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News New report from Forum for the Future outlines survival strategies for the tourism industry

 

Survival strategies for the tourism industry

A future where tourism benefits local economies and respects the environment is not only possible, it makes good business sense, reveals a report released today by sustainable development organisation Forum For The Future.

Investing in energy efficiency, implementing staff retention programmes and re-thinking waste are all ways in which resorts can become more profitable while benefitting local communities and the environment, according to Paradise Found.

The report also demonstrates how leading businesses in the tourist industry are taking action on climate change, cutting greenhouse gas emissions in expectation of tough regulations and making plans to adapt to the consequences of changing weather systems.

"The collapse of several airlines and tour operators shows that the industry needs to take long-term sustainability factors into account in its strategic planning," says Stephanie Draper, author of the report and Acting Director of the Forum's business programme.

"The industry has been blindsided by roller coaster fuel prices and the economic downturn. Issues like climate change and water are just around the corner. To be sustainable financially, as well as environmentally and socially, the industry needs a new approach.

"This report challenges the industry to see sustainability in tourism destinations as an opportunity, a chance to differentiate, innovate and save money. Paradise Found embodies our vision of a future where profitable tourist resorts benefit local people and exist in harmony with their environment."

Paradise Found demonstrates how investment in five key areas - the environment, people, community, infrastructure and finance - can enhance profitability and highlights best practice. It serves as a guide for tour operators, developers, hoteliers and other tourism providers involved in building new resorts or refurbishing existing buildings.

Whilst the report finds that there is no one tourism development that is yet truly sustainable, there are resorts that are leading the way in certain aspects of sustainability.

Soneva Fushi by Six Senses in the Maldives is one of a growing number of destinations which are already reaping the benefits of incorporating carbon management into their business. Since starting to manage its energy use in 2004 it has halved its carbon footprint. It plans to go carbon positive by 2010 by installing a solar power plant and offsetting emissions from guest flights, resort travel and operations by building wind turbines in India.

"The core purpose of Six Senses is to create innovative and enriching experiences in a sustainable environment. That's why we have invested heavily in a range of different renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures to reduce the carbon  

footprint of our resorts," said Juergen Seidel, Six Sense's Group Director of Property Maintenance, Engineering & Innovation.

"We live in an increasingly unpredictable world with massive fluctuations in the price of oil and other commodities. The measures we are currently adopting will help us weather these storms and reduce our costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars. These green characteristics also help to differentiate our group from competitors and provide our guests with truly enriching experiences."

Download a copy of the embargoed report here

For high resolution pictures to accompany articles, click here

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Fiona King, Communications Officer, Forum for the Future, at f.king@forumforthefuture.org  and  +44 (0)20 7324 3657

or David Mason, Head of Communications, Forum for the Future, at d.mason@forumforthefuture.org  on +44 (0)20 7324 3631 and +44 (0)77 9907 2320

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Whilst the focus of ‘Paradise Found' is on tourist destinations, Forum for the Future acknowledges the environmental impacts of travelling to many of the destinations featured and recommends using the travel hierarchy (see below) when making holiday decisions:

Go local

GO overland

Go longer

Go direct

Offset

* Forum for the Future - the UK-based sustainable development charity - works in partnership with over 130 leading organisations in business and the public sector. Our vision is of business and communities thriving in a future that is environmentally sustainable and socially just. We believe that a sustainable future can be achieved, that it is the only way business and communities will prosper, but that we need bold action now to make it happen. We play our part by inspiring and challenging organisations with positive visions of a sustainable future; finding innovative, practical ways to help realise those visions; training leaders to bring about change; and sharing success through our communications. http://communicationsaj.createsend1.com/t/1/l/sikq/tuitiyli/www.forumforthefuture.org

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Keywords sustainable tourism, social, environmental, economic, destinations, energy efficiency, waste, environment, carbon, energy saving, tour operators, hoteliers, developers, community, infrastructure, climate change