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Sustainable Tourism Pledge from Accor, Expedia and UNESCO

A Sustainable Tourism Pledge between some of the travel industry’s biggest companies aims to protect and conserve heritage for future generations.

Accor has joined forces with UNESCO and Expedia to drive sustainable tourism across its hotels. In SE Asia, Accor has numerous hotels close to the UNESCO World Heritage sites and its Heartists understand the importance of protecting this rich heritage for future generations.

With 70 percent of travellers saying they consider environmental impacts in their booking decisions, there has never been a more important time to commit to protecting the conservation of heritage and the promotion of local and organic produce in hospitality.

Making a difference

Through programmes such as Planet 21, Accor has planted over 9 million trees worldwide, regularly conducts beach clean-ups and has committed to improving educational and job opportunities for disadvantaged youth.

Accor was one of the first hotel groups to introduce a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme and continually refines and enhances its commitments to ensure its actions are in keeping with rising guest demands. Every Accor hotel must engage in a community project; the group has committed to eliminating single use plastics by 2022; reducing its food waste by 30%; and ensuring that 100% of its new or renovated hotels will be carbon neutral. In addition, its Sustainable Food Charter promotes the use of local, organic and sustainable produce to provide fresher, more regionally based menus across its restaurants and bars.

Accor is the first major hotel group to commit to reaching zero net carbon emissions by 2050, with ambitious targets to 2030 to ensure it gets there. This includes implementing green energy where possible and providing a net zero carbon tool to allow guests and clients to purchase carbon credits to certified projects and receive a certificate to show their event or stay was carbon zero.

Skift recently named Accor the best hotel group in its Greenest Hotel Report and said Accor’s emissions per room are considerably lower than some of its main competitors.

“The tourism industry relies on the beauty of natural environments and warmth and traditions of local cultures to thrive, so it’s important that Accor and our teams do all we can to ensure the long-term sustainability of the planet,” said Accor SE Asia, Japan & South Korea CEO, Garth Simmons.

“From the temples of Angkor Wat or Borobudur to the Singapore Botanic Gardens to Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island, and our historic hotels in Luang Prabang, we have many hotels located close to UNESCO World Heritage sites and our teams in all these hotels work to protect these areas and to give back to local communities. This Pledge takes our actions further, making all our hotels responsible for keeping their promises to think and act responsibly and making it easier for travellers to identify hotels that play their part.”

 “We know our guests are increasingly concerned about their impact and are looking to stay with hotels that are focused on making a positive contribution to solving the issues of climate change, carbon emissions and a better share of resources.”

“CSR really is at the heart of everything we do at Accor and we see the enormous difference our teams make in giving back and in educating locals on the preservation and protection of the environment. Committing to this Pledge means we are putting concrete actions behind our words to help raise tourism consciousness amongst our guests, partners and Heartists.”

Accor has also helped with the introduction of urban gardens at hotels, animal welfare and flora/fauna protection, staff education and incentives, the preservation and promotion of indigenous cultures and the distribution of recycled soaps to promote hygiene in disadvantaged communities. Not to mention the Solidarity Fund, which gives back to community projects, with a strong focus on children, women and education.

Kate Webster
Kate Webster is the founder and owner of Captured Travel Media. She is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself, but the world around her. An editor and travel journalist, Kate travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the people and places she visits. She is a passionate conservation advocate, sustainable traveller and always travels with reason and cause.

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