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On October 5, 2018, PATA hosted a special staff lunch workshop conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The purpose of the workshop was to instigate behavioural change among employers, encouraging them to commit to giving decent work to domestic workers as part of the “My Fair Home” campaign. The campaign is a result of collaboration between the International Domestic Worker Federation (IDWF) and the ILO. In place since 25 September 2015 in Bangkok, the campaign is a vehicle for encouraging people and companies to create “a fair home” by following the Thai Law, and international standards regarding domestic work.

Since 1919, the ILO has aimed to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. The TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme, under which the “My Fair Home” campaign falls, works on improving conditions for migrant domestic workers across the ASEAN region.

          

At the beginning of the session, the speakers; ILO Technical Specialist, Anna Olsen together with Campaign Advisor, Aanas Ali, firstly gathered our attention to be mindful of the language used when addressing these workers:

Domestic workersnot helpers, maids or servants

Migrant workersnot alien or foreign

We learned that the majority of domestic workers are women and girls; tens and millions of women and girls are employed in a private household. They clean, cook, care for children/ elderly and perform other essential tasks for their employers. Despite their important role, they are among the most exploited and abused workers in the world.

Quick facts:

  • 40% of the world’s domestic workers are in Asia-Pacific
  • 83% of these are women.
  • 90% of migrant domestic workers in Thailand earn less than minimum wage (325 THB/day).
  • Migrant domestic workers in Thailand work on average 12 hours daily, while those with care roles work 13 hours

Our lunch again was provided by Lankaow Waan – we just can’t help but support their sustainability practices that align with PATA’s values. Just like the previous workshop the caterer provided our lunch in recyclable packaging and drinks prepared in glass bottles.

    

 

The workshop was wrapped up after an action & reflection session. PATA will continue to strengthen the understanding of human rights and human resource issues among PATA staffs and PATA members in the context of travel and tourism.

     

ILO will be back at the PATA HQ to conduct another insightful workshop exclusively for PATA members & partners. Find out how you can help your employees be responsible employers of domestic workers through this workshop. For more workshop details, please do not hesitate to contact PATA Sustainability and Social Responsibility Specialist, Chi Lo at ­­­Chi@pata.org or ILO Campaign Consultant, Aanas Ali at aanas@iloguest.org.

We encourage all individuals to support the rights of domestic workers in your home and community. Visit “My Fair Home” to take a pledge!

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brunei, local guides, explore, forest, river, boat, journey, into the wild

Ecotourism creates local employment in Brunei. Credit: Maurice Spee

It may be best known around the world for the fabulous wealth of its head of state, the Sultan of Brunei. But the tiny country of Brunei Darussalam, which occupies a small portion of the island of Borneo, is quickly developing a reputation as a centre of ecotourism.

In Ulu Temburong National Park, Leslie Chang runs the Sumbiling Eco Village where visitors can find themselves deep in the wild just a relatively short drive from the bustling capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan.

Read the full article here.

By Ken Foxe for Lonely Planet.

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bike riding, sustainable transportation, couple, holiday, vacation, countryside

Enjoy the summertime while practicing eco-friendly habits. A little goes a long way in terms of sustainability, and every bit of effort counts.

Here are seven tips to help you go green this summer:

  • Stay hydrated by carrying your own refillable tumbler or water bottle. Refuse to use single use plastic bottles, cups and straws.
  • Get a few indoor plants, they can act as natural air purifiers and will liven up your space.
  • Save on your electricity bill by letting in natural daylight. Remember to turn off lights, fans and other electronic appliances when not in use. Switch to energy efficient LED light bulbs.
  • Use eco-friendly deodorants to stay fresh this summer. They are better for your skin and, of course, the environment. If you can’t find them in the market, try this simple DIY.
  • Prepare a hearty meal at home and avoid processed foods. This will minimize waste generation and will also be beneficial for your health.
  • Ride your bicycle or walk to travel short distances. Use public transport to cover greater distance. If you can’t avoid driving, try staying within the speed limit, as this is more fuel efficient.
  • Instead of using the dryer for clothes, let your laundry dry out in the summer sun.
  • Shop for produce at local markets. This supports the economy and the community at large.

If you’re planning to go on holiday, try going green and help to preserve the beautiful destinations for generations to come.

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community, helping each other, sustainability, growth, teamwork.

Participation in a community-oriented program in Nepal. Credit: Giving Way

The term “sustainable travel” has a green glow to it, connoting eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility. But the human side of sustainability, as defined by the World Tourism Organization, addresses community impact, both social and economic, and is newly gaining traction among travel companies.

“There’s a lot of people who think ‘eco-tourism’ when they hear ‘sustainable tourism,’ but that’s a piece of the puzzle,” said Kelley Louise, the executive director of the Impact Travel Alliance, an industry nonprofit organization that focuses on sustainable travel. “Sustainability has a positive impact not only on the environment, but the culture and the economy of the destination you’re visiting.”

Organizations promoting social impact travel aim to emphasize not just big do-good trips, but to educate travelers about their smallest decisions, such as eating at a locally owned restaurant.

Read the full article here.

By Elaine Glusac for The New York Times.

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How To Travel With Purpose: A Q&A With Intrepid Travel’s Chief Purpose Officer

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An intrepid traveler takes part in an authentic Kusimayo Ceremony in Peru Credit: Intrepid Travel

Leigh Barnes is the Chief Purpose Officer of Intrepid Travel, a small-group adventure travel company specializing in real-life experiences delivered through sustainable travel.

As Chief Purpose Officer, Barnes is charged with “ensuring that everything we do comes with a purpose.” This involves communicating that message, making sure the Intrepid staff grows with a purpose, leading Intrepid’s responsible business practices, and working with the product teams to ensure that all Intrepid trips have purpose, have impact and are sustainable.

Read the full interview on how to travel with purpose here.

By Ethan Gelber for Greenmatters.

 

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MGM celebrating 10 years of dedication to sustainability

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Credit: MGM

To mark a decade of commitment to sustainability, MGM has released a compilation of achievements over the years, including updates to our employee, community, SME, culture and environment programs throughout 2017. We welcome you to explore more by clicking here.

Find out more about MGM and their monthly Sustainability Newsletter here.

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

Sharing has become a main driver for our economy. Using underutilised assets allows us to improve efficiency, sustainability and community. Through user-generated web content, and with the growing popularity of renting goods rather than buying them, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, connected, and conscious.

Here are some ways to become a part of this movement:

  • Check out these 14 pioneers of the “share economy” to learn more about what’s out there already.
  • Break it down to a more personal level and incorporate sharing in your everyday life to improve your sustainability efforts on a smaller scale yet with a bigger and long lasting impact.

Do you want to go on a journey to become more sustainable or even ultimately adapt a zero waste lifestyle, but don’t know where to start? Sharing knowledge and tips within a community of like-minded people is the key to success. Consider these three steps to get rolling:

  1. Get to know your neighbourhood: Explore the area you live in to see which services and goods are available locally. Visit nearby markets and keep your eyes open for small businesses that offer local and organic products but may not necessarily have their own brick and mortar store.
  2. Attend events to learn and connect: Browse for festivals, workshops or other sustainability-related events in your neighbourhood or city. Make sure to green your commute when you go. This is an opportunity to connect with local businesses offering organic or sustainable sourced goods and services. Building relationships is essential in the process of creating a stronger community, as knowledge and updates can be shared and accessed more easily in the future. Contribute to the conversation by sharing what you have previously discovered and learned about your neighbourhood.
  3. Grow your community: Raise awareness about causes that matter to you and invite friends and family to join you in an initiative, challenge or at the next event. Start conversations that encourage others to rethink their own behaviour and actions, and support them to change and improve their lifestyles in a sustainable matter.

Walking the talk is not always easy and you may face difficulties, but remember that together you can tackle every challenge more easily!

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Travel with Social Good in Nepal’s Community Homestays

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by Sudan Budathoki, Senior Office -Online Branding & Communication, Royal Mountain Travel, on behalf of CommunityHomestay.com

 

 

 

 

 

While luxurious hotels with all the mod-cons can be a lavish way to travel, with travelers interested in getting to know local people and exploring different cultures, some may find this a limiting way of experiencing a country. If you’ve seen the inside of one generic hotel, you’ve pretty much seen them all. But the Community Homestay Program, an initiative of Royal Mountain Travel, co-operating with multiple native communities of Nepal, offers an innovative and unique service for travelers wanting a comfortable place to sleep as well as local flavor, warm hospitality and the chance to see and experience things not otherwise accessible to tourists.

CommunityHomestay.com is a network of community homestays in Nepal, with the objective to empower women of vulnerable communities, preserving Nepalese ancient culture and traditions, supporting local business, and creating a memorable vacation for travelers visiting community Homestays.

Interaction with international cultures

Currently, the network envelops twelve community homestays from all over the Nepal. To become a family in the Community Homestay Network, a community is suggested to come forward with at least ten families (houses) to host guests. The homestay program recommends and prefers women to lead the project. Once the application is submitted, administration officers of CommunityHomestay.com pay their visit to the respective community. If a community meets the guidelines, CommunityHomestay.com begins promoting that community in the national and international travel industry. But, if a community does not meet the requirements, CommunityHomestay.com takes every possible measure to make a community competent to host guests. From a fund raising program (to maintain houses) to hospitality courses, from the English language learning classes and health and sanitation awareness, CommunityHomestay.com supports a community by every reasonable means. Once a community is comfortable to host guests, they are requested to reserve some certain amount of revenue to eradicate a social issue or to support a social situation. This is to say, not only a host family shall witness the benefits of community homestay, but eventually an entire community shall gain the positive impacts of responsible tourism.

