The Importance Of The UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge
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The Importance Of The UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge

Have you heard of the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge? This travel pledge promotes sustainable travel through community resilience and heritage conservation. The UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge created in 2019, now has over 4,200 hotels and travel companies who have committed to their ideals. While travel allows you to explore the globe and learn about diverse cultures, if you don’t travel sustainably future generations will not be able to explore the globe in the same ways. The sustainable pledge makes it simple for travel companies to become part of the sustainable change that is desperately needed.  The UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge is free to join and provides a certificate that is perfect for the entire travel industry whether small business or large scale operators. Keep reading to find out more about the importance of the UNESCO Sustainable Travel  Pledge. 

The aim of sustainable travel is to leave a light environmental footprint, to support local communities, and to protect the culture and heritage of each area. The travel pledge does just that by encouraging community engagement, energy conservation, water conservation, reducing waste, and reducing the use of single use plastics. The sustainable pledge is a way for travel companies to publicly commit to the actions they can take to protect local cultures and the natural environment surrounding them. 

The Five Themes Of The UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge

1. Community Engagement 

The UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge aims to encourage the communities and cultures in which these travel companies operate to thrive. The sustainable pledge commits participants to support their local communities through sourcing local produce and hiring local workers. 

2. Energy Conservation

This theme in the travel pledge helps with the reduction of carbon emissions and aiding in preserving our natural resources. Participants in the pledge lower costs by using energy efficient climate control systems and prioritizing renewable energy. 

3. Water Conservation

Water is an invaluable resource in many water-stressed countries world wide. The UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge participants manage this incredible resource by pledging to practice installing water conservation instruments such as low-flow toilets and using rainwater to make their travel businesses more eco-friendly. 

4. Waste Reduction 

Travel has become high-consumption like much of our society, and waste is becoming an increasingly huge problem. Travel companies who sign the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge must share their waste reduction policies, including things like better recycling practices and composting food waste. 

5. Single-Use Plastic Reduction

There are about 5 trillion single use plastics that are thrown away each year. These plastics end up in our oceans and landfills and take years to decompose. The sustainable pledge travel companies must show their commitment to replacing single use plastics. This can be in the form of toiletries, straws, and any sustainable alternatives.

Travel Companies/Organizations That Have Joined The Travel Pledge

An exciting group of organizations including Atout France, the French Tourism Development Agency strives to ensure that travelers explore France in a responsible and sustainable way. Another travel pledge participant is The Consell de Formentera, the island of Formentera in the Mediterranean Sea is focused on attracting travelers that respect the environment by promoting sustainable travel. 

A fellow UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge taker is Visit Scotland. The goal of this national tourist organization of Scotland is responsible tourism. They focus on respecting natural landscapes and preserving the country’s storied heritage. The Expedia Group also took the sustainable pledge, the group includes global brands such as Hotels.com, Expedia, VRBO, Travelocity, and CarRental.com. 

Leading the sustainability charge, Green Key has also joined the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge. Green Key brings over 3,200 properties across more than 60 countries to join the sustainable pledge. Other green organizations who have taken the travel pledge include Green Tourism and EU Ecolabel. Find out how to Travel Sustainably With EU Ecolabel


There are many ways for you to begin implementing the same ideals as the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge. Look for the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge certificate when booking hotels, vacation rentals, and rental cars. You can help by reducing your plastic use while traveling, check out How To Incorporate Plastic-Free Living Into Your Travels and Daily Life or Great Biodegradable Products For Travel And Daily Life. Making these small changes can make a world of difference  in terms of sustainable travel. Make the commitment for a brighter future while traveling today, implement the ideals of the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge! 

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