Archive for the Sustainable Tourism Category

Peru, host of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Americas Summit 2014

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Lima, Lima, Peru, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2014 by Sustainability Guru

WTTC IS headed to Peru in September for its second Americas Summit. You can watch liveat http://www.wttc.org and join the live debates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wttc

“Facing Challenges – Finding Opportunities”

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) second Americas Summit, which will once again unite Travel & Tourism leaders from across the whole region, bringing together top representatives from the public and private sectors, NGOs and the media in a unique networking and discussion forum. Building on the success of the first Americas Summit in Riviera Maya in 2012, this Summit in Lima, Peru will attract an audience of private and public sector tourism leaders from across South America, Central America, The Caribbean, and North America.

Travel & Tourism plays a very important role in economies across the Americas. Regionally, the industry generates US$269 billion in exports, contributes 8.5% of GDP and supports 1 in 11 jobs. The agenda of the Americas Summit will focus not only on the traditional intra-regional flows of business in the Americas – but also on the robust recovery of the inbound market, fuelled by the growth of BRIC nations. Speakers will include Chief Executives from regional and global hotel companies, airlines, tour operators and online travel agencies; regional and G20 Ministers of Tourism; high level representatives from the NGO sector and opinion-formers from academia and the media.

Presentations of best practice from inside and outside the region will be combined with lively debates around future trends and current policies. The profound words of President Bill Clinton at an earlier WTTC Summit resonate through our industry: “At a time of continued economic uncertainty and geopolitical instability somewhere in the world, Travel & Tourism has emerged as not only an engine of job creation and economic prosperity but also as a force for good – bringing peace and understanding to the world”.

 

The Second World Travel & Tourism Council Americas Summit will be held at the Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center in Lima, Peru, on 10-11 September 2014, hosted by the Peru Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.

Attendance at The Americas Summit is complimentary and by invitation only, and is intended exclusively for those holding the most senior positions in Travel & Tourism in the public and private sector, and for related media. The World Travel & Tourism Council is grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of the Republic of Peru for hosting the Americas Summit 2014 in the wonderful location of Lima, Peru.

Americas Summit Programme

Travel & Tourism in the Americas is at a critical moment – be it in the recovering economies of the north, the mature but struggling Travel & Tourism destinations in the Caribbean or the excitement of the emerging markets in the south.  In particular in Latin America, financial stability, a growing middle class and its rich and diverse natural and cultural resources have contributed to steady growth of the sector.  A strong internal market, economic recovery in the USA and Europe, and the growth of new markets in Asia now offer massive opportunities.

The key question is – how can the combined strengths of the sector come together now to leverage more sustainable growth for the region? While some destinations prosper, others struggle. How can collaboration solve problems that market forces alone can’t address? How can competitiveness be strengthened through collaboration? How can the Americas keep up with growing destinations in Asia?

Over the course of a day and a half, through a series of keynotes, panel sessions and interviews, the most pressing questions facing Travel & Tourism in the Americas today will be addressed. Participants will identify what needs to be done now to ensure the long term sustainable future of the sector.

Travelling Towards 2024: The future of Travel & Tourism in the Americas

 

Check out the WTTC Economic Impact Research for 2014. Interactive data visualisation: http://bit.ly/1dlSUu8

Travel & Tourism in the Americas is on the rise. But what will it look like in ten years’ time? Where will growth be focused? Which sectors and regions will be the winners and losers and why? What are the common challenges across the region? Which are the new markets to exploit? What are the risks posed by climate change, political instability and economic mismanagement? How is the relationship between the USA and Latin America evolving?

Government and business: partnership and progress

Governments and tourism ministers come and go, but the issues stay the same. How can countries break the cycle and foster real partnership between the public and private sectors? The USA and Mexico have already implemented frameworks for improving collaboration and cross-government co-operation; can these models be replicated elsewhere? What has been critical to the success of these initiatives? Is a sustainable future possible without public-private sector collaboration?

Financing the future: Strategies for investment

Future success will need strategic investment. Where is investment needed most and where will it come from? What are the bottlenecks in infrastructure and finance that are holding back growth? How can foreign and domestic direct investment be increased and what is slowing it down? How can countries channel investment into Travel & Tourism? What is the role of high profile cultural or sporting events to catalyze investment? What is being done to encourage green growth and innovation?

Open Skies: Dream or Reality?

Many countries in the region are still heavily restrictive in their aviation policies.  Will governments ever change their attitude? How can airlines be more efficient in their operations despite policy challenges? To what extent can the private sector really get involved with airport development? What are the models already in existence?

Digital Travellers: The Now Generation

Digital travellers represent the Now Generation. They are tech savvy and heavy internet, mobile and social users. Always connected, digital travellers use a variety of platforms to research, plan, book and share their travel experiences. Instantaneous real time access to information and flexibility of service is the expectation. How can tourism businesses provide products and services to this expanding Digital Traveller market? In the ever evolving field of technology how can businesses in the Travel and Tourism sector not only keep up but actually stay ahead of their demands? What opportunities does the digital journey offer to businesses that truly understand these trends and don’t just react to these new customer trends, but anticipate them?

Appreciating the asset: the value of cultural heritage

The definition of cultural heritage is evolving from the legacy of sites and curios to a wider and more complex definition embracing language, peoples and cuisine. What does not change, however, is the importance of cultural heritage to the economic, social and spiritual growth of a country. How does cultural heritage contribute to visitor exports? Is it really understood for the asset that it is? How does cultural heritage contribute to a distinct and competitive tourism product? How can our industry best champion ways to promote protect and develop the asset of cultural heritage, for the good of the destination and its visitors, past, present and future?

Ten Knots El Nido Resorts continues to play a key role in sustainable development on Palawan, while demonstrating the power of tourism to address poverty alleviation and improve local livelihoods. Ten Knots Development Corporation / El Nido Resorts, Philippines is a finalist for the Community Benefit award.

 

Sustainable tourism: leading by example

From the Amazon rainforest to Machu Picchu, the snow peaks of the Rockies to the beaches of the Caribbean, the future of the environment and the communities who inhabit it are vital to Travel & Tourism’s success. What is the business case for sustainability? What are the examples to be replicated? How can sustainability be better monitored and communicated? Is enough being done to preserve biodiversity, address climate change and manage water resources? Are communities and young people fully engaged in tourism development? What are the innovations that will be game changers?

Source & Photos: World Travel & Tourism Council: wttc.org

Green Hotels in Asia and the Pacific

Posted in Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Green Hotels, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

“Green is not a movement, it is an imperative. Sustainability is not just a philosophy, it is good business.” ~ GMIC 2011

Green Hotels Asia Pacific

Every day, more and more hotels worldwide are embracing Green and Sustainable Tourism.

Introducing Green Hotels Asia Pacific, our network of Eco-friendly hotels committed to environment-friendly operations management which aims for ecological protection and best Green Hotels practices to include:

  • Energy Management & Saving
  • Water Management & Saving
  • Waste Management – Reuse, Reduce & Recycle Policies & Practices
  • Minimizing  Carbon Footprint (i.e. the amount of carbon dioxide which is emitted at the atmosphere by everyday activities)
  • Offering Natural and Local-sourced products to their guests
  • Building an Environmental-friendly Culture and communicating it to staff and guests
Green Hotels program: Waste Mangement

Green Hotels program: Ecological Waste Mangement

 OUR VISION

• Our vision is our network to be the most reliable eco hotels network around Globe.

OUR COMMITMENT

• To promote sustainability to hotel sector

• To integrate innovation in our environmental actions

• To network hoteliers, operators, costumers and guests

• To promote Greenhotels around the world

• To integrate environmental customer satisfaction and needs to our “culture”

• To bring added value to the hotel industry

Green Hotels Training: Energy saving

Green Hotels Training: Energy Efficiency

OUR BUSINESS MODEL

• Full committment to our Sustainability policy

• Ecological knowledge & experience

• Use of state-of-the-art technology

• Promotion via social media, internet and other technologies

• Green collaboration with all business sectors

Green Hotel member, Kea Villas, Greece

A Green Hotels member, Kea Villas, Greece

BASIC SERVICES

• Auditing and sustainability action plans

• Waste management focusing in minimization and 3R’s Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

• Water management & saving

• Energy management & saving

• Purchasing management – procuring sustainability

• Certification – Travelife or other schemes

• CSR Management & Reporting Guest Engagement in Sustainability

• Promotion through Google add words

• Customized Training & Capacity Building for Managers & Staff

• Social media marketing

• Green marketing

• Online consulting services

• The Clean Blue Sustainable Beach Management

Green Hotels: Mitigating Climate Change

Green Hotels: Mitigating Climate Change

OUR GREEN HOTELS NETWORK

Green Hotels network consists of hotels that have implemented operational systems and methods that are eco-oriented, work towards the protection of environment and have applied principles of environmental management.

Through Green Hotels portal, the hotel itself is being promoted,  its ecological character, its environmental actions and other related activities – if available- which take place in the surrounding area. Moreover, great attention is given to the presentation of the personality of hotel’s manager, as he/she is considered to be the key person behind the development and establishment of the eco-character of the described hotel.

Green Hotels member Aristi Mountain Resort

Green Hotels member Aristi Mountain Resort

Green Hotels network aims to promote not only the hotels through descriptive texts and photos, but also their owners and managers. Our network consists of hotels that offer guests a unique and holistic experience throughout their stay from check-in to check-out, in hospitable and eco-friendly atmosphere, with eco-knowledgeable staff ready to serve and inform them about the environment-friendly practices of the hotel which enhance the guest experience..

YOUR GREEN ADVANTAGE

  • Fulfill Legislation standards
  • Protect the environment
  • Reduce of energy, waste, water use and water waste
  • Fulfill shareholders, employees, guests and public expectations of eco-friendly standards
  • Enhance company’s image and reputation
  • 93% prefer a green hotel compared to another one without environmental policy
  • 70% would like to practice environmental actions during their stay
Economic + Ecological_your Cutting Edge Advantage

Economic + Ecological = your Green Hotels Cutting Edge Advantage

YOUR CUTTING EDGE BENEFITS

  • Your hotel/resort will be included in our Green Hotels, listed in most eco travel pages.
  • Green Hotels is the first Eco hotels network in Asia Pacific
  • Green Hotels principal in the Mediterranean has an experienced team within the fields of environmental management systems, marketing, lobbying.
  • By becoming a member of our network you become a member of a global network.
Green Hotels committed to Sustainability and innovation

Green Hotels committed to Sustainability and innovation

We, the *Green Hotels team,  are COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY and INNOVATION. For more information on how to green your hotel/s and become a pioneering GREEN HOTELS member in Asia and the Pacific, contact our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. – SSTDI. 

 * Green Hotels is not a certification or award

The Coron, Boracay & Negros Initiatives are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented with institutional partners Green Hotels & The Clean Blue. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs towards a green economy for cities, communities and destinations  include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general. 

Photo credits: greenhotel.com.gr

WTTC 2012 Report: Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan and elsewhere

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , on April 30, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is honored to be part of the invite-only World Travel & Tourism Council -WTTC- Global Summit Japan in Sendai & Tokyo. Summit reports started with the Tourism for Tomorrow 2012 Awards & Winners. The following is a re-post from the WTTC 2012 News & updates starting with the First Session in Sendai, Japan.

Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan- keynote by Norifumi Idee-Japan Tourism Agency

“We are here to hear what we have learnt from the crisis,” said Mr Takamatsu, CEO, Japan Tourism Marketing Company, and session moderator. “The objective of this session is to look at the best ways to manage a crisis with case studies from Japan, but also other countries and the Travel & Tourism industry,” he added.

WTTC Sendai:Disaster Recovery Lessons Moderator Mr. Masako Takamatsu

Given the events of the last decade – from America on September 11 2001 to Japan on 11 March 2011, dealing with the unusual is increasingly becoming business as usual in the Travel & Tourism industry.

According to the Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report published by Impact Forecasting, 2011 was one of the most active years on record in terms of instances of natural catastrophes, so there has never been a more pressing time to consider crisis management and disaster recovery.

WTTC Global Summit Disaster Recovery Lessons from Japan

Japan has learnt a lot since March 2011, Mr Idee, Commissioner, Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism told delegates. “I can tell you that [after the earthquake and tsunami], the government immediately took measures to ensure that the region was safe from radiation and that there was total security regarding food safety.

We have also undertaken a wide range of measures to try encourage a recovery in demand, using high-profile visitors like Lady Gaga to help us in our promotions. And we are grateful to UNWTO and the United Nations generally for issuing reassurances to the world that Japan is open for business. I would like to express my gratitude to them for these measures.

