The International Institute for Peace through Tourism
The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not for profit organization dedicated to fostering travel and tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and poverty reduction; and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world. It is founded on a vision of the world’s largest industry, travel and tourism – becoming the world’s first global peace industry; and the belief that every traveler is potentially an “Ambassador for Peace.”
Excerpts from The Case for Responsible Travel:
Trends and Statistics
Surveys and studies “consistently find that between 10% and 15% of discretionary travelers” are “alternative” or “new tourists.” These tourists are “typically highly educated, mature, affluent, well traveled, environmentally aware and sensitive to the social and cultural traditions, systems and mores of the destinations they visit.” And “growth from these groups is out-speeding that of mainstream segments,” concludes a 2011 study by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). 93% of Conde Nast Traveler readers surveyed in 2011 said that travel companies should be responsible for protecting the environment and 58% said their hotel choice is influenced by the support the hotel gives to the local community.
The 2012 National Travel & Tourism Strategy of Americans traveling abroad found, “Nature-based, culture-based, heritage and outdoor adventure travel represent a significant segment of the outbound tourism market,” totaling about half or some 10 million U.S. travelers.
Two thirds (66%) of consumers around the world say they prefer to buy products and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society, according to a 2012 Nielsen Wire survey.
“When it comes right down to it, sustainability pays. And it pays in three ways: guests are increasingly interested, so it’s good for business; there are real opportunities to reduce costs and do things that are ‘green’ at the same time; and … the ability to get people excited about the company they’re a part of through the kinds of green practices we’ve been implementing is another source of success and payoff. ”
—Frits van Paasschen, CEO, Starwood.
“Today’s consumers expect travel companies to build sustainability into their product offer. A majority of 70% believe companies should be committed to preserving the natural environment and 55% fair working conditions, while 75% of consumers want a more responsible holiday,” according to a 2012 U.K. report by The Travel Foundation and Forum for the Future.
A groundbreaking 2011 study by the Harvard Business School found that companies that adopted
environmental, social, and governance policies in the 1990s outperformed those that did not. “Adoption of these policies is not just cheap talk; rather these policies reflect substantive changes in business processes,” the study states.
Ecotourism can return as much as 95% of revenues to the local economy, compared to only about 20% for “standard all-inclusive package tours,” according to a 2011 UN-supported study by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. “The buildup of consumers’ socio-environmental awareness of tourism development,” states the UNWTO, “is leading to increased scrutiny on the part of the public in destination decision-making and a growing requirement for new tourism developments to be sustainable.”
“The buildup of consumers’ socio-environmental awareness of tourism development,” states the UNWTO, “is leading to increased scrutiny on the part of the public in destination decision-making and a growing requirement for new tourism developments to be sustainable.”