Home Publisher's Point of View WTTC Releases Important ‘Nature Positive Travel & Tourism’ Report

WTTC Releases Important ‘Nature Positive Travel & Tourism’ Report

Glenn Hasek

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has just released an extensive research document entitled, “Nature Positive Travel & Tourism.” I highly recommend reading this report. Says WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson in the introduction, “Nature Positive Travel & Tourism explores how our sector can protect nature while preventing further damage to nature and promoting a regenerative approach to tourism. It also highlights the challenges we must overcome to fulfil our role as a key sector in addressing biodiversity loss and, with it, climate change. We created this report to serve as a resource for Travel & Tourism businesses and a springboard to ensure Nature Positive strategies are employed throughout the Travel & Tourism value chain and in every region. With this research and these recommendations, we can facilitate a more coordinated global effort to living in harmony with nature while enabling global Travel & Tourism and supporting the lives and livelihoods that depend on our sector to survive.

In a nutshell, you need to be asking yourself, “Is my hotel or company taking more from nature than it is giving back? Or, giving back more than it is taking?” For our industry and our world to be sustainable, it must be “nature positive.”

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, in the report’s foreward, says we are losing biodiversity and natural resources at an unprecedented rate. Yet, the tourism sector has a unique need for, and responsibility to, contribute to the reversal of nature and biodiversity loss.

“The good news is that Travel & Tourism is in a unique position to contribute to this reversal by: educating and raising awareness of travelers, hosts, and employees; generating revenue streams that sustain the protection, management, and restoration of ecosystems, protected areas, and other effective forms of land and seascape conservation; reducing footprint activities at the resort and destination level; and innovating in the development of nature-based solutions.”

We Are Losing Our Wildlife

The report repeatedly addresses the mess we have made. For example, cumulative human activity has resulted in widespread loss of natural habitat and biodiversity, with an average 68 percent decline in the abundance of wildlife and one in four species now facing extinction. That said, it also offers a pathway for Travel & Tourism to become nature positive. It sets out ways leaders can spark change in their own organizations and offers a roadmap with recommended actions.

In section five of the report there are four process phases suggested for Travel & Tourism stakeholders: Assess & Define; Reduce & Restore; Monitor & Report; and Collaborate & Communicate.

Following the steps to becoming nature positive will take a lot of discussion, planning, a budget, and measuring and monitoring. You may need the advice of a sustainability consultant to walk you through the process.

“Achieving Nature Positive Tourism goes beyond mitigation. Ensure your activities have an overall net benefit, and this means also identifying positive contributions such as opportunities to restore nature. This could be done through a well-designed and well-implemented philanthropic program, but restoration is often more impactful, and brings more benefits to the business, when actions are connected with business activities,” the report says.

Achieving nature positive tourism will require a long-term commitment. With as much turnover there is in our industry, your organization must make it part of your DNA and something that is passed on from one manager/owner to another. You must involve your employees, your guests, your suppliers—all who impact your organization’s environmental footprint.

Kudos to WTTC for prompting conversation around becoming “nature positive.” We are part of an industry whose business model is based on growth, growth, and more growth. We need to make our growth contingent on becoming nature positive.

Your thoughts? I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Green Lodging News Adds Clean the World to Product & Service Directory

Green Lodging News has added Clean the World to its Green Product & Service Directory under the category of Recycling/Soap & Amenity Bottles. Clean the World provides innovative impact solutions that inspire businesses and individuals to impact their community and help change the world. Through its Hospitality Recycling program, Clean the World recycles the used soap and plastic amenity bottles left behind by guests and collected by housekeepers around the world. The Impact Reporting that is provided as part of the program provides partners advanced insights on their sustainability contributions. At any given moment, partners can review, track, and observe the impact they’re making to the environment and in the lives of people in need. Most importantly, they can share that information with key stakeholders. Call (407) 574-8353 or e-mail programs@cleantheworld.org for more information.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

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Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers, and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

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Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each week, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

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