Promoting Sustainable Tourism through Training
New Ecotourism Opportunities in the Black Sea Region
The TrainingAid team is excited to be part of the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program, focusing on the development of the Program’s dedicated web-portal for destinations and travelers. The web-portal will feature the region's interconnected multicultural experiences, ecological diversity and history spanning thousands of years. The project aims not just to expand a sector, but to open up new opportunities for rural communities through ecotourism and preserving the cultural heritage and environment of the region. As part of this process, Ferdinand Weps (managing partner, TrainingAid) joined the member's meeting of the Program in Ukraine.
Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program
The Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program is an integrated rural tourism initiative focused on the sustainable development of rural and community tourism in the Black Sea Region.
The program, which is led by the international advisory firm Vesselka Consulting Ltd., currently collaborates with draws members from Ukraine, Turkey and Georgia, with the goal of unifying rural communities and destinations in the region under a single brand and visual banner reflecting common standards, values and interests regarding sustainable tourism and contributing to the economic, cultural and social developments of participating communities. The new website will play a key role in supporting this goal and in engaging tourism stakeholders in the region.
First Member Meeting, Ukraine, June 11-14, 2015
Vesselka Consulting Ltd., in partnership with WWF-Turkey, has announced the first Member’s Meeting of the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism to be held in the town of Hola Pristan in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine from June 11-14. The meeting is sponsored by Danone Ukraine, whose Small Family Farm projects in Ukraine help develop small rural farms sustainably. Members representing destination operators and NGOs, along with government officials from Turkey and Ukraine, will take part in the meeting.
Hola Pristan is located on a tributary of the Dnipro River a short distance before it empties into an estuary formed with the Lower Bug river on the Black Sea. The wetlands and estuary form an important eco-system for this region of Kherson Oblast and is an ancient trade gateway known as the Amber Road running from the Baltic to Constantinople. The Member's Meeting will be an annual event built around year round workshops and experiential exchanges among the membership.
"This is the first time that local stakeholders from Turkey, Ukraine and Georgia will get together with their neighbors from the other sides of the Black Sea around common values and interests. The success of this process will assure that the future will be better not only for local communities but also for ... the visitors who will enjoy this unique region." - Sedat Kalem, the Conservation Director of WWF-Turkey.
Training, skills development and sustainable tourism are the main theme of the September / October 2017 edition of Connected Visitor Economy Bulletin, an e-publication by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) covering key industry trends and developments.
“The skills and talents of tourism professionals are a critical part of ensuring a sustainable future for the travel and tourism industry and its role in supporting the global sustainable development goals.”
Entitled "Boosting Sustainability Skills, Expanding Business Opportunities", this edition examines how tourism destinations and businesses can further develop HCD (human capital development) in sustainable tourism, and why investing in people is a critical part not only of sustainability practices, but also business performance and competitiveness.
The article features the "Tourism Skills and Jobs" report by TrainingAid (2016), which many of our readers have contributed to.
The following is an excerpt from the article. If you would like to learn more, please see the link below.
Ultimately, strengthening the quality of the tourism workforce is also about making the industry more resilient, and better equipping destinations and communities with the knowledge and skills necessary to face various risks and threats posed by changes in socioeconomic, environmental and geopolitical conditions.
In addition to supporting and contributing to sustainable development goals, HCD – investing in people – in tourism is an integral part of the viability and competitiveness of the sector.
[T]he “Tourism Skills and Jobs” report by TrainingAid (2016), which indicates that many tourism industry employers see sustainability skills as among the most important professional competencies both for staff and management positions, while on the other hand employees often either lack awareness or access to opportunities to build sustainability skills.
Investing in training and capacity building in sustainability-related areas, therefore, is an important consideration for tourism organizations, not just to improve their sustainability practices, but also to stay competitive.
Disclosure: The above artcile has been authored by Ayako Ezaki, as part of her work leading the GSTC's Sustainable Tourism Training Program. TrainingAid partners with the GSTC to develop and manage the program.
Responsible Tourism Ideas & Inspirations
Last week in London, the World Travel Market (WTM), a leading international tourism industry exhibition, offered opportunities to learn about responsible tourism, through discussions on critical issues related to the tourism industry’s footprint and various social events showcasing innovative ideas and inspirations for tourism professionals from around the world.
To summarize what responsible tourism – and taking responsibility for tourism – means, the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) provides helpful guidelines on what the concept represents, how it should be put into practice, and why it is important for businesses, destinations, and communities. In short, responsible tourism is about making "better places for people to live, and better places for people to visit" (Source: "Responsible Tourism in Destinations" by ICRT).
