A strategic tripartite agreement between Accor, Expedia Group and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) has been formed to push sustainable tourism and environmental stewardship to global audiences.
The two travel giants have joined the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge in an effort to promote responsible practices, community resilience and heritage conservation, with the ultimate goal of changing the nature and impact of global tourism.
Information on the pledge’s objectives will now appear in 3,358 Accor properties worldwide, with all parties involved committing to supporting the reduction and elimination of single-use plastics and promoting local economy and culture. The Tourism Authority of Thailand was a major initial signatory, with another 500 hotels across the Kingdom also participating.
Backing research for the UNESCO pledge shows Millennials and Gen Z travellers up to age 40 have heightened environmental concerns and actively consider the impact their travel has on the local surroundings, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accor Senior Vice President, Sales and Distribution, Markus Keller, said the company had a longstanding commitment to offer sustainable and tangible solutions to reduce the sector’s impact on the environment.
“Accor and all of the hotels in its network have long-standing commitments in this area, for our decision to remove all single-use plastic items from guest experience in our hotels by 2022,” Keller said.
“Our ambition is to continue to drive the change towards positive hospitality wherever we are.
“Joining the pledge with 3,358 of our hotels is a continuation of our group’s sustainable development program ‘Planet 21 – Acting Here’ which sets concrete and quantitative objectives relating to local sourcing, diversity and water, energy and waste management.”
Expedia Group Senior Vice President, Strategic Accounts, Zuhairah Washington, said everyone needed to play their part in promoting sustainable tourism and preserving travel destinations.
“The UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge aims to turn words into action and is a testimony of our growing commitment to collaborating closely with the hospitality sector in order to enhance environmental and sustainable tourism consciousness and practices across the world,” he said.