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Manuals Highlight Turn-Key Solutions

Sustainable Travel International profiles best practices in travelers' philanthropy

eTN Staff Writer  Dec 12, 2008

BOULDER, CO - In the spirit of the giving season, Sustainable Travel International released today the first edition of its Best Practices in Travel Philanthropy tour operators and accommodation manuals, which feature notable philanthropic initiatives worldwide.

‚ÄúWith this release, travel and tourism companies share insights into their philanthropic initiatives, including success factors, benefits, challenges, and lessons learned in providing giving back programs,‚ÄĚ said Brian T. Mullis, president of Sustainable Travel International. ‚ÄúConsumer awareness with regard to the need to address environmental and social concerns is growing, and the travel industry may easily be at the forefront of this growing movement. While we often speak of environmental responsibility, these manuals serve as a vehicle for creating a multiplier effect within the travel industry by illustrating how easy it is to implement turn-key solutions that positively impact local destinations.‚ÄĚ

The Best Practices in Travel Philanthropy manuals identify operational best practices and are intended to serve as the resource for social entrepreneurship with information and guidance to businesses interested in realizing the benefits of adopting altruistic initiatives that support sustainable development. As more travel companies seek to serve the increasing demand for responsible travel, it has become a challenge for many to ensure their businesses are non-invasive and least disruptive to destinations. The case studies profiled offer small to large tourism providers positive solutions that can be implemented and delivered affordably and in a timely manner.

‚ÄúTour operators, hotels, and travelers should take equal responsibility to ensure the communities in which they work gain from tourism and are not misused by the industry,‚ÄĚ stated Duncan Beardsley, director of Generosity in Action. ‚ÄúGiving back is a significant component of the travel industry, and best practices are a great means to introduce philanthropic concepts to the travel and tourism industry at large,‚ÄĚ added Beardsley.

In addition to business outcomes, the best practices outlined in the case studies help to enhance and maximize social benefits for local communities, minimize negative environmental and socio-cultural impacts, and increase profitability across different sectors of the industry. The manuals emphasize improved relationships between host, guests, and travel brokers as a means for achieving sustainability.

A common theme and strong belief among all travel companies STI researched was the need to positively impact destinations with the welfare of local communities at the root of all sustainable practices. Accordingly, most participants stressed that emphasis must be placed on collaboration and respect in a way that improves the local quality of life while enhancing the overall experience for the traveler.

According to Mullis, the Best Practices in Travel Philanthropy are designed to complement Sustainable Travel International’s Travelers Giving Back ( program and are an integral part of the organization’s broader objective to create a comprehensive collection of comparable documents that will be expanded to include updates on philanthropic initiatives and related case studies within each sector of the tourism industry.

Copies of the Best Practices in Travel Philanthropy manuals can be downloaded from Sustainable Travel International's website: Tour Operator manual, Accommodations manual. For additional information on Sustainable Travel International’s Travelers Giving Back programs or to have copies of the manuals emailed to you, call (800) 276-7764 or email .

Sustainable Travel International profiles best practices in travelers' philanthropy
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