Travel Foundation Challenges Industry Leaders to ‘Collaborate and Act’

In marking its 20th anniversary, the Travel Foundation is calling on leaders of all sectors of the travel industry to “collaborate with action at scale, to cut carbon emissions and ensure a fair deal for destinations building resilience to climate risk.”

As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, the global NGO brought leaders together at its new Brussels location to find new and innovative ways of working together.

New partnerships and initiatives were also announced, including with Mastercard, Expedia and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

During anniversary celebrations in Brussels this week, the Travel Foundation brought together senior-level guests from across the globe to explore future collaboration in two key areas: ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) reporting and climate action.

The Travel Foundation’s CEO Jeremy Sampson emphasized the urgency for collective action.

Said Sampson: “Twenty years ago we were born from collaboration by the UK travel industry. Since then we have gone from strength to strength to become a truly global and independent organization. We now need impact at scale – nothing less is good enough.”

Sampson continued: “So I call on the next generation of industry leaders to step forward and step up – you know that doing good work in silos won’t cut it. The system will only change, as it must, with collective action.”

The Travel Foundation also announced a number of initiatives that strengthen its role in catalyzing collective action.

Initiatives include:

  • Establishing an office in Brussels, hosted by VisitFlanders which already provides a hub for the European Travel Commission (ETC), the European Travel Association (ETOA) and NECSTouR (Network of European Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism). The European office, situated at the heart of the EU, will bring opportunities for funding, growth and partnership. The UK office will be retained, and the Travel Foundation is also exploring options for a US office.
  • A formal agreement signed between the Travel Foundation and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) which, in a historic first, involves both tourism and environment officials across the 11 Caribbean nations on the frontline of climate change.
  • Renewed support from Expedia Group. The partnership will soon launch a free “climate champions” training resource for destination marketing and management organizations (DMOs), available through Expedia’s online learning platform.
  • New partnerships that will bring data, knowhow and inspiration to disrupt and accelerate change, particularly through digital technology, which underpins today’s tourism model. Edinburgh Futures Institute and TravelTech Scotland will collaborate with the Travel Foundation to develop, among other things, traveltech testbeds in destinations which will provide real-world examples of data-led tech solutions. And a three-year membership agreement with Mastercard’s Tourism Innovation Hub will enable closer cooperation on joint initiatives.
  • Closer alignment with the Sustainability Hospitality Alliance, with its members and partners representing 50,000 hotels globally, to identify opportunities that bring the accommodation sector and other tourism stakeholders together to deliver greater positive impact in destinations.
  • And Holiday Extras, one of the Travel Foundation’s longest standing and closest supporters, renewed its commitment to the cause. To date they have raised and donated more than £350,000 for the charity, and announced at the anniversary celebrations a commitment to raise an additional £500,000.

Jeremy Sampson closed the event with a toast: “The Travel Foundation is here because you are here – a community of trailblazers, forward thinkers and those ready to take the leap. Here’s to the next twenty years, together.”

The Travel Foundation is grateful for the generosity of The Travel Corporation, VisitFlanders and Holiday Extras for sponsorship and in-kind support for the event.

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