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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) and the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (STSC) announced their official merger. The result will be a new initiative that will launch in 2010 called the Tourism Sustainability Council (TSC), a global membership council that will offer a common understanding of sustainable tourism and the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles and criteria. The TSC will bring together tourism businesses presently operating to various degrees of sustainability performance—governments, United Nations bodies, research and academic institutions, social and environmental NGOs, certification programs, and others from distinct regions of the world. “The marriage of the GSTC Partnership with the STSC is fortuitous, strategic, and practical for both initiatives,” said Erika Harms, executive director of Sustainable Development at the United Nations Foundation.
OKLAHOMA CITY—The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department has unveiled a new travel initiative called ECO—Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma—which promotes, educates and encourages sustainable travel in the state. The ECO program approaches sustainable travel from both industry and consumer perspectives. It includes education, green certification and marketing support for tourism industry partners and helps them embrace sustainable travel practices for minimal economic impact with maximum return. ECO will also identify sustainable travel options such as lodging, restaurants and attractions so that tourists seeking green travel will have easy access to this information. “Oklahoma has a legacy of conservation, preservation and innovation—qualities that are fundamental to sustainable travel,” said Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, chair of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission.
DALTON, GA.—Zeftron nylon has added new, sustainable and stylish colors to its color line. Zeftron nylon, a premium branded nylon 6 commercial carpet yarn system, now offers more than 100 fashionable colors, all of which are fully recyclable, contain a minimum of 25 percent recycled content, and are MBDC Cradle to Cradle certified. Taken from the mainstream, the additions include six neutral-based colors; four of which are runway-influenced gold varieties.
BELGRADE, SERBIA—The International Hotel & Restaurant Association announced that its 47th Annual Congress will be held January 18 to 20, 2010, at the Continental Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia. With the start of the new decade, IH&RA will host an event that highlights the future of the hospitality industry. Belgrade, Serbia embodies this year’s theme of looking towards the future for opportunities of growth and development. Leaders from all parts of the world representing some 200,000 hotels and six million restaurants will convene to exchange ideas about the major issues of this year: Climate Change and Hospitality, Natural Disaster and Hospitality, International Standardization for Hotels and Restaurants, Exploitation of Children in Tourism, Free Migration of Labor between Countries in Hospitality Field, and importantly Emeraude Hoteliers (IH&RA’s prestigious recognition of hotels that practice sustainable hospitality).
DALTON, GA.—Shaw Industries Group, Inc. has released its inaugural sustainability report to share the company’s legacy of environmental and corporate social responsibility. The report is reflective of Shaw’s commitment to sustainability leadership through the Shaw Green Edge—a company-wide business platform based on sustainability through innovation.
LONDON—The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is inviting tourism companies and organizations from around the world that can demonstrate best practices in sustainable tourism development to submit their applications for the 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The deadline for applications is December 2, 2009. To quote Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president and CEO of WTTC, “The awards, now in their sixth year under WTTC’s stewardship, exemplify the Council’s multi-stakeholder vision set out in the Blueprint for New Tourism that looks beyond short-term considerations and focuses on benefits not only for the people who travel, but also for people in the communities they visit, and for their respective natural, social and cultural environments.”
TECATE, MEXICO—The Second Annual Green Spa Network Fall Congress will be held November 1 to 5, 2009, at the historic Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. As the premier spa sustainability event of the year, the four-night, five-day GSN Fall Congress will provide professionals with the opportunity to respond to the planetary imperative for sustainability—while increasing profitability and customer loyalty. Internationally known Paul Hawken will be the keynote speaker. Paul is a leading voice in the world of sustainable business and the search for a whole, nurturing society. He is co-founder of Smith & Hawken and author of “Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution,” which has been referred to by several heads of state as one of the five most important books in the world today.
ROCKVILLE, MD.—The EPA 2009 Green Power Purchaser list identified The Legacy Hotel & Meeting Centre as one of three hotels in the nation as 100 percent powered by green energy. In October 2008, The Legacy Hotel & Meeting Centre launched its Turn On program in partnership with Clean Currents and the EPA, integrating greener hotel products, clean energy, and inviting guests to offset the carbon footprint of their stay. “We are very proud of this accomplishment,” says Eric Siegel, executive vice president of Cohen Companies.
PARADISE, TEXAS—Garrett Creek Ranch Conference Center in Paradise, Texas, has become the first property in Wise County to undertake native grass restoration. Through this effort, more than 100 acres have begun to return to the grasses, such as Big and Little Bluestem, Lometa Indiangrass, Blackwell Switchgrass, Sideoats Grama, Canadian Wildrye, Green Sprangletop and Eastern Gammagrass, which fed the region 100 years ago. The property’s remaining 300 acres will be added to the program over the next two years. Additionally, a complete inventory of plants and wildlife has begun through which more than 450 species of plants have been identified by Bob O’Kennon, president, Texas Land Conservancy and vice chairman and research scientist, Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—In its 2010-2011 election, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s (CHTA) environmental arm, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), recently re-elected Sir Royston O. Hopkin, KCMG, owner and chairman of Grenada’s award-winning Spice Island Beach Resort, as chairman of CAST for the fourth consecutive, two-year term. “CHTA is delighted that Sir Royston has been re-elected as the chairman of CAST by the CAST Governing Council,” said Alec Sanguinetti, CD—director general & CEO of CHTA. “Sir Royston has been at the forefront of sustainable tourism issues from the very beginning working tirelessly to ensure the sustainability of the Caribbean hospitality industry, and has always exhibited the necessary dedication, perseverance and professionalism.”
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