For those interested in learning about the what, why, and how (and even the who and where) of responsible tourism, and for those who are seeking ideas and inspirations for making a difference through tourism, there are many resources available – including, of course, the WTM Responsible Tourism and World Responsible Tourism Awards websites.
The lessons shared during the WTM events have shown, among others, that approaching tourism responsibly
(1) is not the responsibility of a few, but it is for everyone involved in and benefiting from tourism – including, of course, the traveler; and
(2) is not the privilege of those with the means to invest in “extra” efforts, but it is an opportunity for everyone to make a difference.
It's About Action
The World Responsible Tourism Awards, which celebrated the 10th anniversary this year and were presented during WTM London, demonstrate that there's a wide range of inspiring examples of businesses, individuals, destinations, and communities that embody the spirit of “better places for people to live, and better places for people to visit". The growing list of award winners who "offer fantastic holidays that conserve cultural traditions, create sustainable livelihoods, and connect travellers with the pace and rhythm of local ways of life" includes both some of the smallest players (in terms of their size, which definitely is not the only measurement of impact) in the global tourism industry, and some of the world's largest.
Learning from the Best
Access to information, knowledge, tools, and inspirations is no longer an excuse for inaction. Even for those who couldn’t personally join the award ceremony in London (or watch the livecast) or have the chance to connect with the winners, their stories are available online, and many of them are also on social media actively sharing their ideas, lessons learned, and dreams for an even better – and more responsible – future. Learning from the best is arguably the best way to get started and to find ways to improve one’s own practices. At WTM, it seemed that many were inspired to learn from the best and to take action to make a difference through tourism.
Photo: World Responsible Tourism Award Ceremony – “Best Destination for Responsible Tourism” category winner, Bonito, MS, Brazil
As we look forward to finding new opportunities and sharing fresh ideas in 2016, let's take a quick look back at some of the key tourism, training, business and sustainability-related topics we've discussed and explored in the past year. Here are some of our most shared and most talked-about articles of 2015, curated here around the three main categories focused on business, marketing and sustainability.
Business Growth & Development
By assisting professional skills development and supporting sound business strategies, we aim to help travel and tourism businesses - particularly small and local businesses - achieve their goals of healthy growth and successful business development. Focusing on talent development to foster innovation in the long-term, and building solid strategies based on current industry trends and market data, as discussed in the articles below, are a key part of such goals.
The issue of talent development in tourism is not just about employment opportunities for those seeking to work in tourism; it’s also a critical component of the growth of the industry, because knowledge is what makes innovation possible.
Marketing & Communications
There is no question that effective marketing and communications practicels are a critical part of any tourism business or destination. Rather than simply broadcasting one-way promotional messages or marketing aimlessly to the masses, today's smart travel and tourism marketing focuses on the quality of the connections that brands builds with their audiences and on engaging travelers through stories. Here are just a couple of articles on marketing and communications that have been shared most by our readers - highlighting key insights about the nature of travel marketing (or rather, storytelling and community engagement) today.
Experiences. People. Memories. How can storytelling be used for destination marketing in a way that gets travelers excited about experiencing all that your destination offers?
Blogging Benefits, How-To's & Ideas for Travel Brands
"Should I blog?" is a question that many small tourism businesses and travel websites face. With this in mind, here are some thoughts on blogging and its benefits, as well as tips on how to make blogging an effective part of content marketing.
Sustainability + Competitiveness
We believe that sustainable tourism practices - treating people and places with respect, doing business in a smart and efficient manner, and making decisions based on sound long-term vision and values - are, and should be, a fundamental part of what makes a tourism business or a destination successful. As our top articles on the sustainability-related topics show, competitiveness and sustainability are not at odds with each other; on the contrary, sustainability is an essential part of what makes the travel and tourism industry healthy, strong and resilient.
Find and Promote Your Message. Share Your Sustainability Stories. Best practices and effective strategies for tourism destinations to promote their sustainability stories in an authentic and engaging way.
Some examples of organizations and programs aimed at educating travelers about responsible travel. These are great resources for tourism businesses that are seeking to play a role in helping their customers travel more responsibly.
Climate Crisis: Business As Usual Is Not an Option
Elizabeth Kolbert, the author of 'The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History', stated in her January 13, 2020 post in The New Yorker:
"Really waking up, and not just dreaming to ourselves that things will be O.K., has become urgent—beyond urgent, in fact. ... The world is in danger, and we need to act immediately to survive."
The wildfires in Australia, in the Arctic, in the Amazon rainforest and in sub-Saharan Africa in recent months are stark reminders of the climate crisis we live in, and yet another wake up call that immediate actions to reduce our climate footprints are required.
The business of tourism depends on the well-being of our destinations, and put simply, "there is no business to be done on a dead planet".
In our industry, the climate crisis is already affecting various destinations around the world and their abilities to protect and promote the competitiveness of our product.
