private sectors can improve responses to and reduce the impacts of future emergencies;
  • Crucial economic sectors, such as tourism and construction, can benefit from public-private cooperation for recovery and reconstruction;
  • Implementing and enforcing building codes and focusing on making schools safe should be a high priority in reconstruction efforts;
  • Retrofitting to make existing houses more “earthquake-resilient” can save lives and reduce economic losses,and can be done in an affordable way that uses locally available skills and technologies;
  • The private sector can offer unique expertise, capability and capacity for the Nepali government’s reconstruction efforts;
  • Public-private partnerships and innovative financing arrangements can be crucial parts of reconstruction and building resilience in Nepal.
Download PDF here

Ecotourism and Responsible Travel: Useful Tips From Expert Travel Bloggers


Once they invited Mother Teresa to take part in a street protest against poverty and she refused it kindly. The reason? She explained she would never fight AGAINST something, but rather always FOR something.

You might ask, how does that relate to ecotourism and responsible travel? Ivana Greslikova Read more.

The sustainable vegetables that thrive on a diet of fish poo

November 10 2015 – Who needs soil when you have a fish tank? “Aquaponics” combines growing plants in water, or hydroponics, with fish cultivation, or aquaculture. It’s a symbiotic process that has its roots in Asian farming practices reaching back thousands of years. Brain Snyder Read more.

Can a Trip Ever Be ‘Authentic’?

Indonesian tourists pose in front of members of the Stone Age Dani tribe in West Papua, New Guinea. The tribe maintains many of its costumes and traditions — and charges visitors for the honor of observing them. Credit Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

In a globalized age — when a McAloo Tikki is just as Indian as the Taj Mahal — has the very word lost its meaning?

I once spent an unforgettable day in the traveler’s treasure-house that is Sana’a, capital of Yemen. Stained-glass windows glittered from thickets of high tower-houses as night began to fall, and khat-chewing men with daggers at their sides haggled furiously in the Salt Market. Clay walls surrounded one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements on the planet, where groups of turbaned shopkeepers headed toward 1,400-year-old mosques as the call to prayer echoed through the dusk. It wasn’t hard to feel, amid the dusty lanes of a large section of town that’s now a Unesco World Heritage Site, that nothing had changed since the Prophet’s time; here, I decided, was the Old World, all slowness and prayer and tribal custom, in stark opposition to the fast-forward, hyperconnected, young society I know in California. By Pico Iyer. Read more.

World Cities Day highlights design’s role in promoting sustainability, inclusivity – See more at:

Categories: events, People and Places, Planet, Planning, Private Sector, Public Sector, Recommended Reading, Return, Tourism Risk Mitigation Issues
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November 05 2015 – This year’s World Cities Day, celebrated on the last day of October and dedicated to the topic “Designed to live together”, confirmed the role of city residents as key actors in the global debate around urbanization in their roles as everyday, spontaneous urban designers. Simone d’Antonio Read more.


November 02 2015 – Anna Pollock, Founder of Conscious Travel, was invited to create a context document that could help identify, promote and support social entrepreneurship within a rapidly changing tourism and hospitality sector. The Conscious Travel Approach articulates an emerging form of community-driven, responsible tourism Jeremy Smith Read more.

The Power of Partnerships

Categories: Case Study, Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Operations, Private Sector, Public Sector
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The power of partnerships

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

‘Two heads are better than one’ and ‘a problem shared is a problem solved’ as they say. How is the tourism industry partnering to find solutions to some of the world’s problems?

Taking a partnership approach is often the most effective way to find a successful lasting solution to a problem that achieves ‘buy-in’ from all parties. As in other industries, members of the tourism industry frequently form partnerships to help solve complex problems such as how to bring about more sustainable tourism development.

A key partnership mechanism is the Global Compact, an international multi-stakeholder initiative which brings companies together with UN agencies, governments, labour and civil society to support universal environmental and social principles. Participants are encouraged to engage in cross-sector partnerships in order to develop practical solutions for meeting the broader development objectives of the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs).

With specific regard to tourism, as far back as 1999, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UN-CSD) identified that sustainable tourism development ‘cannot be successful without a profound collaboration with all stakeholders’] It stressed the importance of involving small and large-scale tourism operators in solving problems; the participation of local residents in destination countries; the role of NGOs (in putting pressure on the industry and facilitating contracts); and the responsibility of governments (both in the destinations and where tourists and investors originate) to provide appropriate legislation for sustainable tourism development.
So, what are the global issues that relate to the tourism industry, what partnerships are in place to address them, and most importantly, what have they achieved..

Read more at Green Hotelier!


Sustainability at Asia Pacific Tourism Conference

Categories: Asia, Case Study, Private Sector, Public Sector, Southeast
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Photo credits: Green Hotelier

Photo credits: Green Hotelier

Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference to discuss sustainable development for the betterment of developing tourism destinations

Tourists are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious. What implications do these trends have on tourism destinations in Asia, parts of which have been notorious for favouring developments over environmental protection?

Upcoming destinations need to learn from the lessons of the pioneers and integrate sustainability in their development plans early on. In recent years, Asia has seen the openings of new eco-friendly hotels, such as the Rosedale Kowloon Hotel in Hong Kong and the ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, capitalizing on the global trend of eco-friendly tourism. Despite this, creating sustainable destinations takes more than individual efforts. With the aim to unleash investment potential through better policy framework, public-private partnerships and innovative business models that generate higher return, the Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference (APTDI) 2013 will discuss sustainability and future of tourism developments.

The conference will be a one-stop platform for all stakeholders to meet and exchange information and seek projects and partnerships. Attendees will include tourism/development/urban planning authorities, private-sector investors, developers, airlines, cruise terminals/operators, attraction/concept owners, design/architect/construction master planners, lawyers and financial/valuation/specialized consultants.

To be held 21-23 October in Singapore, more than 500 top-level executives will gather at APTDI to address investment and development challenges at the destination level. Featured sessions focusing on sustainability include…

Read more at Green Hotelier!