Last week, the Sustainable Travel Leadership Network (STLN), a group of leading companies from major travel industry sectors united to share knowledge on responsible tourism, unveiled a new tool to help the travel industry make informed decisions on investments in destination development. Called TravelWell, the new tool was developed to encourage sustainability at the destination level, the most exciting area for ecotourism change.
TravelWell is a survey of 20 key indicators based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Destinations to allow destinations to evaluate their own sustainability. The main tenets of the GSTC are to employ sustainable destination management and to maximize benefits to the community, visitors and cultural heritage, maximize environmental benefits, and to maximize economic benefits to the host community. With these criteria, TravelWell aims to help governments assess and benchmark their own environmental and social practices, while providing specific guidelines for sustainable destination management.
“The travel industry really needs a solution like TravelWell,” contributed Jamie Sweeting, Chairman of Sustainable Travel International. “It will provide an incentive to destinations, helping them to demonstrate and communicate their sustainability initiatives and good practices, and ultimately, enable them to be recognized and rewarded for them, increasing their competitiveness in the marketplace.”
In related news, also last week — week four of Business in the Community’s #BetheStart campaign — organizations including Eurostar, BlaBlaCar, Greener Journeys and Green Traveller presented initiatives aimed at engaging UK consumers on the need for more sustainable travel.