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Sustainable Tourism: Impacts On and Off the Beaten Path - IGLTA Convention 2011
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Sustainable Tourism: Impacts On and Off the Beaten Path - IGLTA Convention 2011


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Overview of sustainable tourism presented at the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association's Annual Conference in 2011 by Solimar International

Overview of sustainable tourism presented at the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association's Annual Conference in 2011 by Solimar International

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  • What is this buzz word that’s been floating around?Ideas…?
  • Several buzz words…. Niche markets…. Speciaized travel companies…. Websites.Are they all different?Are they doing the same thing?Does it matter?
  • Clearly defined… Minimizing the harm, and maximizing the good.Why is this important?
  • Everyone is familiar with these factsSo many people traveling, huge impactFinite resources, Finite ability to manage people flows
  • Sustainable tourism isn’t just about minimizing harm… but has a real power for change.When done correctly it can do all sorts of things that are ultimately beneficial for the tourism industry & travelersExample: Only five percent of mainstream tourism dollars stay within a destination
  • All of those things sound
  • 66% of U.S. consumers believe their travel choices can make a difference to the environmentLifestyle changes toward sustainability represent a $200 billion industry in the U.S. alone 56% are skeptical of companies making green claims and look for information elsewhere
  • Green Travelers are those that specifically travel for sustainability or consider sustainability at least half of the time.“Dark Green” travelers – those on the forefront of the movement- Tech savvy – resourceful, investigative and rely on the word of mouth experience of others
  • These are things typically associated with sustainability by the majority of people
  • Sustainable tourism goes beyond being obsessed with recycling and living in a treehouse. High quality tourism that embraces the uniqueness of the destination, creates an authentic experience, and encourages interaction with the place and its people is also sustainable.So, being a sustainable business is not JUST about the environment, being crunchy… but it’s about being a GOOD business and providing GOOD opportunities to
  • Pigeon Forge, TN
  • Costa del Sol, SpainGreatest example of mass tourism developmentLeader of sun, sand, and sea destinations and experiences. (None of us would disagree)
  • By building sustainable, authentic experiences we encourage a different kind of traveler:Stay LongerTravel FurtherMinimize ImpactGenerate a more positive experience for everyoneIncrease positive word of mouth marketingBenefits
  • Tourism that is truly sustainable has very important impacts for everyone. Travelers are more happy – WoMBusinesses – reduce cost, new marketsDestinations – positive association, new marketsGovernments – increased revenue, increased jobs, money stays localResidents – new jobs, money stays local, healthy destination
  • Minimum universal language defining sustainabilityGuideline for businesses, organizations and governments of all sizes to establish sustainability programsBaseline for accreditation standards “Certifying the Certifiers”
  • Outreach to 80,000 constituenciesInput from over 2,000 experts18 month consultation process5 rounds of consultationAnalysis of 4,500 criteria already in useApproval over 91% for any one criterionISEAL compliant
  • A globally accepted, actionable definition of sustainable tourismIncreased trust in, and value of, certification Influence on consumer demand B2B tools allow tourism businesses aligned with GSTC to reach larger market potential and greater shareWork with distributors, promoters of tourism product and governments to ensure supply and market positioning for sustainable product
  • SF: Home of Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Crazy Hippies and the Folsom Street FairLeader in sustainable destination management both in US and globally
  • I dea is that create a healthy citizenry, minimize impact on infrastructure in long-term, reduce costs Public Transit: Hybrid Taxi Cab System / First Hybrid Ferry Minimize Solid Waste: Ban on plastic bags Solar-Paneled Convention Center and Stadiums, including the Urban Center – LEED CERTIFIEDThey also make use of their website to encourage travelers to travel “greenly”Participating in bike toursEngaging with locally owned businessesTraveling off the beaten path
  • North America’s Largest Hotel Chain / 50 Hotels in 9 Countries Initiated in 1990Locations: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, and Fragile ecosystems Sonoran Desert Coastal Zones, Mangove Wetlands Protection and Conservation of these resources = sustaining business
  • Waste Management: Recycling, Organics Diversion/Composting, Food and Goods RedistributionEnergy Conservation: Lighting Retrofits, HVAC Upgrades, Alt. EnergyWater Conservation: Tap Aerators, LowFlow Showerheads, Low Flush Toilets, Wastewater recycling systemsCommunity: Turtle Conservation (Mexico), Coral Reef Protection (Hawaii), Beluga Whale Adoption (Quebec)
  • Fairmont Royal – Installed new soft water washing machinesFairmont Vancouver – BC Energy Savings Plan
  • TUI is onethe world’s largest tour operator.30 million travelers. 118 Countries.
