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Sustainable Travel International is a good organization for any travel enthusiast to look into. They have a great initiative, mission, and vision, but they have also partnered with some of the travel industry’s most outstanding companies, including Virtuoso — the leader in adventure, cruise, culinary, family, independent, luxury, and sustainable travel.
For this reason, we would like to share with you some information about Sustainable Travel International (STI).
STI writes that its mission is “To protect and conserve our planet’s most vulnerable destinations by transforming tourism’s impact on nature and people.” This is to create their vision, that being “a world where tourism actively contributes to environmental and community well-being.” To do this, Sustainable Travel Int’l works with NGOs (non-governmental agencies), government agencies, businesses (international, national, and local), and local communities to create a methodology for understanding the best practices and possibly the best policies for the future of sustainable travel.
To give you an idea of what the future of sustainable travel might look like, and what some of the world’s largest organizations (like the UN) are saying about what will be and what needs to be done to accomplish this we can look at six different things that will affect travelers and how it might happen.
Suggestions for future travel include:
- Thinking about travel outside of planes
- If donating, give to reputable institutions
- Reduce plastic at all costs
- Work with travel companies dedicated to sustainability
- Support local artist and craftspeople, not knock-offs
- Do not buy wildlife products
- Buy local food whenever possible
Now, the UN has put into place 17 different initiatives that will affect travel and tourism and they are very much interrelated to the above seven suggestions.
These initiatives are:
- Reduce poverty
- Zero hunger
- Good health and well-being
- Quality education
- Gender equality
- Clean water and sanitation
- Affordable and clean energy
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Protection
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals
Now, what is nice about these measures and changes that we will see in the travel world are several things. For example, buying local goods means being able to share authentic gifts from places you have traveled with those you love. Contributing to a local community center might mean that when you return to where you were before might mean seeing a whole new thriving atmosphere — that you contributed to! Traveling less by plane might make your trip all the more intimate and memorable. Consuming less animal products might mean seeing more wildlife on tour. Consuming less plastic means cleaner cities to visit.
With that we would like to have you consider these three quotes:
“‘Sustainability will be the mark of luxury as we move into the future.’ A 2012 Travel Foundation study noted that 75% of travelers want a more responsible vacation and a Forum for the Future research study (2012) reported that 66% of travelers want an easier way to identify a green holiday. Fifty-eight percent of Condé Nast Traveler readers surveyed said they choose a hotel based on whether the hotel gives back to local people and the planet.”
And, among millennials, demand is even higher:
“A 2016 Nielsen study revealed: Millennials are more willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings – 72% of millennial respondents said they are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies with a purpose and are committed to positive social and environmental impact, an increase from 55% in 2014 (Global Sustainable Destination Index, 2016).”
“Travel pushes you out of your comfort level, and it fundamentally changes your perception of yourself, your place in the world, of others. It fosters greater understanding and awareness because travel is all about celebrating the differences that actually make us the most similar. It offers moments of discovery in which you make genuine human connections; where you are transformed because of your travels. And in that sense, as well as many others, travel is a force for good.”
— Matthew D. Upchurch, Virtuoso Chairman and CEO
When we look at these current trends we cannot deny that the future is sustainable. The major institutions are for it, the consumers and the suppliers. It is in everyone’s interest and it is here. And that is amazing to see. With some industries not following the necessary trend, it is good to see that the travel industry is, which means we can feel good about traveling and supporting these causes. And STI seems like a good organization to help us figure out those ways to do so.
So, click HERE to check out STI more in general, or HERE for goals, or HERE for a docuseries showing sustainable travel destinations. Which include Barbados, Australia, Vail, Denmark, St. Kitts, Slovenia, Sonoma, and more.
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