Agoda partners with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council to accelerate sustainability transformation in the travel industry

Partnership to launch first in Singapore with sponsored training for hotel professionals

SINGAPORE – 31 August 2022 – Agoda, Singapore headquartered digital travel platform, is partnering with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to support hotels develop sustainable tourism practices. Singapore is the first country where the programme will be launched, with Agoda and GSTC sponsoring 50 Singapore hotel professionals to attend a Sustainable Tourism course that will equip them with the knowledge and skills to accelerate their sustainability transformation.

Jamil, Liyana, Vice President of Global Partner Services, Agoda said, “We are excited to be the pioneer travel platform that partners with GSTC to deliver a sustainable tourism course for hotels in Singapore. We are confident this course will go some way to help speed up the hotels’ adoption of the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap. Agoda is constantly looking for ways to collaborate with public and private organisations to raise awareness of sustainable tourism and help our customers and partners make more sustainable choice. And as is Agoda’s culture, we will test and measure the success of this initiative as we look to explore similar programs in other key markets.”

Agoda and GSTC’s sustainable tourism course aims to support hotel participants on their journey to meet their sustainability targets through in-depth content provided by GSTC. The GSTC’s Criteria meet global standards for sustainable travel and tourism and the course includes examples of best practice from destinations, tour operators and accommodation providers around the globe. The course will enable hotels professionals to better understand the intent and indicators of the GSTC Criteria, and prepare individuals to develop and implement viable and actionable sustainable tourism policies and practices for their organisation, or for the destination they operate in, so as to prepare themselves to be GSTC-certified moving forward.

After completing the course, participants will receive a certificate of training completion from the GSTC featuring both the GSTC and Agoda logos, and will be eligible to take an optional official exam to receive the GSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism. Training through the course and the optional certificate would also contribute to the Staff Engagement criteria in the GSTC Criteria for Hotels which requires staff to hold certificates and qualifications in relevant discipline/skills.

Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer at GSTC said, “Agoda has been an active GSTC Member over the past few years and our partnership has resulted in an intensive sustainable tourism course that will help hotels gain the necessary knowledge and skills to advance their sustainability transformation. Moreover, this course prepares the groundwork for participants to upskill their “green” credentials with a professional certificate. As the world adjusts and adapts to the new normal and global travel returns to normal, it’s important that we maximise our opportunities to collaborate with OTAs and local tourism bodies in different markets to share our expertise to further sustainability practices and initiatives across the world.”

Kwee Wei Lin, President at SHA said, “We are delighted that Agoda’s partnership with GSTC will support Singapore’s hotel industry in realising our target to achieve internationally recognised hotel sustainability certification. The course will not only build sustainability capabilities within each organisation, but also support hotels with a structured framework to implement greener practices. Such efforts will support our vision for Singapore’s hotel industry to be a leader in sustainability in the region.”

In March 2022, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) jointly launched the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap, setting out clear sustainability goals for hotels as part of Singapore’s ambition to become a top sustainable urban destination. These include a target for at least 60% of Singapore’s hotel room stock to achieve internationally recognized hotel sustainability certification by 2025, and to commence tracking of emissions by 2023. The move by Agoda to help hotels meet the requirements for sustainability certification is welcomed by both SHA and STB.

The GSTC and Agoda course is a flexible learning online course of four 90 min sessions over a four-week period. The course commences from 6 October – 3 November 2022. GSTC offers tailored programs based on specific needs and goals to help hotels improve their sustainability practices through tangible actions that fulfill hotel sustainability certifications standards.

Agoda officially joined as a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) in 2019.

As a company that aims to make travel possible for more people, Agoda believes it has a responsibility to help preserve destinations and support communities in which it works. To accomplish this, Agoda has partnered with leading organizations around the world to ‘give back’ and make travel a force for good. These initiatives include Eco Deals program with WWF-Singapore, reforestation projects in Thailand and Indonesia, and beach and waterway clean ups across Asia.