  • They have made a huge commitment towards sustainability – not just in their services but in requiring that their partners and affiliates commit to it as well
  • TUI has annual surveyThis particular question: perceptions of needsImportant: IF A COMPANY OFFERED A SUSTAINBLE OPTION – I’D BOOK
  • TUI has a massive supply chain – its supply chains have supply chains – on and on. Recognize the importance of managing the expectations of their partnersThey have one of the largest collection of certified hotels and tour operators and receive numerous awards.We recognized that the “green traveler” market is small… but if they’re going to book a tour, they’re going to go with TUI.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Sustainable TourismImpacts On and Off the Beaten Path
      Bruno Maia/
      Bruno Maia/
      Bruno Maia/
    • 2. What is sustainable tourism?
    • 3. The tourism industry has trouble defining it…
      Green Tourism
      Authentic Travel
      Cultural Tourism
      Adventure Tourism
      Community Tourism
      Responsible Tourism
    • 4. Sustainability is vital to the life of the tourism industry.
      Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. A suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability.
      UN World Tourism Organization
    • 5. Every day, tourismplays a larger role in our world.
      • Over 900 million international tourists traveled last year
      • 6. UNWTO forecasts it will increase to 1.6 billion tourists by 2020
    • Sustainable Tourism has the power to create change on a global scale.
      • Preserve destinations for generations to come
      • 7. Safeguard our cultural and environmental heritage
      • 8. Promote social equality
      • 9. Energize new markets to travel
      • 10. Revitalize local communities
      • 11. Create jobs along the rich value chain
      • 12. Keep tourism dollars within destinations
      • 13. Help businesses reduce costs
      Bruno Maia/
    • 14. … but there is hesitancy.
      “It’s Just a Fad”
      “Too Expensive”
      “Too Complicated”
      • “Requires Sacrificing Quality”
      • 15. “No Return on Investment”
    • Consumers are ready.
      • 66% in U.S. believe their travel choices make a difference*
      • 16. 80% in Europe believe their travel choices make a difference**
      • 17. 44% consider the environment when making travel decisions*
      • 18. 56% are skeptical about sustainability and looking for information*
      • 19. 95% of business travelers think hotels should be “green”***
      • 20. 67% would change travel habits if they knew it made a difference**
      *Sabre Holdings, 2010
      Bruno Maia/
    • 21. What do “sustainable travelers” look like?
      • Younger. Average age is 39. Non-green traveler is 44.
      • 22. Educated. 48% have a college degree.
      • 23. Wealthier. 13% higher income.
      • 24. Spendy-er. $2,000 more on travel per year.
      • 25. Tech Savvy. Book online and value technology.
      *Saber Holdings, 2010
      ** LOHAS
      Bruno Maia/
    • 26. But what are they looking for?
      Bruno Maia/
    • 27. The things that you can probably guess…
      Conservation of natural resources
      Protecting biodiversity
      Reduction of waste
      Minimizing effects on climate change
      Bruno Maia/
    • 28. And some you didn’t know you knew...
      Bruno Maia/
      Bruno Maia/
    • 29.
    • 30.
    • 31.
    • 32.
