By Leilani Latimer, Sabre Holdings and GSTC Board Member
Today is World Tourism Day – a day dedicated to fostering awareness about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value – and this year’s theme is “linking cultures”.
“In a global environment marked by rising intolerance and cross-cultural tensions, often exacerbated by the economic divide between nations, tourism can foster spiritual and cultural respect among and between peoples, while creating economic opportunities to benefit disadvantaged populations” – UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
Sabre is celebrating World Tourism Day by renewing our commitment to the work of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. We were a founding member of the GSTC and since 2008 have adopted the GSTC criteria as a baseline for our sustainable travel offerings so that we can provide clear, sustainable choices to our customers with integrity and confidence. This global framework is an essential tool for businesses to innovate, increase customer loyalty and compete in today’s fast-paced environment – all whilst protecting our key stakeholders; economies, communities, people and the planet!
“Linking Cultures” is also about celebrating strong partnerships, and along with the Rainforest Alliance – another founding member of the GSTC – Sabre has built a strong partnership dedicated to promoting frameworks for sustainable tourism, and providing education on how to use these standards in product offerings. In fact, our Travelocity® Latin American team recently participated in the Seminar of Sustainable Tourism organized by Rainforest Alliance at Travel Mart Latin America, and will be presenting at the upcoming People, Planet, Peace conference in Costa Rica as well – show-casing Travelocity’s Green Hotels as an example of sustainable travel in action.
This week Sabre will be amongst the presenters at the XIX Inter-American Travel Congress in San Salvador speaking about best practices in Sustainable Tourism as a means for sustainable development in emerging markets. Fostering links between the public and private sectors and driving Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable practices further into our industry is another objective of UNWTO and of our “Better travel, better world” commitment at Sabre, and the GSTC’s vision to “Travel Forever”. Join us … because together we can make the world a better place … one journey at a time!