Guiding Principle 1 - See the whole picture: Recognize that most tourism by its nature involves the destination as a whole, not only industry businesses, but also its ecosystems, natural resources, cultural assets and traditions, communities, aesthetics, and built infrastructure. The Travel Corporation has used the UN’s SDG framework to select a diverse range of travel experiences for their trips that have a broader long-term positive impact on the destination and its communities.
Imagine a trip where guests can join a cultural tour owned and operated directly by local Aboriginal people, purchase unique Jordanian handicrafts from a female-led co-operative or learn from rangers first-hand about anti-poaching patrols in one of the most successful stories of conservation in Kenya. The Travel Corporation’s Make Travel Matter (MTM) experiences do just that, but the aim is to provide the greatest positive impact for destination communities as well as enhancing a visitor’s trip.
The experiences are carefully chosen by assessment against a robust and transparent set of criteria directly linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Selection by assessment also helps to identify potential greenwash, provides their family of brands with clear guidance on how to ensure trips are as sustainable as possible, and widens influence by encouraging suppliers to adapt. Linking to the SDGs ensures local actions are supported by the trip, but that broader global issues are also positively impacted.
For example, the Iraq-Al Amir Women’s Cooperative in Jordan raises the standard of living for many women in the area by providing training and employment and preserving local heritage. Guests visiting and buying handicrafts through an MTM Experience supports the local initiative as well as directly advancing UN Global Goals 4 & 5: Quality Education & Gender Equality by empowering and educating local women and girls.
Ultimately, the experiences are meant to shift the way we travel for good, through long-lasting and meaningful impact, and for the mutual benefit of travellers and the people and places they visit. Through providing these experiences, The Travel Corporation is contributing to 11 of the 17 SDGs, identified in their sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right. Their goal is to include at least one experience on 50% of all itineraries by 2025, equating to more than 750 itineraries worldwide.