Responsible, Local Travel in the USA - updated Aug 2015
Responsible, LocalTravel in the USA
Eat Local, Stay Local, Buy Local
Travel and tourism is one of America’s largest
• Generated $2.1 trillion in economic output in 2014,
with $927.9 billion spent directly by domestic and
• Directly generated $141.5 billion in tax revenue for
local, state and federal governments.
• Direct spending by resident and international travelers in
the U.S. averaged $2.5 billion a day, $105.8 million an
hour, $1.8 million a minute and $29,398 a second.
U.S. Travel Association ustravel.org
May 2-9, 2015 is a celebration of travel in the US. But we
think they might be missing the point.
Most benefits go to corporations and their shareholders that don’t live
in our communities.
US Travel Association’s
Power of Travel Coalition
Help us defend and strengthen the American travel community
The Power of Travel Coalition is the grassroots army of the American travel
community. The Coalition seeks to amplify the voices of millions of travel employees
with a vested interest in combating future assaults on travel, rewarding leaders who
champion our industry, and advocating for policies that promote travel to and within
the United States.
Who is the Coalition?
The Coalition is the 14.4 million individuals whose jobs depend on a strong travel
Who are the members of the Power of Travel Coalition?
All travel employees, from hotel and rental car employees to theme park and cruise line
workers, tour operators, meeting planners, and restaurant staff.
What are the major issues the Coalition advocates for?
1. Welcoming International Visitors
2. Reducing Travel Hassles
3. Keep America Meeting
4. Enhancing Our Nation’s Infrastructure
US Travel Association’s “Power of Travel Coalition” is calling for
expanding international trade agreements – that certainly doesn’t
benefit small businesses in the USA:
Tell Congress: Pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)
Passing TPA Would Boost Inbound Travel & the Economy
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Email your Senators and
Representative asking them to co-sponsor and support
legislation (S. 995 or H.R. 1890) to enact Trade Promotion
Lowering the industry’s carbon footprint
Incentives and programs that benefit our communities
Recognition that travel industry benefits often don't reach the
grassroots - the local communities and small businesses that make up
90 percent of all businesses. It is an industry where 50-90% of dollars
spent locally are "leaked" back to shareholders in far away places and
do not stay in the local economy. And even more unfortunate, the US
Travel Association is more about marketing and promoting, and
directing tourism dollars to multinational corporations than to our mom
and pop businesses.
Let’s get real. Join in on discussions about
Responsible, Local Travel in the USA
Fridays @ noon central time – originally every Friday in May but
extended indefinitely. Please check
planeta.wikispaces.com/localtravelusa for dates and featured
Hear from grassroots localist sector leaders: local food, slow food,
local travel, the sharing economy, heritage/cultural tourism, buy-
local campaigns and more.
Free Google Hangouts
These lively discussions explore examples of
corporate, social and environmental responsibility
within the US travel sector. To us, this means bringing
together innovative people with localist values who
are naturally creating a better world.
Examples of good practice please!
Take the Survey
Add your voice – help shape discussions and the future of
responsible, local travel in the US:
Some things we’re hearing about:
“Our organization is helping rehab and start a local food hub including
retail, brewery, commercial kitchen, and food processing (added value).”
“I curate content about climate change, the effects of tar sands (Keystone XL
pipeline) on the environment, and have written a blogpost asking what is
the tourism industry doing to preserve the environment.”
Let’s Learn From Innovative, Responsible
There is growing interest and markets in
responsible, local travel.
Reasons to Support Responsible, Local Travel in the
• Build a sharing/peer network in the USA.
• Leverage the strengths of all sectors together (for example the arts are a driver
in the tourism economy).
• Educate the public about many local issues (for example educate the public
about the risks of fast food).
• Encourage ethical buying
• Collectively inform the public about responsible tourism.
• Collaboratively message and advertise to diverse markets.
• Have Fun! Celebrate our passions and values with like-minded people.
• Be part of the change.
• Highlight the best of America in all of our work.
• Build important connections and collaborations.
•Support independent businesses like farmers, chefs, musicians, artisans,
brewers, shopkeepers and inn keepers.
• Be part of an innovative community.
• Connect with diverse people and sectors that may be outside of your normal
Responsible travel and local economies
•Encourage local prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an
increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely
to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and
•Encourage support directly to small businesses.
• Help diminish tourism "leakages," so that tourist dollars spent in a community stay
in the community, rather than "leaking" back to the corporate shareholders of
chains not based in the area.
• Strengthen local economies so they can have a direct positive impact on the lives
of all citizens and visitors within the community.
•Provide more information about local products and services (how food is grown for
•Support community groups: non-profit organizations receive an average 250%
more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
Responsible Travel and Social Issues
•Build community vibrancy and retain local traditions while establishing a local
identity through a unique sense of community.
•Encourage people to learn more about their local area/region and the
importance of supporting local businesses and organizations.
•Support public/community objectives.
•Promote community interaction by fostering relationships between local
businesses & organizations and visitors.
•Promote community engagement.
•Celebrate and preserve local culinary traditions and foods, cultural heritage,
history - communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and
distinctive character have an economic advantage.
Some Featured Guests:
Chris McKay, Founder of Crooked Trails & TAP - http://crookedtrails.org From Portland,
OR they take people all over the world and educate them about the places they are visiting.
They normally call their work sustainable travel - and are excited to be recognized for their
responsible travel efforts. Chris just raised over $30k for aid to Nepal where she runs
programs. She also started Travelers Against Plastic (TAP)
http://www.travelersagainstplastic.org This 3 min video explains a lot:
Ethan Gelber, Responsible Tourism
Writer/Blogger/Communications, co-organizer of NYC
Tourism Expo - A communications guy at The Travel
Word / OutBounding / EcoAdventure Media /
Destination Accelerator Interview in HuffPost:
founder and editor of The Travel Word
http://www.thetravelword.com (a website showcasing
responsible, sustainable and local travel), co-initiator of
the Local Travel Movement (a platform for people
passionate about local travel). The Travel Word
Emily Northey, Minnesota Main Street/Preservation
Alliance of MN - @MNMainStreet
Evelyne White, startup founder @bookalokal.
@eroundtable graduate. 1 foot in #brussels, the other
Kara Polyner, Incredible Ely! Ely, Minnesota
Linda Cox, Board – Hawaii Ecotoruism Association
Community Economic Development Specialist,
University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Ron Mader of Planeta.com (celebrating an incredible 20
years on the world wide web) and tourism activist.
Deborah McLaren of GetLocalFlavor.com, author of
“Rethinking Tourism and Ecotravel,” founder of three
responsible tourism organizations and passionate