So what can we do? How should the tourism industry address the climate crisis?
Declaring A Climate Emergency: Acknowledging Our Responsibility
Tourism organizations and professionals from around the world are joining to the Tourism Declares Climate Emergency initiative, stating:
We're a collective of travel companies, organisations and industry professionals who believe tourism should declare a climate emergency.
We acknowledge the science stating we have one decade to address the climate crisis.
We accept we have a responsibility to tell the truth, act now, and work together to help turn it around.
Declaring an emergency means committing to a concrete plan of meaningful actions to be taken this year, and not putting off decisions and actions for yet another decade.
We agree with Jeremy Smith, Lead Coordinator of Tourism Declares and a leading sustainability advocate, that "carrying on as before, or just tweaking business as usual is not an option", and wholeheartedly support his call for the tourism industry declaring a climate emergency as "a necessary step towards mobilising our industry to be part of the solution" (Source: WTM Responsible Tourism Blog).
Accepting our responsibility to address the climate crisis is no doubt an extremely challenging call.
But we are not alone.
We are inspired by our industry friends and colleagues who have been working on innovative climate solutions for years. We are moved by stories of destinations and communities around the world who are coming together to tackle the climate crisis.
We are empowered by the belief - which so many of us share - that travel and tourism, when managed well, can be a force for good and a much-needed driver for sustainable development.
We can also learn from local governments and businesses in many other industries that have already declared a climate emergency and committed to concrete climate actions.
It's not easy, but it's necessary.
As highlighted by B Lab UK, "real progress will require each of us to be committed to continuous improvement, fueled by the urgency of the situation to keep stepping it up" (Source: B Lab UK).
TrainingAid Climate Emergency Plan
At TrainingAid, we are proud to be part of the first group of tourism industry organizations to sign the Climate Emergency declaration.
Being part of this network means adopting and working towards fulfilling a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’. In addition to working on reducing our own emissions, a key part of making a meaningful difference is collaborating with others to advocate for change.
As a very small company, the actual reduction in carbon emissions we can achieve may be very small. However, by focusing on what we do well - sharing knowledge and inspiring change - we aim to achieve significant results in helping make tourism more sustainable.
Through our online courses and training offers, we will invest in strengthening knowledge sharing opportunities focused on climate actions and practical solutions. And through these efforts, we will seek to contribute to the goal of encouraging as many travel companies and destinations as possible to achieve “measurable and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per trip”.
Training is what we do and what our business is about. And training is the area where we expect to be able to achieve most meaningful impacts.
Given our core business competency, our climate commitments will heavily focus on opportunities to inform, educate and empower industry stakeholders and other professionals to reduce emissions and to implement climate-positive actions.
In our Climate Emergency plan, however, we have outlined the following 5 key areas of commitments:
- Invest in strengthening knowledge sharing opportunities focused on climate actions and practical solutions.
- Reaching out to other industry organizations to engage them in discussions about climate actions and practical solutions.
- Making our climate plan an integral part of our company by regularly monitoring and reporting on progress, challenges and lessons.
- Reduce our own carbon footprint by proactively addressing one of the most significant sources of emissions, business travel.
- Engaging our broader community of members and supporters to promote awareness, as well as joining forces with others to amplify out voices.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
- The New Yorker: "What Will Another Decade of Climate Crisis Bring?" (Jan 13, 2020)
- WTM Responsible Tourism Blog: "Should Tourism Declare a Climate Emergency?" (Oct 23, 2019)
- Climate Emergency Declaration: Business guide: ‘How to Declare a Climate Emergency’ (Jul 8, 2019)
In January 2020, we joined Tourism Declares Climate Emergency, declaring that we are in a climate crisis and the future of our industry depends on our urgent actions to address the crisis. At that point, we did not expect that the world was about to be hit by a pandemic that would turn everything upside down.
Despite the chaos and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, the Tourism Declares community made significant progress in 2020, and we are proud to be part of this important movement.
As we stated one year ago, “by focusing on what we do well - sharing knowledge and inspiring change - we aim to achieve significant results in helping make tourism more sustainable.” This was, and remains to be, the area where we expect to be able to achieve most meaningful impacts.
The following are the five key areas of our plan, and our reflections on how we actually performed against our goals under each area, and our aims for continuous improvement this year and beyond.
1. Investing in Skills: Knowledge Transfer
Through our online courses and training offers, we will invest in strengthening knowledge sharing opportunities focused on climate actions and practical solutions.
Our courses in 2020 featured:
In 2021, we aim to:
2. Collaboration and Partnerships
We will continue to collaborate with others in the industry who are actively contributing to tackling the climate crisis. In addition, we will aim to reach out to those who have not yet joined the Tourism Declares network, and to engage them in constructive discussions about taking serious climate actions.
