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Tourism for Tomorrow Newsletter October 2016

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Redefine Tourism Campaign

WTTC has launched a video campaign aiming to stimulate discussion about sustainable tourism among those who engage in or provide tourism, and for whom it is not normally a topic of conversation. Sustainable tourism has been in existence for many years. However, it is still considered a distinct niche activity involving upmarket Eco Lodges rather than a fundamental element of what all tourism could be. As the social and environmental pressures increase, and tourism itself continues to grow year on year, there is an urgent need for sustainable practices to become mainstream within the tourism sector. While the subject has been widely researched, discussed and debated, including at several WTTC Global Summits, there is a need to evolve the nature of the discussion and the language used into something more accessible to those outside the ‘sustainability’ community. The main post discussing the campaign and calling on action from people can be found here. The campaign has also been supported by 6 travel bloggers; their posts on sustainable tourism and the future of travel can be found here.


Accessible Tourism Focus – Interview with the creators of the crowdsourced Wheelmap project

Tourism for Tomorrow dy6rfemqvgzl1cjfxuhmWheelmap is a fast-growing crowdsourced map of accessible destinations and facilities around the world. Since its launch 6 years ago, volunteers around the world have marked nearly 700,000 places on the map, with approximately 500 newly marked places added every day. WTTC spoke with Silke Georgi from Sozialhelden (Social Heroes), the German nonprofit organisation behind the project.

WTTC: How has Wheelmap collaborated with the tourism industry?

Silke: We have recently concentrated our efforts more on the tourism sector than before and have found a strong partner in the ITB Tourism Trade Fair. They supported our most recent worldwide MapMyDay campaign – during which we called on people everywhere to mark places of touristic interest – and we are expanding that cooperation to include other areas as well.  We have also been working closely with Berlin’s official tourism bureau – visitBerlin – to promote accessible tourism in Germany’s capital. For that purpose we created the website together with them as an example on how to gather and present accessible tourism information to make it readily available for a city’s visitors.  We also have a very good contact with Martin Heng, Lonely Planet’s Accessible Travel Manager, who has been very supportive of our work while we have been spreading the word about Lonely Planet’s excellent guides on accessible tourism to our community.

WTTC: This year the theme for World Tourism Day is Tourism for All. To coincide you ran a campaign called MapMyDay. What was it about?

Silke: In December of last year we ran the first worldwide MapMyDay campaign together with the World Health Organisation for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We got a very broad spectrum of companies, organizations and individuals involved and it was a huge success. In our multimedia documentation you can find an overview of all the activities of the first campaign.  So we decided to build on this success and hold a second MapMyDay campaign for World Tourism Day, which very aptly had the focus n accessible tourism this year. We were able to motivate our partners in the tourism sector and our community of mappers worldwide to mark 3,000 new places during this campaign.

WTTC: How might Travel& Tourism companies looking to support accessible tourism get involved with the Wheelmap project?

Silke: The easiest way for tourism companies to get involved in Wheelmap is for them to mark their own locations on the online map according to their wheelchair accessibility. If you go to you can search for the restaurant, museum, café or tourist attraction you would like travelers to be able to locate on Wheelmap. If the place has a grey marker on the map, then its wheelchair accessibility has not yet been rated. By clicking on the place’s marker you can assign a red, yellow or green marker to the place, depending on its level of wheelchair accessibility. If the tourist place is not yet on the map it is also very easy to add it as a new location. Photos showing more details of the location can also be added – as well as comments, contact details and the website URL.

Companies can organize a fun and informative team building day with their employees by heading off into those parts of town that are especially interesting for tourists and marking places in small groups using the Wheelmap smartphone apps. On our website there is a great deal of information on how to run such mapping events.

In addition, travel or tourism companies that have large amounts of data on wheelchair accessibility can get in touch with us about how to incorporate their data into the Wheelmap. They can also help spread the word to their business partners about the advantages of appearing (for free!) on the Wheelmap, which is the world’s largest database on wheelchair accessibility with over 700,000 marked locations. This can be done in newsletters, on a blog, on social media, in guide books and brochures, at conferences and in personal contacts.

For our new Wheelmap-inspired website “” we are working together with municipalities and tourism bureaus in Germany to collect detailed information on accessible tourism in German cities and to make it readily available to tourists. We are planning to expand this website internationally and will be looking for partnering possibilities in other countries as well.


Tourism and the SDGs: Goal 14 – Life Below Water

Tourism for Tomorrow icons-finalThe world’s oceans, seas and beaches are at the heart of tourism. Their images proliferate across the industry’s marketing and the experiences they offer motivate millions of people’s holiday decisions. Few, therefore, of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are as intertwined with tourism as number 14.

Titled ‘Life Below Water’, the 14th goal aims to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. It is one of just three of the 17 goals to explicitly mention tourism, arguing that tourism development must be a part of integrated Coastal Zone Management in order to help conserve and preserve fragile ecosystems and serve as a vehicle to promote the blue economy, and that “by 2030 [the world should] increase the economic benefits of SIDS and LCDs from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism”.

The breadth of experiences and services that the seas and coastal regions supply to tourism includes wildlife watching for bird, whales, dolphins and turtles. Fishing, or just enjoying eating fresh seafood while on holiday. Diving on the world’s coral reefs. Simply swimming or boating. Every single one of these activities relies upon clean waters to provide a healthy and sustainable habitat to marine life from corals to blue whales.

The seas, however, are in crisis, suffering from a range of threats that include overfishing, pollution and climate change. A report published in the journal Science in 2015 found that every year 8 million metric tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans each year. In the Caribbean meanwhile, 100 million tons of waste ends up in the ocean every year, with 89% of it created by shoreline activities that facilitate and involve visiting tourists.

This doesn’t just make for unpleasant looking beaches and murky seas. Marine animals including turtles, seals, dolphins and sea birds can easily mistake litter for food. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, as well as millions of birds and fishes.

Depending upon how it is managed, tourism can help or hinder. In just the last month, there have been calls to ban most sunscreens from tropical waters as they are destroying the coral reefs; to regulate manta ray tourism to protect these endangered creatures; and to limit or stop cruise ships from entering the canals at Venice.

Yet tourism can also offer solutions. This year, one of the Tourism for Tomorrow finalists in the environment category was North Sailing, an Icelandic travel company that takes tourists inside the Arctic Circle.  The company’s schooner Opal was the first ship in the world to be installed with a Regenerative Plug-In Hybrid Propulsion System, meaning she neither creates any pollution nor disturbs the wildlife that people have come to see.

Elsewhere, destinations that are reliant on marine-based ecotourism are creating ocean sanctuaries to protect these precious resources. A 2010 Australian study calculated that shark divers bring Palau $18m per year, with each swimming shark worth $1.9m in diving and tourism. In 2015, the Pacific island’s government created the 230,000 sq miles Palau National Marine Sanctuary, establishing one of the world’s largest marine protected areas.

There’s much else that the industry can do. Hotels can participate in beach clean ups, such as the ones co-ordinated around the world as part of the Make Holidays Greener campaign each year by the Travel Foundation. Or they can offer guests opportunities to not only swim on local reefs, but to support their regrowth through cleaning and planting coral saplings. Travel companies and hotels alike can ensure that they promote responsible interactions with marine wildlife, whether when whale watching or while diving. For any company looking to do this, ABTA’s Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism, a Tourism for Tomorrow finalist in 2015, is an excellent place to start.


Positive psychology research suggests how best to influence guest behaviour

Tourism for Tomorrow positivepsychTravel companies and organisations looking to motivate their customers and guests to undertake more sustainable actions should focus on activities that both are character strength-building and promote human happiness, says recently published research. In a paper titled “Using character strength-based activities to design pro-environmental behaviours into the tourist experience”, such approaches are said to be the most effective form of approach.

Written by Griffith’s University’s Christopher Warren and Alexandra Coghlan, and based on research at the Australian eco-cottages run by Christopher Warren, the paper looks at six real-world examples from Christopher’s ecotourism venture. These include activities such as getting guests to save their food scraps and feed them to the chickens; enabling guests to plant a native tree; and encouraging them to select natural ventilation at night instead of air conditioning.

In each of these and the other examples, guests are informed of the environmental context of their actions, so they see how they both benefit themselves and wider sustainability goals. The authors conclude that “targeting character strengths such as self-regulation, citizenship, hope, perspective and social intelligence may be an effective way to drive change towards more sustainability-oriented behaviours”.


INNOVATION FOCUS: Nat Geo launches ‘Urban Expeditions’ multimedia series to explore sustainability in cities

Tourism for Tomorrow national-geographic-logoWe live in an increasingly urbanised world, with a staggering 180,000 people moving into an urban area every single day.

In response to this escalating phenomenon, National Geographic has launched a multimedia series to identify cutting-edge research and exploration projects that are leading the way in sustainable urbanisation in the three key areas of food, buildings and transportation.

The ‘Urban Expeditions’ initiative is a collaboration between National Geographic and technology provider United Technologies Corp that seeks to focus on these three issues and introduce viewers to progressive leaders across the various disciplines. “National Geographic has a long history of investing in bold people working to better understand the world around us and to develop solutions to our most pressing challenges,” said Brooke Runnette, Chief Program and Impact Officer at National Geographic Society. “The issues around rapid urbanisation are only getting more complex, and the Urban Expeditions project allows us to continue to support and explore projects that will be instrumental to solving them.”


