Global Bodies Build Framework for Responsible Travel

Travel and tourism industry keen to turn sustainable to limit the ill effects of climate change
Tourists in Lua village enjoying a community-based tourism activity
Tourists in Lua village enjoying a community-based tourism activity

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, a global body representing leading hospitality companies (comprising 30 per cent of the industry), has announced the development of a Planet Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality (Pathway). The Pathway aims to enable every hotel to improve their impact, whatever their starting point on their sustainability journey. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in support of the initiative, has planned a sustainability framework accessible to the global hospitality industry.

Even before the world has fully realigned itself with the changing scenario following the COVID-19 pandemic, environmentalists are sounding the alarm about climate change and its disastrous effects. According to the latest report from Climate Action Tracker (CAT), despite promises by countries attending the United Nations summit, in Glasgow, to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the Earth is set to heat up far beyond the target set for 2100. In another report, CAT mentioned that despite commitment to net zero emissions, none of the 40 indicators are making progress at the pace necessary for the world to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and fully decarbonize by mid-century, which are both necessary to limit global temperature rise to 1.5&degC.

According to Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chair, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, &ldquoThe world is without a doubt at a crucial tipping point. But it&rsquos not too late to avert an environmental catastrophe. We need to act fast and we must collaborate as we double up our efforts. The dialogue needs to go beyond having &lsquozero&rsquo impact and look towards what we can be putting back into the natural world to ensure we have a lasting positive impact on our planet and its people.&rdquo Now hotels around the globe, groups or individuals, can dig into this knowledge base for workable solutions to become sustainable.

The Pathway will encompass four clear stages and practical tools that guide the industry towards a regenerative impact on our planet, the Alliance said. Because like other major industries, the hospitality industry has a crucial role to play in limiting the impacts of climate change, including emissions, water usage, waste and resource procurement.

To lead inclusive positive action on climate change, WTTC, which represents the global travel & tourism private sector, will support the initiative by uniting leading hotel companies and industry partners with the hope of raising the global basic level of hotel sustainability. The global tourism body will create a set of fundamental sustainability actions for hotels, with demonstrable positive impact, for those businesses that are at the very beginning of their journey.

Said Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, &ldquoWe recognise both the major challenges we are facing and the urgent need to restart our sector safely and responsibly. We fully endorse and support the Pathway, an initiative which complements WTTC&rsquos own ambition to move the entire sector to net zero. WTTC is in a unique position to connect the entire industry and encourage the many SMEs and others within the industry to begin their journey with a solid sustainability framework.&rdquo

Current partner groups include leading hotel companies such as Accor, Barceló Hotel Group, Huazhu including their affiliate Deutsche Hospitality, Indian Hotels Company Limited, Jin Jiang International (Holdings) Co., Ltd. including their affiliates Jin Jiang Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group and Radisson Hotel Group, Meliá Hotels International, Minor Hotels including NH Hotel Group.

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