Hospitality Industry Welcomes New Standards of Carbon Measurement

The hospitality industry now has a standardised approach to measuring carbon footprints.

The new procedure has been put together by the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with UK-based, InterContinental Hotels Group.

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) Working Group, which has been launched recently, and which includes hotel members within the ITP and WTTC, is offering a global standardised approach for the hospitality industry and its customers.

David Jerome, the senior vice president of corporate responsibility for InterContinental Hotels Group, said, ‘As an industry, we’ve standardised our practices around how hotels calculate carbon emissions, making it easier for our guests and corporate clients to understand the environmental impact of their hotel stays.’

The procedure, developed in 2011, has been tested in different hotels of various sizes, and in diverse geographical locations, to refine the process.

InterContinental Hotels will be using the new methodology to construct a carbon calculator into Green Engage, an online sustainability tool that is designed to enable the group’s hotels to measure, administer and lessen their environmental impacts.

The calculator will allow around 2,000 hotels using Green Engage to offer their customers information on the carbon footprint per occupied room, and the carbon footprint of meetings and events.

Earlier, the chief executive officer of InterContinental Hotels, Richard Solomons, said in a statement on the company website, ‘As the world’s largest hotel group1 we understand that the role of hotels in society goes beyond selling hotel rooms. We must act responsibly and build trust in our brands.

Building trust and being a responsible business are fundamental. Our size and scale give us a big responsibility. The great news is that doing the right thing strengthens our reputation and reinforces trust in our brands. It shows, for instance, that we’re listening to our stakeholders. A growing number of our guests want to make sustainable choices and lots of our corporate clients want proof of our green credentials.’

 

 

Improving Visa Provision Can Create Five Million Jobs

Providing ease of access to travel visas could create 5 million jobs according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The WTTC and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation made their case for the job creation at the T20 meeting of tourism ministers in Merida, a resort town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsular. It was stated that the G20’s role was important in this, and that the action could also boost international tourist numbers by an additional 122 million, while generating an extra USD206 billion in tourism exports by 2015.

Key to the evidence presented were findings showing that of the 656 million tourists that visited G20 countries in 2011, 110 million had to apply for a visa, and it is estimated that millions more ultimately chose not to travel due to the cost, waiting time and general difficulty of obtaining a visa. Easier provision of visas for these tourists is estimated to have the potential to provide over five million jobs across the G20 economies, while generating an additional USD 206bn in international tourism revenue.

According to WTTC president, David Scowsill, ‘Encouraging freedom to travel is a simple step that governments around the world can take to encourage more travellers and the creation of millions of new jobs and billions of dollars of GDP, without compromising national security. For the first time, this report makes clear the extent of the opportunity, it cannot be ignored.’

UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai, said, ‘Small steps towards visa facilitation can result in big economic benefits. By facilitating visas, the G20 countries stand to gain five million jobs at a time of rampant unemployment across the world. These are in addition to the hundreds of millions of direct and indirect jobs already being supported every day by the sector.’

Air tax damaging to the UK economy

Removing Air Passenger Duty would result in an additional 91,000 British jobs being created and £4.2 billion added to the economy in 12 months, it has been revealed.

The research, by World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC), shows that comes as Britain is about to face yet another rise in Air Passenger Duty. Increases planned from April mean a family of four flying to Malaga will pay £52 extra on the price of their tickets. This rises to £260 for the same family to fly to Florida and £368 to fly to Australia.

David Scowsill, WTTC President&CEO, said: “Air Passenger Duty is a completely disproportionate tax on people’s holidays and is hitting business travel hard. When the economy needs help, it is economically illogical to continue with a tax that costs the country some 91,000 jobs and as much as £4.2 billion.”

In the next 12 months, the UK government will collect £2.8 billion in extra tax from air travelers, far more than any other country in the world.

David continued: “Travel and tourism grew by 4.1 percent in the UK last year, but is forecast to slow to 1.3 percent in 2012. This slowdown is partly due to the impact of Air Passenger Duty, which is dampening demand.

“This tax is damaging the economy at a crucial time and is having a negative effect on trade with countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. We urge the UK government to recognize the impact on the overall economy and reduce Air Passenger Duty.”

Martin Craigs, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), said: “The UK is an island trading nation; air services are the vital lifeblood of modern global commerce. The UK Air Passenger Duty is now the world’s highest by a wide margin. It is certainly turning away tourism and trade from the world’s fastest-growing economic region, Asia Pacific.

“Airport Passenger Duty started in1994 at £5 and some worthy intentions to offset aviations carbon footprint. Today at £85 to zone D (Asia/Pacific) it’s a ‘detention tax’ that’s restricting job growth, alienating important trade partners and not being transparently directed to green projects. Airport Passenger Duty maybe easy to collect but it’s also easy to see its macroeconomic damage.”