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Sustainability

PATA joins The Future of Tourism Coalition to chart a more sustainable direction for tourism as the sector recovers from COVID-19

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Wed, 05/12/2021 - 12:02
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The Guiding Principles provide a clear moral and business imperative for building a healthier tourism industry while protecting the places and people on which it depends.

Bangkok, Thailand - The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has become a signatory of The Future of Tourism Coalition with the global mission to place destinations at the centre of recovery strategies.

PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “While decades of growth before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic have been celebrated by the travel and tourism industry, it has also placed many destinations at risk - environmentally, culturally, socially, and financially. As the industry looks towards recovery, it must realign around a strong set of principles in order to bring about long term sustainable and equitable growth. We encourage all of our members, partners, and affiliated organisations and businesses to show their support and become part of the movement by joining as a signatory to this initiative.”

The Coalition was formed in 2020 by six global non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), Destination Stewardship Center, Green Destinations, Sustainable Travel International, Tourism Cares, and the Travel Foundation. Today almost 550 organisations have since signed up to the Coalition’s 13 Guiding Principles, which place destination needs at the centre of tourism’s new future. The Guiding Principles outline a bold vision for tourism's path forward and is calling on tourism agencies, travel companies, governments, investors, non-governmental organizations, and destination communities to commit to them.

Jeremy Sampson, CEO of the Travel Foundation and Chair of The Future of Tourism Coalition, said, “With PATA’s support for the Coalition our initiative is significantly strengthened. PATA was an early advocate of sustainable tourism within Asia Pacific and, by joining The Future of Tourism community, it can facilitate a greater flow of best practice to and from the region. The Coalition’s aim is to create a truly global movement of organisations committed to a better future based on its guiding principles, and representing the broad diversity of perspectives, needs, capabilities and expertise within tourism. We have over 500 organisations on board so far and, with PATA’s support and guidance, we’ve just taken another huge stride towards this shared goal.”

The Guiding Principles provide a clear moral and business imperative for building a healthier tourism industry while protecting the places and people on which it depends. Those Principles call for signatories to:

  • See the whole picture
  • Use sustainability standards
  • Collaborate in destination management
  • Choose quality over quantity
  • Demand fair income distribution
  • Reduce tourism’s burden
  • Redefine economic success
  • Mitigate climate impacts
  • Close the loop on resources
  • Contain tourism’s land use
  • Diversify source markets
  • Protect sense of place
  • Operate business responsibly

The foundation of these principles was built on a firm belief that taking a holistic approach to responsible and sustainable tourism is the only way to secure the future the Coalition stands for.

The Coalition recognizes that a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is fundamental to achieving its Guiding Principles. The travel and tourism industry has much work to do, and the Coalition will act with intentionality in addressing the role that racial and environmental justice play in creating a more equitable tourism economy. The Coalition members have made a commitment to listen, learn, and seek change by engaging with signatories and other entities as a part of that journey, and this work will be guided by Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) indicators and criteria related to equity, inclusion, and non-discrimination.

The path to change is a journey and lasting solutions take time. The Coalition will support the industry by providing the tools, guidance and collaboration to ensure a stronger path forward and encourage a diverse and inclusive set of signatories to sign on and share their perspectives and experiences to collectively work toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable future for all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.