SINGAPORE, 8 March 2021: Expedia Group, a mega booking platform, and the global hotel company Accor are joining forces to extend their commitment to the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge.
It should result in 3,358 Accor hotels worldwide, promoting environmental sustainability and sustainable tourism worldwide.
The UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge promotes responsible practices, community resilience and heritage conservation, with the ultimate goal of changing the nature and impact of global tourism.
Under The Pledge, parties commit to supporting the reduction and elimination of single-use plastics and promoting the local economy and culture.
The Pledge launched in October 2019 with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, UNESCO and Expedia Group earlier gained the signature of 500 Accor’s hotels in Thailand who penned their names to the Pledge on a Thai microsite established in 2020.
The expansion of The Pledge comes at a time when travellers’ awareness of and demand for tourism sustainability practices continues to grow, with Millennials and GenZ taking the lead with heightened environmental consciousness.
Importantly, these young travellers (up to age 40) share heightened concerns over the environmental impact caused by travel when choosing a future trip, which might be attributed to the aftermath caused by Covid-19. With Accor joining the Expedia Group and UNESCO initiative, the Pledge extends to almost 100 countries, promoting sustainable tourism globally.
UNESCO also announces last week that the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has provided EUR2 million to help expand the Pledge across seven countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Georgia, Indonesia, Kenya, Namibia and Vietnam). The programme will help UNESCO’s work to make tourism emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis and encourage sustainable development in the sector.
UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay commented: “The collective effort is all the more crucial as the pandemic has hit the tourism and culture sectors hard. We hope that the efforts of Germany, Accor and Expedia, will encourage other major players in the sector to join us and invest in offering more responsible tourism.”