Recently, Easia Travel signed up to Tourism Declares, an initiative that supports tourism businesses, organizations and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and taking purposeful action to reduce their carbon emissions as per the advice from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with the aim of cutting global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030.
Matteo, Sustainability Manager at Easia Travel (in addition to his role of Easia Active Brand Director) sat with us and explained why Easia signed up and why this is important for both our company and the tourism industry in general, as well as what it means for us in terms of commitment.
Why did Easia decide to sign up for Tourism Declares?
It is time to take measurable and concrete actions to fight climate change and to work together to develop a better planet for future generations. This is one of the reasons why we decided to sign and join Tourism Declares.
Easia Travel, a DMC specialized in Inbound Travel in SE Asia since 2000, was founded on solid human values and we believe in tourism as a force of good, which when conducted in a sustainable and responsible way can have a long term positive impact benefitting both the planet and the people.
In order to have these positive effects and to address the climate change issue, we must first acknowledge and measure the impact of tourism and commit to actions and work with organizations and local people to mitigate them. Together with Tourism Declares and all our fellow partners and colleagues we are committed to this statement and to reducing our impact and our carbon footprints.
What is Tourism Declares’ goal and what does it mean for us?
Tourism Declares is a global community of more than 350 organizations, companies and professionals working together to plan a better future for tourism. Its objective is to create a community where everybody can share challenges, ideas and solutions in order to develop tourism that is in balance with our climate restores biodiversity, and supports vulnerable people across the world.
For us, it is important to be part of this community of sustainably-minded people, tourism organizations and professionals in order to share our best practices, learn from others and challenge ourselves to constantly improve our journey towards true sustainability.
What are Easia’s commitments by signing up to Tourism Declares?
Like all signatories, we have committed to the following five actions:
- Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’: Over the next 12 months we will set out a plan which will help us monitor and improve the environmental, social and economic impacts that we have on the destinations and communities we live and operate in. The objective of the plan is to improve our internal management and educate and involve our employees as well as our suppliers and clients. A part of the plan will be focused on the reduction of our carbon emissions over the next decade .
- Share our results, commitment and progress: we will share an initial public declaration of our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’, and provide a progress update each year.
- Reduce our Carbon emissions: Easia Travel accepts current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 in order to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. We’ll ensure our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ represents actions designed to achieve this as a minimum, by delivering transparent, measurable and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per customer arising from our operations and the travel services sold by us.
- Encourage our suppliers and partners: we work closely with our partners, colleagues and suppliers to raise awareness about sustainability and we participate in initiatives which educate and create a positive impact on our destinations, communities and which protect biodiversity.
We will also share our best practices with our peers and actively participate in the Tourism Declares community.
- Advocate for change. We recognize the need for a systematic change across the tourism and hospitality industry to accelerate a transition towards zero-carbon air travel. Easia also collaborates and supports partners who develop initiatives and projects aiming to preserve the local culture, natural environment and the social and economic situation.
What is Easia’s action plan to fulfil these commitments?
At Easia we have already implemented various sustainable actions and projects and we have already set up a global sustainability action plan. You can find more information here: Sustainability Policy.
Our main goals for the coming years are:
- Obtain the Travelife Certification in all our destinations by the end of 2022.
- Proceed with our Carbon reduction and offsetting project. Firstly by calculating and reducing as much as possible the CO2 emissions of our offices and business trips and offsetting the rest. Then, by the end of 2022, start reducing the CO2 emissions of all our tours and travel services offered in our destinations by promoting more slow and carbon-free travel experiences while offsetting the rest of the emissions.
- Keep improving our sustainability internal tools which allow us to analyze the impact of our suppliers and tours. The objective is to be able to analyze carefully the impacts of each travel experience in order to mitigate the negative side and amplify the positive impacts in our destinations and communities.
- Keep training our team, partners and suppliers and stay updated about the climate change situation. Also, keep collaborating with our colleagues, industry partners and organizations to work together to create better destinations and a better travel industry.
How do you see the tourism industry’s future if we (tourism industry stakeholders) do not commit to sustainable actions now? Why is it important to take action NOW?
If we do not change now there won’t be any tourism industry. These 2 years of pandemics have made us reflect and realize that we need to start changing the way we live on this planet.
The travel and hospitality industry depends on the health of the surrounding ecosystem. Without preserving our heritage sites, culture and traditions, respecting our local communities and protecting our biodiversity, oceans and natural environment there won’t be any travel experience.
What did Easia achieve so far in terms of sustainability?
A: We are proud to say that we recently achieved the Travelife Certification for 2 out of 5 destinations: Laos & Vietnam. This is an important result that shows the real commitment of Easia to become a leading sustainable tourism company. These results would have never happened without the great work and commitment of all our team members.
Beyond these results, we have developed various projects which involve our offices, partners and local suppliers, for example, the Refill project in all our destinations which reduces the consumption of plastic bottles; the policies we have created and shared both internally and externally such as our Easia Child-Safe policy and our Easia Ethics policy.
For more information about our recent achievements, you can check our Sustainability journey 2019-2020.