One such example is Panauti Community Homestay. Like every other community homestay in the network, this homestay is a women-led project in a small town of Panauti, 32 kilometers outside the Kathmandu Valley. In 2009, 10 housewives and Royal Mountain Travel ventured for this very first project. In the initial days, housewives, who later became successful entrepreneurs, were shy and showed a lack of confidence to host foreign guests into their houses. They were concerned if a guest would not like the poor infrastructure of their houses or a guest would not like their home-cooked food or they would not be able to communicate with guests in a foreign language. Most of the housewives of Panauti Homestay are uneducated, and there was an urgent need to encourage them. Royal Mountain Travel provided training to these housewives regarding hospitality, service management, and gave English language learning classes. Royal Mountain also provided an idea and supported the houses to re-build toilets and bathrooms. Gradually, the owners/housewives began hosting guests in their houses. As every guest who visited their Homestay showed their tremendous support to housewives/owners of Panauti Community Homestay, the concept of community homestay came to an existence to empower women from every vulnerable community of Nepal.

 

Women of Panauti

Now the women of Panauti are full of confidence. The housewives are earning well, in some cases, more than their husbands. They can afford to send their children to better schools and their husbands are proud and happy for their wives’ success. With growing success, Panauti Community Homestay installed solar panel energy displaying their support for the natural energy. Once the kids of Panauti would chase a traveler for chocolates, now they communicate with guests in the English language and help lost travelers, if they spot one. A certain amount of revenue, generated from the homestay project, is set aside to support widowed women of Panauti; supporting financially to sponsor their children for education. The same revenue is also used to build a community hall, where younger generation are learning to play traditional Newari (ethnic) music, which was almost extinct.

Panauti Town

Such a success story has not limited its passion only to Panauti, rather it has encouraged other women from different communities to come forward to establish homestays. Other homestays in the Community Homestay Network are following the same principle. Women are in charge of other homestay projects, and so far it seems to be the fact that if a mother in a house becomes stronger, an entire family becomes stronger. If mothers of a community are stronger, the entire community sees only prosperity.

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.

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UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards

Call for Entries: 2017 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation

20 FEBRUARY, 2017, BANGKOK,– Submissions are now being accepted for the 2017 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The Awards recognize the efforts of private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored or conserved structures, places and properties of heritage value in the region. The Awards emphasize the importance of the conservation process, including the technical achievements and quality of the restoration, as well as its social impact, including community involvement in the project. By UNESCO Bangkok. To find out more please click here.

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Inspiring your community to go green

Categories: Green Tips
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Inspiring your community to go green

Increasingly, people are looking at ways to reduce their ecological footprint. But is simply greening your own lifestyle enough? How can we also impact our communities, our friends and family, neighbourhoods, towns, cities and, ultimately, our societies?

Here are six ways to inspire your community:

  1. Reconnect

To inspire sustainability efforts in your community, you need to be part of it. Talk to the people around you and seek their opinions. Show support in your community and get involved. Educate yourself on the issues that affect your community and become a leader. Use your new knowledge to start community discussions on sustainability initiatives.

  1. Educate others

Your biggest potential for influencing others is by actions, attitudes and by setting the right example. Be open and honest about your choices and encourage others to follow the same path. For more information and knowledge related to sustainable and socially responsible tourism, visit: PATA’s sustainability website.

  1. Form a Green Team

Form a green team within your community. Having a green team is an important step along the path towards the objective of becoming more environmentally sustainable. It also increases engagement within your community. Check out: how to form a green team.

  1. Local engagement

community engagement

Engage directly with your local community on green projects. What are you planning for EarthDay 2017 on April 22? Gain inspiration from PATA EarthDay activities. Consider neighbourhood clean-up projects; tree planting, community carpooling, recycling and volunteering activities.

  1. Make it easy and enjoyable

Good intentions are fine – but it is meaningful actions that make a difference. For example, if recycling isn’t convenient it is less likely to happen. Visible, conveniently placed recycling bins make it easier for your local community to participate in a recycling programme.  Positive engagement creates positive outcomes in every community. Make sure that you add a little fun to every sustainability project.

  1. Buy local

When you purchase a locally-made product it supports your local economy and benefits the environment by reducing its carbon footprint. Buy locally grown food and handicrafts directly from neighbourhood markets and artists. It’s also a great way to get to know your community.

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