The massive heat wave that beat down on the western half of the United States last week is just the latest culmination of climate change in our daily lives. The best way to combat climate change is through large-scale action, which is where meeting professionals and WeTravel Academy’s new Sustainable Tourism course comes in.
Designed in collaboration with Tourism Cares, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the hospitality industry more eco-friendly, this free course is a first step towards a more sustainable style of travel. The Introduction to Sustainable Tourism course consists of ten short lessons taking a total of one hour to complete.
Offsets, Sourcing and Diversity Matters
Each lesson is led by John Sutherland, director of community impact for Tourism Cares. He teaches about how travelers and companies can offset carbon emissions, find sustainable suppliers and offer equal opportunities for women.
Tourism Cares CEO Greg Takehara said about the course, “Having an introductory course on sustainable tourism so widely available on the WeTravel Academy platform will allow people from businesses throughout our industry to get informed, engaged and push for change.”
Teaching each traveler is important to increase the impact of the course. If everyone attending an event makes a small effort, that adds up to big changes. Conventions and meetings provide an opportunity to apply lessons learned about sustainability on a large scale.
Beyond the new course, WeTravel suggests in a blog post that travel companies should take their carbon footprint into account when making plans. Air travel, food, accommodations and shopping are cited as the biggest sources of carbon emissions. Being conscious in choosing transportation, caterers and hotels that run on renewable energy and sustainable practices can greatly decrease how a meeting or convention affects the environment.
Funding a Green Travel Industry
Tourism Cares, the nonprofit that supplied much of the content in the “Introduction to Sustainable Travel” course, does plenty of work on its own. In addition to organizing volunteer events at tourist destinations around the world, it also gives a variety of grants to campaigns that promote its values. Diversity initiatives, hospitality development and disaster relief are just a few programs that Tourism Cares has supported.
The organization frequently collaborates with other hospitality and travel-focused organizations. Ultimately, they hope to make tourism a force for good. Tourism Cares CEO Takehara expands on this, saying, “It is our goal to unite, inspire and activate the industry toward positive change.”
Educating yourself on how to minimize the impact of travel on the environment is an important step to take in the face of climate change. Even small changes can add up when a whole event participates.