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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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Credit: Shutterstock

 

Pack in, pack out

 

Make sure you don’t leave any trash behind when doing a jungle hike. Food and drink cartons are common items to remember cleaning up but smaller things, such as cigarette butts, toilet paper and food leftovers are often overlooked and can still have a big impact on nature. Food litter can harm animals but also attract them. Make sure you bring food and drinks in reusable containers to avoid littering. Boy Scouts of America has a great article about the proper disposal of waste.

 

Nature and wildlife conservation

 

Be an observer of nature and take in its beauty in from a distance. Avoid walking off-track and don’t pick flowers or remove rocks as this might have more impact on nature than you think. Even though it is tempting to get closer to wild animals such as orangutans and other primates, keep your distance and admire them from afar. It can be dangerous for both humans and animals.

 

Respect local ways and culture

 

When jungle trekking in tropical countries, it can be very hot and humid. Even so, avoid going trekking wearing minimal clothing as this can be very inappropriate in some cultures and local communities, especially when visiting holy places, such as temples. Remember to always ask locals first if you want to take a picture of them and avoid giving gifts to poorer residents as this can encourage begging. Make sure you are well informed about local ways and culture before you go hiking (or before you go to a foreign country in general).

Support the local community

 

Book your jungle trek with a local tour operator and with local guides. This method of touring is win-win because you will support the local community, and because locals have the best knowledge and the best stories about the area you are visiting. Hire local porters, but make sure they are not carrying too much because often they carry almost as much as their body weight up the hills. Also, consider combining your jungle trekking with a community-based tourism experience! When you get to the villages, buy local souvenirs but avoid giving them too much money for it as this can do more harm than good.  

 

Spread the word –  share your knowledge

 

Education is key, share your sustainable experiences with other travellers and friends and in turn you can learn from others.  Express your concern at tour operators and travel companies as the more people that are concerned with environmental issues, the more tour operators will adopt eco-friendly and sustainable practices.

 

For more ideas on responsible camping, check out this Green Tip.

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Mahouts rest as their elephants eat fruit in Chiang Mai. Credit: The Antlantic

While Western activists focus on the animals, their handlers are often treated as expendable.

Mahouts today are caught in a catch-22. Tourists have come to believe that traditional tools like chains and bullhooks are inherently unethical, but still want to be able to have up-close-and-personal interactions with elephants. “I use a bullhook because some elephants we cannot control with our hands,” one mahout explained. “Humans are small. Elephants spook easily and are dangerous. If elephants get scared, they kill people.”

“By working with mahouts to improve their treatment of elephants while also acknowledging the difficult lives mahouts often live themselves, we can positively impact the captive elephant situation as a whole. Criticizing a culture that is not your own does not help change it.”

There are many more aspects to consider that outsiders tend to forget when thinking about elephant welfare. Read the full article to see things from a different perspective considering culture, habitat, and elephant welfare.

By Hilary Cadigan for The Atlantic.

 

 

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tourists

Chinese tourists, in particular, face harsh criticism in Hong Kong.

There appears to be increasing tension between tourists and residents around the world, with the former often blamed for behaving inappropriately and disturbing locals. Protests against tourist behaviour have erupted in Barcelona, Venice and Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, tourists are blamed for being noisy, inconsiderate, urinating in public, buying up necessities such as baby milk powder, and generally not following local customs. Chinese tourists, in particular, face harsh criticism in Hong Kong as well as in Thailand.

By  and . Read more.

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WELCOME TO OUR MGM SUSTAINABILITY NEWSLETTER
We’re doing a lot behind the scenes at MGM to reduce our impact on the environment and support the people that mean the most to us, including all our employees and community. Contributing to a better Macau through our arts and culture program is also an important aspect of our approach. Through this newsletter we will share our monthly sustainability highlights with you, and hope you will join us in our sustainability programs to help us Create a Better Tomorrow Today.


Environment

Environment

Turning Green to Gold: We’re doing a lot behind the scenes at MGM to reduce our impact on the environment and support the people that mean the most to us, including all our employees and community. Contributing to a better Macau through our arts and culture program is also an important aspect of our approach. Through this newsletter we will share our monthly sustainability highlights with you, and hope you will join us in our sustainability programs to help us Create a Better Tomorrow Today.

Environment

War against Waste: Did you know it takes a million years for a glass bottle to decompose? Or, that by 2050 it’s expected that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish? Our Food and Beverage department is waging a war against waste. Last month, the Stewarding and Sustainability teams joined together to conduct a waste audit to find opportunities to cut waste and recycle more in our kitchens, outlets, pantries, employee dining room and break rooms.

Community

Community

Family Fun: On June 18, MGM joined in the Family Fun Day organized by the Woman’s General Association of Macau, to share fun moments with our loved ones and promote the importance of health and well-being, as well as work-life balance. The MGM Volunteer Team set up a basketball shooting game for parents and their children to shoot hoops together and win prizes.

