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WTTC insight papers released to help drive sustainability in tourism

WTTC insight papers released to help drive sustainability in tourism
June 18, 2021

The World Travel and Tourism Council have collaborated with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to release four research insight papers to support the pursuit of sustainability in Travel and Tourism.

The research insights aim to support decision-makers in Travel and Tourism broaden their understanding of sustainability as it relates to policies and practice in the sector.

WTTC and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have a long history of collaboration, working towards a more sustainable future for Travel & Tourism. Together, they aim to raise awareness, shift mind-sets, and enact systemic change.

WTTC hopes that these research insights will help move the agenda beyond immediate operational impacts, with sustainability positioned as central to long-term business success. Indeed, many private sector organisations in Travel & Tourism embed sustainability into their strategy.

The learning insights focus on four key sustainability-related issues, notably: setting science-based targets in Travel & Tourism; adopting a culture of health to advance sustainable Travel & Tourism; behavioural economics in Travel & Tourism; and leadership in sustainability.

Insights include:

•Aligning business strategy with global commitments

•Translating environmental benefits secured by climate action, such as switching to renewable energy sources and transitioning to electric vehicles, among others

•Making sustainability the default option and an expected norm.

•Simplifying options and choice sets, incorporating sustainability as the most likely option a traveller will make

•Visualising pro-sustainability choices and behaviours, where possible

•Ongoing investment in sustainability education and training to drive sustainability at all levels, including Board members

•Ensuring sustainability leadership traits, attributes and impact are woven into staff development plans, appraisal, and reward mechanisms

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting Chief Executive, WTTC enthused “we are delighted to be working with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health once again– a leading academic institution globally.

“WTTC is thrilled to champion sustainability leadership and innovation practices in Travel & Tourism and be involved in creating meaningful outputs on sustainability within the sector. We hope this work will help bring in a new era within the sector that encourages social and environmental responsibility.

“Sustainability has become an integral part of the new normal that we’re seeing the sector move towards, and it’s clear that businesses must learn to integrate it as part of their organisational DNA if they want to thrive in a post-COVID world.”

Dr. Wendy Purcell, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead researcher for the research insights added “this is an important collaboration where sustainability, public health and business come together to advance research-led practice in the Travel & Tourism sector. Given the importance of the Travel & Tourism sector for people, planet and shared prosperity, research-led practice in the sector is central to inclusive and sustainable growth.”

Professor Jack Spengler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health advised “we value our long-term collaboration with WTTC. These important research insights draw attention to opportunities to help accelerate change in the sector.”

This collaboration between WTTC and Harvard encourages the sharing of best practices and supports sustainability as a core strategic priority to ensure the viability of the Travel & Tourism sector and the co-creation of thriving sustainable societies.

To read the learning insights in full, please click here

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17th May 2021 - Thailand joins more than 275 destinations in adopting WTTC Safe Travels stamp

13th May 2021 - WTTC announces Julia Simpson as new Chief Executive

28th April 2021 - Martina Navratilova helps launch Women Initiative at WTTC 2021

25th April 2021 - WTTC’S summit to be world’s first face-to-face post-pandemic global tourism event  

12th February 2021 - WTTC new paper showcases tourism industry’s role in in enhancing social progress

6th February 2021 - WTTC says governments should abandon notion of ‘high-risk countries’ and instead focus on ‘high-risk travellers’

20th January 2021 - WTTC predicts over 100 million global tourism jobs could be recovered during 2021

17th December 2020 - WTTC releases major new guidelines for Inclusion and Diversity to aid tourism sector

26th November 2020 - WTTC hosts inaugural virtual AGM highlighting importance of international collaboration for COVID recovery

14th October 2020 - WTTC recognises Australia’s COVID Clean Practicing Business Program

1st October 2020 - WTTC releases guidelines for safe return to work

28th September 2020 - WTTC launches new report on tourism’s future in the wake of COVID-19

21st September 2020 - ATEC aligns with WTTC Safe Travel protocols  

19th September 2020 - The Philippines revealed as 100th destination to receive WTTC Safe Travels stamp

4th September 2020 - WTTC launches Safe Travels protocols for adventure tourism


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