Throughout 2020, we have:
In 2021, we aim to:
3. Commitment to Continuous Improvement
We will make our Climate Emergency Plan an integral part of our company by regularly monitoring and reporting on progress, challenges and lessons.
We were unable to make concrete progress in this area in 2020.
For us, the direct and indirect impact of the COVID-19 crisis meant that we were extraordinarily busy throughout the year, with an increased demand for online and socially-distanced training opportunities. As such, some of the other areas of our business was in a "hibernation" mode for most of the year.
While we are proud of the impacts we've achieved through our courses and thrilled to see continued and growing interest in learning about sustainability, we recognize the need for more effectively (and more often) sharing our experiences, examples and lessons learned, so that we can enhance our impact.
4. Walking the Talk: Operations and HR
Acknowledging that various aspects of our own business practices can and should be improved in order to become a more responsible company, we will start by focusing on one of the areas with the largest footprints, business travel, and by taking concrete steps to reduce the emissions related to our operations.
There was zero business travel in 2020, due to COVID-19 related restrictions.
While we are eagerly awaiting for a time when we will again be able to travel safely for in-person meetings and get-togethers, once we are able to resume traveling as part of our business activities, we will work on implementing steps such as:
In addition to transport-related emissions, another area where our business operations would have significant direct and indirect emissions is venues and meals for in-person training sessions (which we didn't have any in 2020). When we are able to safely resume in-person gatherings, we will continue to implement climate-consious steps in venue selection (working with venue providers that are actively working on reducing their climate footprint) and meal options (offering vegetarian / vegan menus as the default option, working with catering service providers that source locally as much as possible).
5. Spreading the Word, Inspiring Actions
We will help promote a cultural mindshift within the tourism industry to make the climate crisis a more urgent, prominent and prioritized theme. To do so, we will engage our broader community of members and supporters to promote greater awareness. And we will seek to amplify our voices and achieve more significant impacts by collaborating with others to advocate for positive change at the industry level.
One of our key goals - in all things we do - is to facilitate knowledge sharing opportunities. Tourism still has a long way to go before it can become a truly sustainable sector. On the other hand, however, there are so many existing resources, best practices, tools, and guidelines available to address so many of our industry's sustainability challenges. So rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, we believe in the power of facilitating opportunities for sharing, exchaging, and connecting the dots.
Our efforts for helping make tourism more climate positibe, therefore, will also focus on facilitating knowledge sharing opportunities - highlighting existing resources that will help others improve their practices, sharing lessons learned from best practice examples by industry practitioners, and supporting and promoting the development and dissemination of relevant and useful tools (such as the Tourism Declares Climate Action Blueprints).
In addition to Tourism Declares, we will continue to support the work of key industry organizations that are leading key sustainability discussions and solutions for our industry, including the Future of Tourism Coalition, the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Become Part of the Movement
Any company, organisation or individual working in tourism is welcome to join the Tourism Declares Climate Emergency network, and become part of the global community of 180+ (and counting!) who have declared a climate emergency. To join, your first steps are to declare a climate emergency and to share your commitment publicly. For more information on how to declare, please see here.
Als Eigentümer eines Hauses oder einer Wohnung kannst Du eine Wohngebäudeversicherung abschließen. Dazu bist Du, anders als etwa bei der Kfz-Haftpflicht, jedoch nicht verpflichtet. Es ist aber sehr empfehlenswert. Da die eigene Immobilie für Dich, wie für viele Menschen, wahrscheinlich die größte Investition des Lebens ist, steckt auch viel Kapital darin. Mit der Wohngebäudeversicherung sicherst Du Dich gegen die finanziellen Folgen von Feuer, Leitungswasser und Sturm ab und schützt damit Deine Investition. Wenn Du für einen Hauskauf oder -bau einen Kredit aufnimmst, wirst Du von Deiner Bank in der Regel auch dazu verpflichtet.
Wir haben untersucht, wie Du als Hauseigentümer die für Dich günstigste und passendste Wohngebäudeversicherung finden kannst. Da die Tarife sehr umfangreich sind und die Beiträge von vielen individuellen Merkmalen wie Wohnfläche oder Adresse des Gebäudes abhängen, empfehlen wir Dir den Vergleich und Abschluss über ein Online-Portal. Denn das ist die beste Möglichkeit, um eine zu Dir passende Wohngebäudeversicherung zu bekommen, die gute Leistungen und einen guten Preis hat. Nach unserer Einschätzung ist das Vergleichsportal Mr-Money besonders hilfreich. Einzelheiten zu unserem Vorgehen und unserer Auswahl erfährst Du am Ende des Textes.