UNESCO and Expedia Group announce support for Sustainable Travel Commitment
The list of signatories of the global initiative includes Meliá Hotels International, THB Hotels, Universal Hotels, Helios Hotels, the Mantra brands of Accor Hotels, the EU eco-label and the Green Tourism certification
UNESCO and Expedia Group announced new endorsements from a number of leading hotel groups and organizations joining the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge (hereinafter “UNESCO Pledge”). The purpose of the UNESCO Commitment is to promote sustainable travel, community resilience and heritage conservation globally.
Meliá Hotels International has now joined the initiative by initially adding a portfolio of more than 136 hotels, mainly from the Paradisus, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Innside, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Sol by Meliá brands in 13 countries to the list of signers. THB Hotels, with its group of 3 and 4-star hotels in some of the most outstanding tourist destinations in Spain, such as Mallorca, Ibiza, the Costa del Sol and Lanzarote, also joined the project, in addition to the Universal Hotels and Helios chains Hotels de Mallorca, followed by Accor Hotels' Mantra brands (Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree) further increasing the number of signatories, with more than 130 accommodations in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii.
In addition, we are pleased to announce that UNESCO and Expedia Group will support the European Union Ecolabel by offering certified tourist accommodation the status of signatories of the UNESCO Commitment. The EU Ecolabel, recognized in Europe and around the world, is the official label of the European Union that represents environmental excellence. For many companies, the criteria established by the label constitute a benchmark and guide when it comes to promoting a series of practices that respect the environment. In addition to the label system, Edinburgh's Green Tourism certification, made up of more than 800 members of the hotel industry who follow an ecological model to promote sustainable tourism around the world, joined the UNESCO Commitment.
Expedia Group, which believes that travel is something extraordinary, says that travelers are increasingly aware of the impact that their trips can have on the environment, the economy and the people who live in those destinations. In addition, they are willing to pay to support the initiatives followed by accommodation and travel providers in order to minimize the negative effects they generate on the environment and have a positive impact on it. Studies that have been carried out indicate that almost two out of three (59%) tourists would agree to pay more to ensure that their trip is more sustainable.
The UNESCO Commitment aims to reduce single-use plastics and waste, improve energy and water conservation, as well as promote a collective commitment to sustainability in order to establish a new concept of tourism that protects the environment. , the local culture and the communities that depend on this sector to prosper. Since it was created in 2019, the UNESCO Commitment has grown thanks to the adherence of large groups, such as Accor, Iberostar and Banyan Tree Group, which have signed and committed to carry out concrete, transparent and viable actions.
The credibility of UNESCO and Expedia Group allows travelers to know which travel companies have committed to being sustainable by preserving culture and heritage and reducing the negative environmental impact that travel can have on destinations. The collaborators give their word to carry out concrete, transparent and viable actions, in addition to making a joint effort and devising plans to promote continuous improvement in local communities.
Aditi Mohapatra, Vice President of Global Social Impact & Sustainability at Expedia Group, says: “Travellers are not only more informed about the sustainability credentials held by travel providers, but they are also becoming more engaged and actively seeking travel options. sustainable travel and are often willing to pay more for them. Travel providers have a responsibility to do their part in creating a sustainable tourism sector, something that will eventually become an economic imperative when their travelers begin to give weight to this aspect. The UNESCO Commitment, with more than 6,000 affiliated hotels, has more and more strength,
Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture: “The UNESCO Commitment provides a framework for action on the ground with the aim of improving livelihoods and charting a path towards a more sustainable future for travel . The commitment of these new signatories to solve the effect that their operations generate on the environment and the communities in which they work is highly commendable. We urge others to sign up to the Pledge and show their support to advance these key priorities for sustainable tourism: from reducing single-use plastics, to saving water and lowering energy consumption, to strengthening participation, benefit and the resilience of local communities”.