PORTLAND, OR – The industry-wide 10 Million Better campaign to monitor and scale up social and environmental benefits from travel and tourism was officially launched at the Travel and Tourism Collective Impact Summit in Portland, Oregon this week.
Spearheaded by the NGO Sustainable Travel International, the campaign convenes industry leaders worldwide around the goal demonstrating improvements in the lives of at least 10 million people and their families through travel and tourism by 2025. Targeted improvements include growth of income and opportunity, better protection of destinations’ natural and cultural resources and heritage attractions, and more efficient resource use. Campaign participations have begun pooling their impacts using Sustainable Travel International’s impact counter, which currently shows they’re reaching nearly 300,000 people and counting.
“The impact counter demonstrates the power of tourism to improve lives and protect places,” said Louise Twining-Ward, CEO of Sustainable Travel International. “Great efforts to turn the industry’s impacts positive exist, but they’re scattered across the globe. Adopting shared objectives, tracking progress and aggregating the data are key to leveraging tourism’s enormous power to do good and to help meet global sustainability goals, as the UN has mandated it to do.”
Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries. It provides one out of eleven jobs worldwide and has an enormous global environmental and social footprint, including 5% of greenhouse gas emissions. The Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit September 25-27 include promoting sustainable tourism and monitoring its impacts. The UNWTO declared September 27 World Tourism Day to highlight what UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called “the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.”
Many travel industry and sustainability leaders have endorsed the 10 Million Better campaign and pledged their support. Corporate sponsors include G Adventures and Globus. Afar, Carlson, Delaware North, G Adventures Intrepid Travel, Sierra Club, Skål International, Starwood and others have designated campaign ambassadors. Sustainable Travel International’s Leadership Networks including such brands as A&K, Finnair, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and United Airlines have endorsed the campaign.