    • 33. National Geographic and Travel Industry AssociationResearch of American Travelers:
      • Over one-half think its harder to find unspoiled places than it used to be
      • 34. Three out of four don’t want their travel to harm the place they visit
      • 35. 74% seek “authentic”, “local,” and “distinct” experiences
      • 36. 55 – 65 million Americans can be considered experiential travelers
      • 37. These travelers spend 75% more than other travelers on each trip.
    • With sustainable tourismWe all benefit.
      Bruno Maia/
      Tourism Boards
    • 38. Hundreds of organizations are doingthe right thing. But each in different ways.
    • 39. Introducing the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
      A set of common guidelines created with the input of experts, groups and companies from around the planet, defining sustainable tourism in a way that is actionable, measurableand credible. Setting a minimum standard of sustainability for tourism businesses across the globe.
    • 40. What are the Criteria?
      • 37 criteria organized in 4 key areas of sustainability
      • 41. A universal language defining a minimum standard for sustainability
      • 42. Global principles that can be adapted to address local conditions and specific industry sectors
      • 43. A roadmap to sustainability
    • GSTC Criteria: Global input.Global standard.
      Establishment of GSTC Criteria:
      • Outreach to 80,000 constituencies
      • 44. 2,000experts
      • 45. 18-month process
      • 46. 5rounds
      • 47. 4,500 existing criteria analyzed
      • 48. 91% approval for any criterion
      • 49. ISEAL compliant
    • The power of a single solution.
      • Global, actionable definition of sustainable tourism
      • 50. Trust and value in certification
      • 51. Influence on consumer demand and confidence
      • 52. Larger market potential and greater share
      • 53. Supply and market positioning for sustainable product
    • 54. Questions? Next up:
      • Sustainability at the Destination: San Francisco, CA
      • 55. Sustainability Tool for the Destination: Geotourism
      • 56. Sustainability at the Business: Fairmont Hotel
      • 57. Sustainable Tours: TUI
      Bruno Maia/
    • 58. San Francisco
      Rated one of the Top 10 green cities in the United States
      by National Geographic’s Green Guide
    • 59. Cultural Heritage Preservation
      Route Development & Promotion
      Green Business Program
      Innovative Public Transit
      Minimize Solid Waste
      Energy Conscious
      Green Meeting Spaces
      Slow Food Movement
    • 60.
    • 61.
    • 62.
    • 63. National Geographic’s Geotourism Program
      Printed and online platforms that tell
      theunique story of a place
    • 64. The Geotourism Process
      Local Geotourism Council
      Local Public Forums
      Local Nominations
      National Geographic Review & Editing
    • 65. Geotourism MapGuides
    • 66. Geotourism MapGuide
    • 67. Fairmont Green Partnership Program
      First chain-wide environmental program
      Unique location of hotels
    • 68. Fairmont Green Partnership Program
      Waste Management
    • 69. Fairmont Green Partnership Program
      Fairmont Royal York
      Reduced water intake by 476,000 liters/day
      Received award from City of Toronto for $50,000
      Exceptional public relations
      Fairmont Vancouver
      Reduced carbon emissions by 7800 tons
      Saved $700,000
      Exceptional public relations
    • 70.
    • 71. TUI Travel
      “Sustainability is still not a major deciding factor for most people when they choose a holiday…
      “… but it is in the interests of our destinations and the environment that it becomes a strong influence factor.”
    • 72. TUI Travel
    • 73. TUI Travel
      6% cut in carbon emissions by 2014
      94% are engaging with social or environmental projects issues or organizations
      77% of businesses are engaging their partners on environmental issues
      92% of businesses have put in place sustainability management plans
    • 74. TUI Travel
      Acommitment to communicating theimportance of sustainability
      Encouragement ofnew practices
    • 75. The journey may be long.But it’s worth it.
      Sustainability will not happen all at once.
      But, every little bit counts – for you and the traveler.
    • 76. Shared Rewards.
      Shared Responsibilities.
      David Brown
      Solimar International
      (202) 518-6192