BANGKOK, March 5, 2020 — The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with leading global charity The Travel Foundation, EplerWood International, and Cornell University’s Centre for Sustainable Global Enterprise, a year after the publication of their landmark report Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism. In the age of climate change and overtourism, these organizations are coming together to equip the sector with the critical skills needed to manage tourism. Through this collaboration, the partners aim to develop new tools and educational content for PATA’s destination members which can then be applied globally.
Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA said, “It is imperative that our travel and tourism industry forges new methods to account for the full costs of our activities, to ensure the sustainable and responsible development of destinations for the future. The partnership is a welcome step forward for the Association and aligns with our 2020 theme, Partnerships for Tomorrow.”
Amongst its findings, The Invisible Burden report illustrated that destinations urgently require increased capacity and skills to manage the costs associated with tourism growth, to protect the world’s most treasured natural and cultural assets.
The partnership will build on its ground-breaking work with new research to better understand the skill gaps destinations face as they tackle critical management challenges. Practical training tools and resources will be developed, including:
- holistic accounting methods that measure the invisible burden of tourism;
- data management skills to manage tourism growth in destinations;
- better reporting systems and collaboration between local authorities and the private sector;
- innovative financing mechanisms that enable tourism destinations to cover the costs of new solutions
Announcing the next phase of the partnership, Jeremy Sampson, CEO of the Travel Foundation, said, “We see this joint effort to improve the capacity of the tourism sector as essential, given the growth of tourism and its impacts on invaluable social and natural capital. This partnership will support destinations to accelerate the protection of vital assets and infrastructure, and incorporate climate mitigation and adaptation into the larger goals of the tourism economy.”
Megan Epler Wood, Principal of EplerWood International and Managing Director, Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program at Cornell University, said, “In researching the Invisible Burden report, our most striking finding was the lack of expertise and resources in most destinations to manage escalating demand. Destinations need new skills to properly evaluate tourism’s impacts on local infrastructure and assets. We will tackle that issue head on.”
Professor Mark Milstein, Director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University, said, “This partnership represents a further investment by our Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program (STAMP) to ensure one of the world’s most important economic sector operates in a way that does not undermine its own commercial success in the future.”
The Invisible Burden report is available at www.invisibleburden.org.
Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its more than 800 member organisations, including 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 20 international airlines and airports, 102 hospitality organisations and 70 educational institutions, as well as over 4,000 young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 35 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 22 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing and London. PATA’s Annual Theme for the 2020 calendar year is ‘Partnerships for Tomorrow’. Visit www.PATA.org.
About The Travel Foundation
The Travel Foundation is a leading global charity that works in partnership with governments, businesses and communities to develop and manage tourism to maximise its benefits for communities and the environment, so that destinations can thrive. Founded in 2003, it has worked in nearly 30 countries around the world. Its head office is based the UK and it has a global network of project managers.
About EplerWood International
EplerWood International provides market-based approaches to sustainable tourism development in response to the rising global demand for sustainable tourism projects that meet economic development needs while respecting and preserving social and environmental capital. The firm provides innovative systems for business, NGOs, and governments to build competitive resource efficient economies that benefit all members of society.
About The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise
The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise is part of the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. The Center’s work focuses on the vital role that businesses play in solving social and environmental issues through innovation, market development, and entrepreneurship. Through STAMP, the Center supports the development of applied research, curriculum resources, and outreach activities that will increase collective knowledge and understanding of how to more effectively manage tourism destination assets over time in the face of endemic poverty, ecosystem degradation, and climate change.