Hoteliers and tourist boards joined Hotelbeds and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) at the MarketHub Americas to shine a light on the full spectrum of sustainability issues facing the travel industry.
Beatriz Barreal, board member of the GSTC and CEO and founder of the NGO Riviera Maya Sostenible, which played host to the conference, highlighted how companies across the travel ecosystem have a role to play in making travel a force for good.
“Destinations need to communicate with travellers about how they can be more sustainable when they visit,” Barreal said. “But it’s not just about single-use plastic. We must think broader and include all elements within environment, social and governance. Here in the Riviera Maya, we encourage hotels to create job opportunities for local people, promote the culture and also support small businesses.”
The focus on sustainability at the conference in Cancun comes just three weeks after Earth Day, when Hotelbeds revealed that over the past year the number of travellers who have chosen to book properties that are part of its Green Hotels programme has grown by 30% versus the previous 12 months. The company also planted a tree in the Hotelbeds Forest for each participant at the MarketHub Americas, in local communities, with native trees, fostering local re-naturing communities.
“Some companies see sustainability as a challenge, we see it as an opportunity, but we all need to work together across the industry to make the world a better place for tomorrow’s travellers,” said Elena Perez, Hotelbeds’ Chief HR and Sustainability officer. “People don’t want to compromise. They have an even greater appetite for travel than ever before but are also more conscious than ever before about their impact on the world. We must all respond to this by supporting the environment and preserving local cultures for generations to come.”
MarketHub Americas is an invitation-only event attended by the most important Hotelbeds partners from all the key source markets throughout the region.