As an industry, we are all working toward the same goal: to connect our customers with amazing experiences, people, and places around the world while doing it in a sustainable and responsible way. It seems like a big undertaking—to combat climate change, eliminate hunger, and eradicate poverty—but as a unified industry we have the power to create the ripples that lead to waves of change.
We know the NTA community of travel professionals arrives at Tourism Cares events ready to roll up their sleeves and give back. And while we may not have shovels in hand at Travel Exchange, we hope you’ll leave Fort Worth equipped to roll up your sleeves and committed to making long-term impacts through your business practices.
Our week at TREX will be all about ways you can improve your business by learning best practices, providing business boosts, and gaining insights into trends. And the Tourism Cares booth will act as a convening space to further those conference goals.
Our world is changing. Our customers and clients are demanding more. And the guidepost is right there, developed for us. Tourism Cares is using the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations to coalesce the industry around positive impact. Seventeen goals that can change the world—seems too simple. And it can be.
You’re probably already doing a number of things to further those goals. (Buying local produce? That’s SDG No. 12. Eliminated one-time use plastics? You’ve hit SDG No. 14). The fact is, we are one of the few industries that directly or indirectly contributes to all 17 goals.
We’re bringing the SDGs with us to Travel Exchange this year. Tourism Cares, with our partner MaCher, will serve as a resource at a “Sustainability Center” on the TREX Floor. Is your company making big strides around sustainability? Visit us and share your story. Is your company just getting started? Stop by for tips, tools, and inspiration.
Tourism Cares will invite local businesses to join us for our “Giving Marketplace,” a space that introduces social enterprises to the NTA delegation.
We will feature goods and services provided by businesses that serve a higher purpose: a home goods company that employs survivors of human trafficking, a fashion brand that uses only ethically sourced and sustainable materials, and a local café that employs adults with special needs.
By purchasing goods at our marketplace, you’ll be supporting a greater purpose, and the benefactor of those acts will be the Fort Worth businesses.
Insights into trends
Tourism Cares is again bringing its mentoring program to the NTA show. This legacy program invites scholarship recipients to join us for two days of Travel Exchange and connects them with NTA members who can share their industry experience.
Yet we all benefit from having these students among us. What better way to gain insight into the future of travel than from the next generation of the industry—from individuals who love both the experience and the work of travel?
We know this next generation will be powerful players in the evolution of travel. They are merging their concern for sustainability into their travel habits—and into their career goals. They’re interested in sustainable best practices for hotels, in eco-friendly trips, and in making a positive impact within the communities they visit.
I look forward to seeing you in our “green space” in Fort Worth. Our Tourism Cares booth will be a place to connect, to be inspired, and to shop!
Top photo: A Giving Marketplace, similar to one at the Tourism Cares for Puerto Rico event, above, will introduce social enterprises to NTA delegates in Fort Worth.
Photos by Tourism Cares