We were delighted to see that WTTC’s latest report suggests that Japan’s Travel & Tourism recovery will be better than expected, with the percentage drop in inbound tourism in 2012 projected to be down in single digits over Japan’s peak tourism year in 2010”.

“Destination Tohoku” campaigns in foreign countries such as the United States help, and we are focusing on the travel trade – tour operator and travel agents – to communicate our messages. But we are promoting domestic as well as inbound tourism.

Disaster Lessons from Japan Railway - infrastructure and transport sector

Mr Ogata, Vice Chairman,  East Japan Railway Company told the Summit that in 50 years of operating the Shinkansen (Japanese “bullet-train”) there had never been an associated fatal casualty. JR East is the largest railway company in Japan – with 4,700 miles of network and 17 million passengers a day on 13,000 trains. Its top priority is safety.

Many lessons from past experiences of earthquakes, e.g. the use of reinforced pillars, early earthquake detection systems, seismometers, preventing trains from large-scale deviations, plus the education and training of its staff have secured a dramatic decrease in accidents. But in addition to taking countermeasures, it is essential to utilise innovative risk assessments. As a result, on 11 March 2011, there were no customer fatalities or injuries – though because of aftershocks, it took 50 days to restore full operation.

There were lots of lessons learned: e.g. even more early detection systems needed – plus better evacuation systems, and a strengthening of electrification masts.

Bert van Walbeek, Chairman of PATA’s Rapid Recovery Taskforce, and Managing Director, The Winning Edge gave the Summit “Five Points in Five Minutes”:

Educate and train all stakeholders • Accept joint responsibility

Respect and understand ‘Mother Nature’

Co-operate on travel advisories

• We all need to work together to address the problem, in terms of crisis management and prevention.

UNWTO Risk and Crisis Management Coordinator Dirk Glaesser

Dirk Glaesser, Coordinator, Risk and Crisis Management, UNWTO reminded the Summit that whilst crises do occur, it’s the way we prepare for them and manage them that is critical. UNWTO works not just through United Nations systems but also through TERN – the Tourism Emergency Research Network, which groups together public and private sector organisations and associations involved in tourism. “The whole purpose of TERN is sharing knowledge and best practice, and communicating between partner organisations/associations and the outside world, through media,.

It’s all about planning and preparedness,” said Glaesser, “the importance of correct assumptions and strategic contingency planning.”

WTTC Sendai Summit Disaster Recovery Panel Discussion

In the Panel Discussion which followed, Raymond N Bickson, Managing Director & CEO, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, said: “ Whether natural disaster or terrorist attack or other man-made disasters, including health concerns like H1N1 and bird flu, the crisis management tools are all very similar across the board. What helps recovery is the public and private sectors working together – plus India has its own national chapter of WTTC and this has helped us enormously.”

Robert Laurence Noddin, CEO and Representative in Japan, AIU Insurance Company, Japan Branch, told the story of the Japanese crisis from the insurance industry standpoint: “ We had to overcome or deal with three major issues: impact on transportation, getting support to customers and staff; and the availability of data and how to use, control and communicate it. The sheer scale of the disaster meant that there was huge damage, so we needed to call on an unprecedented number of support staff to assess the damages”.

The Summit then listened attentively to the story as told by Mrs. Noriko Abe, the “Okami” of Minami-Sanriku Hotel Kanyo.  Her story was a wonderful example of a member of the Travel & Tourism industry taking the initiative to help the community – in the aftermath some people had no accommodation, no food, no clothes. How to help them? “We had to help them. There was total confusion and incomprehension as to why this had happened to them. We offered support to 600 citizens – we started a school inside the hotel. Without help, we risked some of the younger Japanese leaving the community to go and live elsewhere. Or even committing suicide out of desperation, especially young mothers. So our help in fact was a way of rebuilding the community and giving people a reason for living”. On the basis of this closing presentation, the first session of the first day of the Sendai Forum drew the conclusion that Tourism is not often seen as the cement of community solidarity, but it should be. It’s something very human, and can really help when crises strike.

WTTC Global Summit Japan 2012

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines – The Coron Initiative  , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI for assistance.

Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

What a wonderful World Travel & Tourism Council Japan Summit in Sendai & Tokyo, that was! Re-posting this great news from WTTC  first and foremost for Inkaterra, Tourism For Tomorrow Winner and the respective stories of other winners which serve as inspiration and benchmarks in Sustainable Tourism excellence.

Three companies and one destination, from four continents, have been recognised for their best practices in sustainable tourism at this year’s World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The four winners were selected from 12 Award finalists and announced onstage during the opening ceremony of the WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo, Japan on 17 April. The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are among the highest accolades in the Travel & Tourism industry, and recognise companies, organisations and destinations around the world which showcase outstanding sustainable tourism achievements. They are the only global sustainable tourism awards that include on-site evaluation inspections of all finalists, conducted by a team of expert international judges.

WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2012

The 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards winners hail from South America, North America, Europe, and Asia. These diverse set of winners and emerged as victors over 150 entries from more than 60 countries. The winners are:

Saunders Hotel Group.Photo from Saunders website

Community Benefit AwardSaunders Hotel Group, USA: – This local family-owned hotel group has been a leader in sustainable tourism practices as far back as the early 1980s, when they converted an old police building in Boston, Massachusetts into an historic hotel and worked with local community partners to build affordable housing in the same area. Through initiatives that are driven and supported by all levels of their staff, the group supports dozens of local charity and non-profit groups with a combination of financial backing, volunteer time, and in-kind resources that goes far beyond most corporate social responsibility efforts. For Saunders, community service begins at ‘home’, where helping people in need is part of the company mission, recognising that disadvantaged communities can also exist in a major city in the United States.

Inkaterra CEO Jose Koechlin, giving his speech after receiving Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Conservation Award – Inkaterra, Peru: This hotel boasts long term conservation stewardship of 38,000 acres of rainforest in the Amazon basin and 25 acres of cloud forest within the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. Founded in 1975, Inkaterra has grown into a renowned biodiversity research and conservation tourism company operating five hotels in the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the Madre de Dios area of the Amazon rainforest. As well as a 100% carbon neutral hotel stay for every guest, Inkaterra has continued to implement a host of self-supported, sustainable tourism projects to facilitate a better understanding among tourists and local peoples about the need to protect fragile habitats in the Andes and the Amazon of Peru, which is home to 84 of the world’s 104 identified ecological life zones.

Roros Norway, WTTC Destination Stewardship Winner

Destination Stewardship Award – Destination Røros, Norway: Their successful multi-stakeholder approach to creating a thriving sustainable tourism destination in the old mining town of Røros, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is an example for many to follow. Since the end of mining in the late 1970’s, Destination Røros has been instrumental in reversing the area’s environmental degradation, guided by a management plan that actively engages and builds cooperation among local communities, municipal authorities, and private sector stakeholders. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating that historical cultural sites and formerly degraded natural areas can be revitalised and utilised in new contexts through sustainable development, thereby bringing tangible economic benefits to the local people. Destination Røros is also a pilot project for Norway’s country-wide Sustainable Tourism Initiative.

Banyan Tree Group, WTTC Global Tourism Business Award winner

Global Tourism Business Award – Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Singapore: Their longstanding commitment to sustainability and creating tourism value recognition among stakeholders to support the protection of diverse natural and cultural heritage in worldwide destinations ranging from Mexico to China. Banyan Tree works through a three-pillar strategy: enhancing efficiency in environmental operations, conserving natural heritage and biodiversity, and social and economic empowerment of local people in the countries and regions where they operate. In addition to strong sustainable tourism practices, Banyan Tree has also fully integrated sustainability monitoring and evaluation across the company including its annual reports, in addition to issuing annual stand-alone sustainability performance reports that document projects, successes, and challenges. They have successfully done this for more than a decade, while also being one of the first global hospitality companies in the world to ban the sale of shark’s fin in all of their hotels in 2006.

Jose Koechlin Inkaterra CEO receiving Tourism for Tomorrow Awards from WTTC judges

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: ‘The Awards have been under WTTC’s stewardship for the last nine years. Since then, they have grown in calibre and reach, but the premise is the same: to give international recognition to outstanding examples of sustainable practices, from Travel & Tourism businesses across the globe.’ David continued: ‘All finalists and winners are inspiring cases of businesses providing sustainable solutions to real world problems. These actions espouse the ethos of Tourism for Tomorrow, and demonstrate true leadership in the industry.’

Commenting on their achievements, Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges, WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, noted: ‘Sustainable tourism principles are no longer solely the realm of a handful of well-meaning companies. Today, sustainability itself has emerged on the global stage as a new indicator of tourism quality, alongside traditional quality standards such as excellent guest services or a room with a view. What this means is that a measure of a company or tourism destination’s success, is now increasingly tied to their quality of sustainable tourism best practice. This is not a passing trend, but rather a positive and needed evolution of the tourism industry. The winners of this year’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards exemplify how tourism, when planned and managed well, can be a tremendous opportunity to help safeguard our planet and deliver tangible benefits to local people.’ The

Tourism for Tomorrow winners underwent a rigorous four-step judging process by more than 20 independent judges from around the world, led by Costas Christ, a globally recognised expert in sustainable tourism. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised in association with Travelport and the Travel Corporation’s Conservation Foundation. For further information about the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and the judging process, please visit: www.tourismfortomorrow.com

source: http://www.wttc.org/

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines.  Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI.

Disaster Recovery Lessons: Top Topic at the WTTC Japan Global Summit

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific was honored to attend The Japan Recovery and Asia Outlook Forum Sendai (in association with PATA).

 

Sendai City. Photo courtesy of Sendai Tourism & Convention Bureau

Sendai City. Photo courtesy of Sendai Tourism & Convention Bureau

 

A year after the Tohoku region was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit opens with the Japan Recovery and Asia Outlook Forum (in association with PATA) in Sendai City, the provincial capital of the Miyagi Prefecture and a focal point of last year’s disaster recovery efforts. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) fully supports Japan in this recovery process, and as a mark of the commitment to this expressed by its Members, has decided to open its 2012 Global Summit in Sendai, followed by a plenary Global Summit session in Tokyo.

Given the events of the last decade from America on September 11 2001 to Japan on March 11 2011, dealing with the unusual is increasingly becoming business as usual in the Travel & Tourism industry.

According to the Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report published by Impact Forecasting, 2011 was one of the most active years on record in terms of instances of natural catastrophes.

So, what are the best ways to manage a crisis? This session will look at how the Tohoku region, other countries, and the Travel & Tourism industry have handled crisis management. Reflecting on the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011:

What is the progress update for Tohoku?

What has been achieved in terms of infrastructure redevelopment and what lessons have been learned?

How has the nuclear situation in Tohoku been managed?

How have other countries responded to and recovered from crises?

How have members of the Travel & Tourism industry dealt with crises such as terrorism, pandemics, the Icelandic ash cloud, natural disasters, and political uprisings?

How do news anchors cover a crisis and what is the importance of communications in marketing your way out of disaster?

Sendai Airport_3/11

Sendai Airport_ 3/11.Photo courtesy of Telegraph UK.

These questions and more will be answered by speakers including news anchors and representatives from Japan Association of Travel Agencies, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, major airlines, hotels and cruises.

Highlighting Hiraizumi, Matsushima and Sendai, after the disaster on the road to recovery.

Ninety minutes’ drive from Sendai brings visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage sites at  Hiraizumi – home to the Chusonji temple precinct , and the fabulous  Konjiki-do (Golden Hall) of Chusonji Temple, the first National Treasure Building in Japan, built in 1124. Before leaving  Hiraizumi, guests will appreciate the sight of the unparalleled Jodo Gardens and visit the Arahama area affected by the earthquake in Sendai.

Sendai before & after tsunami by NY Times.

Sendai before & after tsunami by NY Times.

An alternate tour, Matshushima. After visiting the Arahama area affected by the earthquake in Sendai, guests can visit Matsushima –  a small bay dotted with more than 260 pine-clad islands beautifully, and one of Japan’s celebrated “Three Views”.

Visit Japan campaign.  Today Japan is taking a united stand against the challenge of the tremendous damage caused by the 2011 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake followed by the massive tsunami on 11 March 2011, and by the nuclear power plant accident triggered by the tsunami.

Sendai Cherry Blossom Viewing.

Sendai Cherry Blossom Viewing.

Following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, WTTC commissioned its research partner Oxford Economics to develop scenarios for the recovery of Japan’s Travel & Tourism. These scenarios are updated on a quarterly basis.

The scenarios, based on research into the recovery times of previous crises, now show that recovery has been in line with the lowest impact scenario and that domestic and international tourism is returning to normal quicker than expected.

Sendai City itself, although in parts affected by flooding following the tsunami, is now wholly prepared to host the Global Summit.

For more information visit the websites of:

Japan’s Tourism Information Websites

Japan National Tourism Organization

Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau

Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Miyagi Prefecture Tourism Division

Sendai Tourism & Convention Bureau

Source: World Travel & Tourism Council.

Watch the awesome video of Sendai Road to Recovery – click here.

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines: The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. 

World Travel and Tourism Council -WTTC Global Summit 2012

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Ecotourism, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Inkaterra, MICE Meetings, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

WTTC Global Summit in Sendai & Tokyo Japan

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is honored to be invited to the WTTC Global Summit, with Inkaterra, Peru’s leading provider of luxury and sustainable hospitality. Inkaterra has been recognized for the second time since 2010 by Tourism for Tomorrow as one of the three finalists in the “Conservation” category. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organized by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the winner will be announced at the WTTC’s Global Summit in Tokyo from April 16-19, 2012.

WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow awards at the Global Summit

This is the most influential Travel & Tourism event of the year, bringing together almost 1000 industry leaders, to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Travel & Tourism today.

Attendance at the Global Summit is by invitation of the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Global Summit Host Committee only, and is reserved for those who lead Travel & Tourism enterprises and organisations in the private sector, or participate in public sector policy and support of the sector.

Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation, and Chairman of the WTTC Global Summit 2012 Host Committee, welcomes delegates to Japan:

WTTC Global Summit Japan 2012

“Japan has developed a distinct travel culture that is permeated with the spirit of hospitality. I want to make this year’s WTTC Global Summit a fusion of this unique culture and Japan’s cutting edge technology. The Global Summit will take place in April – a wonderful time of year in which spring can be enjoyed to the full, and the cherry blossoms – the symbol of Japan – are in full bloom. I look forward to hosting you all during the time of year in which the heart dances its most. You are all very welcome to Japan. ”

The 12th annual WTTC Global Summit will be held in two locations:

WTTC Global Summit Plenary

Sendai City (16-17 April 2012). A year after the Tohoku region was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, the Global Summit commences with the Sendai Recovery and Asia Outlook Forum (in association with PATA) to be held in Sendai City, the provincial capital of the Miyagi Prefecture and a focal point of last year’s disaster recovery efforts. It is the largest city in the Tohoku Region of Japan, is situated in the center of Miyagi Prefecture. It has prospered as the capital of the Date” feudal clan’s territories since Date Masamune reigned over this district and built Aoba Castle at the beginning of the 17th century. Explore the site of Sendai Castle ( or Aoba Castle) or rest and relax in the neighborhood of Mt. Aoba-yama, which has been transformed into a gracious public park. Sendai is known as “The City of Trees.” The main streets, Aoba-dori and Jozenji-dori, are lined with rows of beautiful zelkova trees, Ichiban-cho-dori Street, which crosses Chuo-dori Street and runs parallel to Aoba-dori Street, is a shopping area. A local market, with many smaller stores lining the side streets, make for a delightful shopping excursion.

WTTC Global Summit Tokyo 2012

Tokyo (17-19 April 2012). The plenary session of the 12th Global Summit will then be held in Tokyo and will examine, amongst other subjects, the role of Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic and social advancement at a time of global turbulence. The Global Summit will take place at International Convention Centre Pamir, Tokyo. As one of the great world cities, Tokyo offers everything a visitor can dream of, ranging from modern skyscrapers to traditional temples, 5-star restaurants and numerous bars and restaurants serving cuisine from every corner of Japan and the world. Whether you are enjoying the springtime display of cherry blossom, shopping for cutting edge consumer electronics or following the latest Tokyo fashions in the many department stores – Tokyo has something for everyone. The Global Summit will be held in Shinagawa district in the southern part of Tokyo, conveniently located to all major attractions of  Tokyo.

For more information on the Speakers line-up, click here.

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines –The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, please visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI.

Photos & text source: WTTC Global Summit 2012.

Green Travel Tips

Posted in Agri Tourism, Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Coron, Ecotourism, Green Hotels, Negros Occidental, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Travel, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Isla Dibatoc, Coron, Palawan

How to travel GREEN! Build lasting memories while protecting the communities/regions you’ve traveled to! These green travel tips will enhance your trip—and help you make a positive difference in the places you visit.

Before you travel

Find out as much as possible. The more you know about a World Heritage Site or Marine Protected Area, the more the site will come alive. Look into the site’s history, culture, natural environment, customs, legends, advisory notices, and more.

Learn a few words in the local language. Make an effort to speak the local language. Simple words like “Hello,” “Please,” and “Thank you” can go a long way to help you communicate with the people who know the site best—they’ll appreciate your efforts and your interest in learning.

Pack light. It’s tempting to pack everything you think you might need, but remember to be smart about your necessities.Packaging items like the plastic wrapping of your new toothbrush simply consume space in your bag and can create excess trash for the fragile sites.

Shangrila Hotel Boracay with CSR & green initiatives

Shangrila Hotel Boracay with CSR & green initiatives

Choose lodging thoughtfully. Look for hotels that have written procedures for environmental impact, employment, and cultural policies.

Explore transportation options. Traveling affects the environment. Wherever possible, try to minimize your impact by looking to alternative transportation and off-setting your carbon emissions.

Calamianes Group of Islands Palawan

Calamianes Group of Islands Palawan

During your trip

Engage in local culture. The saying, “When in Rome do as the Romans” still applies today. Your trip provides a unique opportunity to explore a new culture and to see the world through a different perspective. Enjoying local foods, shopping in local markets, and attending local festivals are all part of experiencing the culture.

Buy local products and services. Choosing to support locally-owned businesses, community tour operators, and artisans means that you’ll have a one-of-a-kind experience and your money will go directly to the community. Before purchasing goods, ask about their origin. Avoid buying products made from threatened natural resources and report poaching and other illegal activities to the local authorities.

Mercado Indio, Lima -Peruvian Arts & Crafts

Mercado Indio, Lima -Peruvian Arts & Crafts

Refrain from aggressive bargaining. It’s often difficult to know your limits in bargaining, so if you’re not sure, ask your hotel for tips. Remember that the purchases you make directly affect vendors’ livelihoods, so decide if you really need to hang onto that extra dollar.

Hire local guides. Enrich your experience by choosing local guides who are knowledgeable about the destination. Ask local tour operators and hotels for recommendations.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Tread lightly. These destinations are World Heritage sites because of their exceptional natural or cultural splendor. Do your part to keep them that way by following designated trails, respecting caretakers, and not removing archaeological or biological treasures from sites.

Respect the natural environment. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Even though you are just visiting and not paying the utility bill, disposing of your garbage properly and minimizing your consumption of water and energy will benefit the overall destination.

Think of the Big Picture. While it is important to support local economy, certain tourist activities and souvenirs can damage a fragile World Heritage site. Say “no” to a souvenir that’s a piece of the site itself, and to tourist activities that may be harmful to a site’s longevity.

Say “no” to a souvenir that's a piece of the site itself!

Say “no” to a souvenir that’s a piece of the site itself!

After returning home

Share tips about responsible travel. In addition to telling family and friends about the wonderful memories you made, also consider sharing tips on how they too can positively impact these destinations while having an amazing journey.

Explore more. Travel is just the start of learning. Once you return home, continue exploring and being involved with the issues or region that captured your attention. Build your knowledge.

Give back. Traveling often opens our eyes and our hearts. Help to preserve these inspirational destinations for generations to come by making a donation to programs that give back and benefit the local community.

Adopted_a_village_Coron Ecotours

Adopt a village by Coron Ecotours

Source: http://www.expedia.com/daily/sustainable_travel/world_heritage/tips.asp

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE is taking its toll on the planet, wrecking havoc and destruction to our natural environment, rural communities and even big cities! We have to do our part in leaving less impact to the environment. The message is RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL: let us protect the environment, care about local communities and respect their culture as we explore, experience and enjoy.

Zero Carbon Resorts, helping SMEs in the Tourism Industry to reduce carbon footprint

 The Coron Initiative, The Negros Initiative & The Boracay Initiative are Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks being implemented in Coron, Negros Occidental & Boracay with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for cities, communities and destinations include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Preparedness and Management. Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Photos of Coron by Al Linsangan of Al3Photography.

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