Sustainable Travel International has unveiled an industry-wide campaign entitled 10 Million Better to monitor and scale up social and environmental benefits from travel and tourism.
The ten-year initiative convenes leading tourism corporations, organizations and destinations around the globe with the goal of tracking and demonstrating improvements in the lives of at least 10 million people and their families by 2025. Improvements to be monitored include growth of income and opportunity, and better protection of destinations’ natural, cultural and heritage sites.
STI has appointed several trend-setting ambassadors to the campaign include representatives of such leading travel companies as Delaware North, Intrepid Travel, and the Soneva Group.
The campaign is also endorsed by Sustainable Travel Leadership Network and Sustainable Destination Leadership Network, two Sustainable Travel International-convened collaborations which represent leading brands committed to advancing the industry’s sustainability efforts, including Globus, Finnair, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ltd., United Airlines and others.
Powerfully incentivize protection
Travel and tourism is the world’s leading economic driver, representing 9.5% of the global economy and generating 1.1 billion arrivals last year and 1 out of 11 jobs worldwide. It’s poised for explosive growth over the next decade, and represents vast resources for improving lives and generating livelihoods globally while protecting places and the planet.
Sustainable travel and tourism are growing especially fast, but so are the industry’s energy, water, land and food use and its environmental, climate and social impacts. As a result, the business imperative to tackle sustainability issues and the stakes of sustainability-related risks are intense.
Adverse impacts from unmanaged growth can include overcrowding, pollution, biodiversity loss, cultural homogenization and increased economic inequality. But if properly planned and responsibly executed, tourism can also powerfully incentivize protection of natural and cultural resources and enable destinations to prosper.
Impact monitoring tool
The UNWTO identifies destination monitoring as a key element of sustainable tourism management. It helps to both manage business risk and to protect the environmental, economic and social fabric of destinations. But like other industries working to integrate sustainability goals, travel and tourism has lacked adequate tools to track its impacts reliably, measure and communicate progress in an accountable way, and realize tourism’s larger potential for positive change.
The new campaign aims to change that, in part by creating and distributing an accessible, open-source impact monitoring tool which companies and destinations can help develop. It is designed to overcome existing barriers to monitoring and reporting, and balance data relevance with technical feasibility and financial viability.