Sponsored Editorial - Selling sustainable travel products is not just the right thing to do, it is good business.


Tourism Cares Adds Travel Advisor Tools; Works with ASTA, AAA and Other Groups to Promote Sustainable Travel

Selling sustainable travel products is not just the right thing to do, it is good business. Studies show that travelers are seeking more responsible ways to connect authentically with cultures and nature and aren’t sure how to find and vet them. And that’s where Tourism Cares comes in.

Tourism Cares works to help develop and promote meaningful travel experiences that ensure direct benefits for host communities, protect cultural and environmental assets, and connect guests in a deeper, more responsible way with the people and places they visit.

“We strive to inspire and activate travel companies — and individuals — to use their business and influence to be a force for good by equipping them with tools, best practices, connections and resources,” said Jessica Flores, Tourism Cares’ Chief Experience Officer. “Travel advisors have a direct line to consumers and to destinations. They can help to drive demand so that the greater travel and tourism industry makes meaningful change.”

ASTA has been a longtime supporter and sponsor of the good work Tourism Cares does and sits on their board, said Erika Richter, ASTA’s Vice President of Communications. “The Tourism Cares community believes that we can change the world through travel, and we at ASTA share their commitment and commend their work in educating and supporting travel advisors.”

AAA, which has set its own sustainability goals, is working in a strategic partnership with Tourism Cares to bring the industry together around sustainable, meaningful travel, said Paula Twidale, AAA’s Senior Vice President of Travel. “Tourism can create lasting change in a destination. We want to empower our travel advisors to help their clients make informed decisions and understand the benefits to themselves and the destination when they choose sustainable options.”

“Our advisors tell us the training we provide in conjunction with Tourism Cares equips them with the knowledge and tools to sell sustainable and meaningful travel experiences,” noted Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group (serving 14 midwest and southeastern states) and a Tourism Cares board member. “Plus, it makes them feel good about AAA as their employer to know we value and support this important area of need.”

Travelers Seek Sustainable Options

In the latest booking.com survey, 76% of travelers said they want to travel more sustainably and 66% said they want to leave places they visit better than when they arrived. Plus, 43% would pay more for options with a sustainable certification. Other studies reveal that Millennials in particular, place a high value on purchases that align with their values.

Importantly, even if clients don’t use the word “sustainable”, these “authentic” experiences often align with what clients want. “Meaningful”, which shifts the focus to the traveler experience, is a word many in the industry prefer to use.

Tourism Cares Provides the Tools

Selling the sustainable, responsible and socially and environmentally conscious products consumers are demanding can set an advisor apart, Flores said.

For individual travel advisors, a good starting point is the Meaningful Travel Platform, a digital training course, and the Travel Advisors’ Guide to Meaningful TravelPlus, Tourism Cares Meaningful Travel Summits offer in-depth learning and networking opportunities. A cool new tool, the Meaningful Travel Map, lets users zoom in on vetted experiences around the world.

For a $99 annual donation, individual travel advisors can join the global Tourism Cares community. Corporate membership levels (and associated benefits) range from $1500 to $40,000.


Sponsored by Tourism Cares

American Society of Travel Advisors

123 N Pitt St, Ste 400, Alexandria, VA 22314 U.S.A.

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