Expedia supports destinations with new sustainability programmes

Expedia Group has launched two sustainability programmes to help destination management organisations (DMOs) to take climate action and support local communities.

The Destination Climate Champions and the Destination Giveback Initiative are aligned with the group’s Open World social impact and sustainability strategy.

Aditi Mohapatra (pictured), vice-president of global social impact and sustainability at Expedia Group, said: “Many DMOs are eager to take proactive actions on sustainability and social impact but may need initial support to get there.

“Expedia Group has invested in two new programmes to further our destination partners’ capabilities, to transform local travel offerings, and empower travellers to make more responsible travel choices.”

Expedia research shows 90% of consumers look for sustainable options when booking and half of consumers would be willing to pay more for a trip if the travel options were more sustainable.

The Climate Champions training programme has been developed with the Travel Foundation, a leading industry NGO.

The free online training course and peer learning network aims to help DMO staff to create a destination-specific climate action plan and to promote more eco-conscious travel.

It is being piloted with 30 destinations across Europe, New Zealand, northwest US and Canada and will be available globally to DMOs later this year.

Rob Torres, senior vice-president for media solutions at Expedia Group, said: “We understand that for many of our partners, the topic of sustainability is an urgent issue to address, but is often complex, and it can be hard to know how to put words into meaningful action.

“Our partnership with Travel Foundation reflects our shared vision of a travel industry that prioritises both people and the planet.

“We’re providing DMOs with a step-by-step programme that helps them to create a more environmentally conscious approach to driving demand to their destinations.”

With the Destination Giveback Initiative, Expedia Group makes donations to local causes identified together with its DMO partner to support local communities while driving tourism growth.

It has already been in action with Destination Canada, with Expedia Group donating $100,000 to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).

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