Expedia Group and UNESCO, committed to sustainable travel

At this point, it is undeniable that concern for the environment will define the present and the future of tourism. The new agreement between Expedia Group and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization seems to confirm this. Now they have announced that a series of prestigious hospitality industry groups and organizations are signing up and joining the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge.

In favor of sustainable tourism, this initiative aims to encourage hotels to be more environmentally aware and green measures. Its main objectives are therefore to promote responsible travel, the resilience of communities and the conservation of heritage around the world.

Expedia Group believes that travel is a force for good with great potential to make a difference around the world. This is why he states that Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact your hobbies may have in local environments, economies, and people who inhabit those destinations.

Not only that, but customers are also willing to contribute financially to support the efforts of accommodation providers who are trying to minimize their negative environmental impacts. According to their research, almost two out of three tourists (59%) are willing to pay more. Yes, as long as it’s to make your trip more sustainable, so there’s been a clear shift in mentality.

The advantages of the agreement

In search of a positive impact, the two organizations support the European Union Ecolabel. This is the agency’s official label of environmental excellence. In addition, many companies consider the criteria of the same as a reliable reference and guide to the best ecological practices.

Thus, Expedia and Unesco offer current labeled tourist accommodation the status of signatories of the Commitment. In addition to this system, Green Tourism Accreditation also joined. With headquarters in Edinburgh made up of over 800 accommodation members, it also seeks to promote global sustainable tourism.

On the other hand, the agreement also aims to reduce single-use plastic and waste. At the same time, he wants to improve energy and water conservation, as well as promote sustainable community engagement. The idea is to help invoke a new sense of more conscious tourism.

Social commitment grows

“Travelers are not only more aware of the sustainability credentials of their travel suppliers, but they are increasingly engaged and actively seek sustainable travel options, often willing to pay more for them. This is what assured Aditi Mohapatra, vice president of social impact and global sustainability of the group Expedia.

He also said that “travel providers not only have a responsibility to contribute to the creation of a sustainable tourism sector, but will increasingly have an economic imperative to do so, as their travelers begin to express their opinion”.

In this context, he considers that the Commitment demonstrates that “more and more tourism businesses are willing to make concrete and transparent commitments with sustainability as the threat of climate change becomes more real every day.

For his part, Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General for Culture, says “The Commitment provides a framework for action on the ground to improve living standards and chart a course towards a more sustainable future. for travel”. “We urge others to sign on and commit to moving forward on these critical priorities for sustainable tourism,” he concluded.

Big Conscious Hotel Chains

Since its creation in 2019, the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Commitment has been extended to major groups in the sector. In total, more than 6,000 hotels have joined, which demonstrate their commitment to the environment. Among the signatories are Accor, Iberostar and Banyan Tree Group, which have committed to concrete, transparent and achievable actions.

Hotels Melia International

At the same time, Meliá Hotels International joined the initiative, initially adding a portfolio of over 136 hotels. They are found under the Paradisus, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Innside, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Sol by Meliá brands, in 13 countries on the list of signatories.

Likewise, we find THB Hotels, with its range of 3 and 4 star hotels in some of the main tourist destinations in Spain, such as Mallorca, Ibiza, the Costa del Sol and Lanzarote. Next door are the Universal Hotels in Mallorca and the Helios Hotels. It is followed by the Mantra brands of Accor Hotels (Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree), further increasing the total number of signatories with more than 130 establishments in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii.

In short, the reputation of Unesco and Expedia Group offers travelers an overview of committed travel agencies sustainable by preserving culture, local communities and heritage. This way, customers will be able to choose accommodations that are committed to minimizing the negative environmental effects that travel can have on destinations.

Images courtesy: Daniel Frank on Unsplash, Szabolcs Toth on Unsplash

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