From the Executive Director
Over the last few weeks and months, the travel industry has been engaging in critical conversations about the need to create more diverse and inclusive spaces as we look to the future of tourism. At the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), we believe that leadership begins by looking within, and our team has been engaging in important discussions about how we work as an organization. Together with a diversity, equity, and inclusion firm, we have developed a nine-month Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan focused on transforming our policies, practices, and behaviors.
As part of this plan, we have committed to:
Receiving training that focuses on obtaining a better understanding of unconscious biases, inclusion and belonging, and our role in the industry
Evaluating our hiring, recruitment, and onboarding practices
Modifying messaging in newsletters and on our website to ensure language and images are inclusive
Reviewing practices around our programmatic work, and conducting a five-year audit of our past conference speakers
Developing an organizational Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy to set a foundation for how we want to move forward as an organization
Embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, conducting a series of stakeholder discussions and setting indicators to hold ourselves accountable
As an organization, we have a lot of work to do in the coming months, and we are grateful to you for supporting us and helping to hold us accountable as we go through this transformative process.
CREST’s Summer Newsletter shares a range of updates on our work and discusses new initiatives focused on impact tourism and rebuilding the tourism industry responsibly. We look forward to continuing to partner with you on the journey to create a more sustainable and equitable future for tourism, and we hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy this summer.
Yours in responsible travel,
Gregory Miller, Ph.D.
CREST’s new Impact Tourism Handbook is here! This free, digital publication shares innovative insights and practical advice from businesses, NGOs, and destinations that are making strategic contributions of time, talent, and treasure to local environmental and social projects. As an update to CREST's 2011 Traveler's Philanthropy Handbook, our 2020 Impact Tourism Handbook takes a deeper look at the thoughtful and innovative ways that impact tourism is materializing around the world.
We hope this resource will encourage destination managers, business and nonprofit representatives, and travelers to consider how they may better leverage partnerships and resources to make a positive difference. You can read the handbook’s five overview essays and 22 case studies here.
Decades of unfettered growth in travel have put the world’s treasured places at risk - environmentally, culturally, socially, and financially. Now, as tourism recovers, CREST has joined the Destination Stewardship Center, Green Destinations, Sustainable Travel International, Tourism Cares, and The Travel Foundation, with the guidance of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), to form the Future of Tourism Coalition.
Together, we are calling upon governments, travel companies, and other stakeholders to support their commitment to sustainable tourism recovery by signing on to our 13 Guiding Principles. These Guiding Principles put local communities and the precious cultures and environments that sustain them at the center of tourism's new future. Learn more and add your voice at FutureofTourism.org.
In April, CREST released a Spanish-language resource on small-scale tourism to help support the recovery of this vital sector. This CREST publication builds on our work in Cuba, where we sponsored two sustainable tourism workshops in 2019. The information presented in both workshops inspired CREST to compile a collection of articles as a foundational resource to share the ideas that emerged in those spaces, converting technical information and academic research in an easily-understandable publication.
CREST’s Summer Travel Auction is live now through August 12 at charitybuzz.com/CREST! Our Summer Travel Auction provides the opportunity to plan a future trip with a responsible company working to make their community a better place to live and visit. Not only will you get an incredible and sustainable experience, but the proceeds from the auction will support our Responsible Recovery Fund, focused on addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism industry.
The auction features packages from responsible travel leaders Adrift Hotel & Spa; Basecamp Explorer;* Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn; CGH Earth;* Ecoventura; Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, A Kind Traveler Hotel; Grand Hotel; Holbrook Travel; Hotel El Ganzo;* Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country; Itz’ana Resort;* Ka’ana Resort;* Legacy Vacation Resorts; Lindblad Expeditions; Market Street Restaurant; Montfair Resort Farm;* Mirbeau Inn & Spa; Muy’Ono Resorts;* Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome; The Pavilions Himalayas;* Rainforest Expeditions; Rhinebeck Department Store; Rhinebeck Farmers Market; and Winter Sun & Summer Moon. We are so grateful to our auction donors for their support of our work to transform the way the world travels.
*Denotes Platinum Sponsorship, which means that the donor has committed to supporting CREST auctions for a period of five years to fund responsible travel research and development.
CARE for the Cape and Islands, a fiscally sponsored program of CREST, has launched a new “Compostable Food Serviceware Buying Guide,” created in collaboration with the Wellfleet Recycling Committee and Woods Hole Sea Grant. The guide aims to provide restaurants and other food service businesses with alternatives to plastic take-out containers and serviceware, like cups, plates, bowls, and utensils that have seen an increase due to COVID-19.
“We’re really pleased to make this new guide available,” said Jill Talladay, director of CARE. “Providing businesses and citizens more environmentally friendly options is an important part of our mission to preserve and protect the beauty of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.”
“Reusable serviceware is the most sustainable option when serving food but when that’s not possible, we wanted to encourage businesses to use non-plastic disposable food serviceware products that are compostable,” said Christine Shreves, a member of the Wellfleet Recycling Committee and one of guide’s primary creators.
The guide grew out of an on-going series of summits that CARE hosted, along with the Center for Coastal Studies and Cape Cod Anti-Litter Coalition, aimed at decreasing pollution, particularly plastic, in our environment. It is available for free download here
The Destination Stewardship Center, a fiscally sponsored program of CREST, has partnered with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to launch the inaugural issue of the Destination Stewardship Report. The goal of this quarterly newsletter is to provide information and insights useful to anyone whose work or interests involve destination stewardship. It’s an all-volunteer experiment, so its success will depend on your interest, feedback, and content contributions. You can read the email version here, and contact the Destination Stewardship Center for more information and to get involved.
CREST is thrilled to welcome Las Terrazas de Dana Boutique Lodge & Spa to our network of elite Platinum Sponsors, committed to supporting CREST through our travel auctions for a period of five-years. Las Terrazas de Dana is located in the Mindo Cloud Forest, at the heart of the Choco Andino de Pichincha Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador.
With only six exclusive bungalows in lush gardens and a view of Mindo Valley, Las Terrazas de Dana’s goal is to provide guests the best possible experience with personalized service. The Mindo Cloud Forest offers unique and pristine natural beauty, and visitors can enjoy one of the best birding hot spots in the world. Las Terrazas de Dana’s tour operation also organizes Galapagos Cruises, Amazon Forest tours, and all Ecuador tours. CEO David Brito says “We are always focused on maintaining the highest standards of eco-friendly and sustainable tourism, while we support the local community of Mindo. You can rest easy knowing your vacation has left as small of a footprint as possible."
Considering a trip to Ecuador? Learn about Las Terrazas de Dana’s extensive and exemplary COVID-19 cleanliness and safety protocol here.
On September 29, 2020, CREST will host a webinar in honor of World Tourism Day that will share the findings of our forthcoming report, The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2020, and feature expert commentary on the business, destination, and consumer cases for responsible travel in the era of COVID-19 and climate change. Please mark your calendars and stay tuned for registration details!
In addition to our field work and research, CREST makes it a priority to exchange knowledge to advance responsible travel. Our recent speaking engagements include:
CREST's recent media outreach has focused on the need to create a sustainable future for tourism. Check out these media highlights: