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All posts tagged Sustainability

“Sustainability” has been a buzzword for at least the past two decades, a fuzzy term that seems to refer to just about anything a person, group or government agency does that is perceived as good for the environment.

But there are organizations that have developed some hard and fast definitions of sustainability, chief among them the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, which started as a program of the United Nations before going off on its own. Richard Anderson. Read more.

 

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The Sustainability Treehouse / Mithun

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The Sustainability Treehouse, a Living Building Challenge targeted interpretive and gathering facility situated in the forest at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, serves as a unique icon of camp adventure, environmental stewardship and innovative building design. Mithun led the integrated design process and a multidisciplinary team to achieve the engaging, high‐performance facility. By Arch Daily. Read more.

Photo: Joe Fletcher

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I was equally surprised, delighted and impressed that Mr. Ehlers introduced the term “Turismo Consciente” as the theme of our deliberations today because, quite independently of Mr. Ehlers, I put together the words “conscious” and “travel” in my own thoughts and writings just about two years ago. I had been developing a community – based program called Places That Care. Frustrated at the slow speed with which the tourism industry was adopting sustainable practices, I was looking for evidence that a market might exist for providers who took responsibility for protecting the natural and cultural environment on which they depended. I came across a significant body of international research – not in tourism, I might add – that showed how many consumers were responding to the fateful events of 2007 – 2008 when the global economy fell on its knees. The recession accelerated a shift that had begin in the late 70s in which a growing segment of the population had decided that “mindless consumption” wasn’t for them. A snippet from a report by Ogilvy and Mather jumped out at me:

 

It is an undeniable fact: The recession has created not only a universal sense of anxiety and fear, but a greater level of consciousness across all ages and genders. We can’t go back. We have heightened our perception; we are awake, aware and alert – whether we like it or not.

 

As I associate the state of being awake, aware and alert with being conscious, you can imagine my curiosity peaked upon discovering another research study, conducted quite independently, that described a new, post –recessionary consumer as being a Conscious Consumer. Not long after that, I was introduced to the groundbreaking work of some very successful business men and women (owners and senior executives of companies such as Whole Foods, Southwest Airlines, Amazon, Google, Patagonia etc) who were calling themselves “Conscious Capitalists” and I began to imagine what a “conscious traveler” might look like. I created the blog Conscious Travel to share these observations; to sense what reaction they evoked and to create a space where the concept could incubate and develop.

In my mind, the concept of Conscious Travel has three forms: by Anna Pollock. Read More.

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The government and all stakeholders in the tourism industry should pay more attention to the happiness of tourists after visiting Indonesia instead of only focusing on increasing the number of visitors. “So far, the visitors are still regarded as a commodity, or a source of money, but we have not asked whether they are happy after visiting Indonesia,” said World Committee on Tourism Ethics member I Gede Ardika in the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Hub City Forum themed “Indonesia’s Tourism Role in the Complete Visitor Economy” in Yogyakarta on Friday. By Bambang Muryanto. Read more.

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The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics

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Consumer Demand for responsible Travel

A variety of market studies in recent years have documented sustained interest among consumers in tourism products and services that protect the environment and respect local cultures.

Experts say…

  • “Concern about sustainability and the planet is top of mind for everybody… [O]ver 98% of consumers in every market worldwide view themselves as environmentalists.” —James Canton, CEO, Institute for Global Futures, San Francisco.
  • Environmental concern is “the biggest social trend for the rest of our careers.” —Daniel Levine, Executive Director, Avant-Guide Institute, New York.
  • “Green is no longer just a trend. It’s a way of life.” —Fran Brasseux, Executive Director, HSMAI (Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International)Foundation

Surveys and Statistics show…

  • A 2013 Travel Guard survey of travel agents concluded “green travel is here to stay.” The survey found “24% of those who responded noted that interest in green travel is currently the highest it’s ever been in the last 10 years, and 51% reported that interest has remained constant throughout this time period.” By CREST. Read More.
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Is Good Corporate Citizenship also good for the Bottom Line? The short answer is yes. That’s the finding of Robert G. Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou and George Serafeim from their recent paper “The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behaviour and Performance.” — Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics. Read more.

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