PATA Tourism New Frontiers Forum heads to Bangladesh

Tourism for Tomorrow pataThe theme for the next PATA Tourism New Frontier Forum is ‘Designing a sustainable tourism brand – an integrative approach to building a responsible coastal destination.’ This year, the conference heads to the Royal Tulip Sea Pearl Beach Resort & Spa, Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, coinciding with Visit Bangladesh 2016. Over the course of three days from November 23-25, sessions will explore themes such as ‘Re-defining Fair Trade and Promoting Tourism to Bangladesh’; ‘Building a Sustainable Tourism Destination with Living Heritage Communities’, ‘Rethinking Sustainable Coastal and Marine Tourism Development’ and ‘Development and Marketing of Heritage Trails.’ The first day of the three day event will see delegates step out of the hotel on a ‘Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt – a one-day field session where they will be challenged to explore Cox’s Bazar and the surrounding area. Delegates will be encouraged to engage with the culture and people of the destination, while using a range of digital tools to promote what they discover.


DESTINATION FOCUS: Best countries for adventure tourism announced in annual Adventure Tourism Development Index 

Tourism for Tomorrow atdi16-1Each year the Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI) declares which are the top ten countries in adventure travel competitiveness among both developing nations and developed nations. For this year’s edition of the report, which was published at September’s Adventure Travel World Summit in Alaska, the top ten developing countries were: Czech Republic, Israel, Estonia, Chile, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Poland, Republic of Korea and Romania.  Meanwhile, the top ten developed country destinations were: Iceland, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Finland, Austria, and Denmark.

Created by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and the International Institute of Tourism Studies at The George Washington University (GWU), the ATDI is the only country-level ranking for adventure tourism that incorporates data from non-subjective sources, with countries assessed across the following ten categories: Government Policy (that supports sustainable development), Safety & Security, Health, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, Adventure Activity Resources, Entrepreneurship, Humanitarian, Tourism Infrastructure, and Brand.

Written and edited by Jeremy Smith

Click here for the original WTTC newsletter. Copyright @ WTTC 2016


t4t-call-for-entries-2017_apply-nowFour weeks left to apply for WTTC’s 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards! Anyone working towards a more responsible tourism industry can apply before the 14th of November 2016 in one of the five categories – People, Environment, Innovation, Community and Destination. The awards are open to individuals, organisations and destinations of all sizes, and winning is one of the best ways to bring your initiative to a wider audience, showcasing best practice to governments and other business, as well as instilling pride and motivation in those who work on your efforts. Please watch this videofeaturing previous Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Winners and their contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


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.



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.


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.



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.


 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.


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.


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.


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.



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
Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau
E [email protected]


Community Care Campaign

At MGM, giving back to the community of Macau is deeply rooted in our company philosophy. Our employees demonstrate throughout the year their passion, support and generosity by taking part in our on-going program of community initiatives, which focus on giving back to the youth, senior citizens and persons with disabilities in our local community, as well as supporting local arts and culture.

However, to raise maximum awareness and create positive impact, we also hold our annual Community Care Campaign, a 2-week campaign jam-packed with initiatives focused on spreading care and kindness to those in need. This year’s campaign has involved more than 250 MGM volunteers, including our senior management executives and our staff family members, to deliver more than 1,000 hours of their time to give back to over 580 members of our community.

Caring for the health of senior citizensCommunity Care Campaign

This year, we once again we teamed up with the Macau Association of Pharmacists of Chinese Medicine to hold a special Health Day for over 200 local senior citizens from four Caritas Macau Associations.

On July 21, we invited 20 medical practitioners to provide one-on-one health consultations, after which each person received a package of prescribed herbal teabags to help cool down during hot summer days.

Brightening up life with a new look and enjoying fun moments

Community Care CampaignOnce again our Golden Lion Volunteer Team transformed to become professional hairdressers to provide a haircutting service to the senior citizens in the Caritas Association, Centro de Dia “Brilho da Vida”. Having been tutored by the professional hairstylists from the Hair and Beauty Professionals Association of Macau, our volunteer hairdressers treated over 160 people to a new hairdo, with smiling faces throughout.

The Golden Lion Volunteer Team also put their renovation skills to the test to help refurbish and paint the schools walls at Jardins Dom Versiglia. Over a 10-day period, MGM further renovated the kitchens, bathrooms, halls, corridors and three student housing units in the dormitories at the local school.

MGM’s professional team of chefs also joined in the campaign to hold a fun culinary day for persons with disabilities fromCommunity Care CampaignFuhong Society and the Dawn Centre of the Macau Association of Parents of the Mentally Handicapped.

During the full-filled day, the MGM Grand Ballroom was filled with our chefs, volunteers, and culinary day participants, making a variety of tasty snacks whilst enjoying a series of performances and fun games.

The Volunteer Team also took part in a similarly fun-filled afternoon at the Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind, at Macau Holy House of Mercy Albergue, enjoying games, laughter and music together.

Toy and clothing donation drive

During the Campaign, a clothes and donation drive was also held at MGM’s back-of-house area to collect toys and clothes for the Macau Salvation Army and Fuhong Society. We are proud to have had over 1,000 items donated by our employees to those in need.