Community

 Supporting students in Macau towards their dream careers: At MGM, we are passionate about helping young people to prepare for their careers. From June 27 – July 1, MGM welcomed 48 students from the University of Macau, majoring in Convention and Hospitality Management (2nd year), to give an in-depth insight into the operations of a Forbes Five-Star hotel. MGM’s team members from Food and Beverage, Rooms, Housekeeping, Spa, Sales, and Sustainability, spent time with the students to give them a flavor of working in a hospitality environment. Understanding how important and daunting it can be to choose a future career, our HR team also delivered classes on developing interview skills, as well as how to choose a fulfilling career aligned to one’s strengths.

Community

MGM Academy Internship Program: On July 8, we held a special graduation ceremony for 18 interns celebrating their completion of the 6-months internship program with MGM. These 18 interns, mainly locals, come from 3 local universities, namely Institute for Tourism, Macau University of Science and Technology, City University. At MGM, we provide comprehensive training for our interns and the 6 months curriculum provides extensive departmental training based on a department of their choice such as Rooms, Food & Beverage, Human Resources, for example. In addition to experiencing first-hand what it is like to work in a real world environment, their curriculum is enriched with basic management skills training, projects and career counselling.

Community

This summer, we also welcomed students with disabilities from Escola Luso-Chinesa Tecnico-Profissional, Escola Secundaria Luso-Chinesa de Luis Gonzaga Gomes, and Escola Concordia Para Ensino Especial for a 3-week summer internship program, in collaboration with the Labour Affairs Bureau.

We are glad to contribute to the development of local talents and like to thank all our interns for their incredible contributions. We wish them all the best for their future studies.

Community

SME business matching: On June 24, MGM arranged its 3rd quarterly business matching session with small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), this time focused on the creative industries and the food and beverage industry. Over 120 one-to-one appointments between MGM and Macau local SMEs were organized to discuss their product and service offerings.

Through these sessions to date we have welcomed over 550 local business owners to MGM, signing over 1,100 new deals with SMEs.


Employee

Employee

MGM China Most Honored by Institutional Investor:MGM has been recognized by the top financial publication Institutional Investor in the 2016 All-Asia Executive Team survey winning awards across the board including the “Most Honored Company” within the Gaming and Lodging sector and across all sectors in Asia, as well as “Best Investor Relations Company”. MGM also received awards for “Best CEO”, “Best CFO” and “Best Investor Relations Professional”, being awarded to our CEO, Mr. Grant Bowie, our CFO, Mr. Hubert Wang, and our VP of Investor Relations, Ms. Sidney Luk (respectively).

Supporting career mobility: We encourage all team members to follow their dreams and strive to support their journeys to greatness. Throughout June and July, we held our Cross-Departmental Internal Transfer Campaign to support team members interested in career changes and diversification through internal transfer opportunities to other positions within the Company, as well as for the planned opening of Cotai. We are delighted to have received several hundred applications from across the company, with interviews to begin soon.


MGM Movie Carnival 2016: This years’ Movie Carnival did not disappoint. 810 team members were chosen through lucky draw to enjoy special screenings of blockbuster hits, along with 1 family member or friend, including Independence Day: Resurgence, The Secret Life of Pets and Cold War II.

Welcoming students to experience Macau: On July 14, we welcomed over 40 students from Changzhou, in southern Jiangsu Province of China, to MGM as part of a cultural exchange to Macau to learn about our rich cultural heritage and share in the historical and vibrant highlights of our homeland. To round off their Macau stay, the students visited MGM to tour our property, and see our world-class leisure and tourism offerings, including the fish-feeding show inside the Aquarium, the Butterfly Garden at Grande Praça, and the Edgar Degas exhibition. A closing ceremony and dinner reception was held later in the evening at MGM, as well as an exhilarating lion dance performed by our own Junior Lion Dance Team.


By supporting this study tour, MGM provides a unique opportunity for the younger generation from the Mainland to experience Macau’s fascinating blend of cultures, as well as the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ mechanism. The students can also bring back their fond memories of their stay in Macau to their friends and families, sharing more widely on the beauty and uniqueness of our city.

Arts & Culture Community Tours: Since launching our Edgar Degas: Figures in Motion Exhibition in May, we have welcomed thousands of visitors that have come to see this unique cultural exhibition. Our motto is Art is Fun for Everyone, and to further spark the interest of the Arts in Macau, MGM has held many special art tours for schools, community associations and NGOs, reaching children as young as 3 years, to senior citizens in their 90s.

澳門美高梅   MGM MACAU
澳門外港新填海區孫逸仙大馬路
Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau
E sustainability@mgm.mo
W www.mgmmacau.com

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by Johanna Meissner, Sustainability & Social Responsibility Associate, PATA

 

travelThe one thing I have always known I wanted to do in my life is to travel. The thought of experiencing what life is like in other places of the world has always motivated my wanderlust, so you could say it was only natural that I would end up pursuing a career in the tourism industry.

I was hoping that, by studying tourism management I could live out my passion of travelling and experiencing other cultures and places, meeting people from all over the world.

I found that responsible tourism is very well suited to cater to this exact way of travelling and I know I am not the only one seeking these kinds of experiences.

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‘post-tourist’

In the last decade, the tourism industry has been overtaken by a new kind of tourist: one who avoids popular sites and abandons their maps. Welcome to the age of the “post-tourist”. Siobhan Lyons Read more.

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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