By Leilani Latimer,  Sabre Holdings and GSTC Board Member

Leilani Latimer - Sabre Holdings, GSTC Board Member, celebrating World Tourism Day

Leilani Latimer – Sabre Holdings, GSTC Board Member and Chair of the Market Access Working Group

Today, September 27th, 2011, we are celebrating World Tourism Day. This day is dedicated to fostering awareness about the importance of tourism. More specifically looking at its social, cultural, political and economic value. This year’s theme is “linking cultures”.

“In a global environment, marked by rising intolerance and cross-cultural tensions, often exacerbated by the economic divide between nations, tourism can foster spiritual and cultural respect among people, while also creating economic opportunities to benefit disadvantaged populations” – UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Sabre Celebrates World Tourism Day

This year, we are celebrating World Tourism Day by renewing our commitment to the work of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. We are founding members of GSTC.  Since 2008, we have adopted the GSTC Criteria as a baseline for our sustainable travel offerings. We believe it provides clear, sustainable choices for our customers with integrity and confidence. This global framework is an essential tool for businesses to innovate. This also increases customer loyalty and competition in today’s fast-paced environment, all whilst protecting our key stakeholders; economies, communities, people and the planet!

Theme for World Tourism Day 2011: “Linking Cultures”

“Linking Cultures” is all about celebrating strong partnerships. Along with the Rainforest Alliance, another founding member of GSTC, Sabre Holdings, has dedicated many efforts in promoting frameworks for sustainable tourism, and providing education on how to use these standards in product offerings. In fact, our Travelocity® Latin American team recently participated in the Seminar of Sustainable Tourism organized by Rainforest Alliance at Travel Mart Latin America. They will also be presenting at the upcoming People, Planet, Peace conference in Costa Rica, showcasing Travelocity’s Green Hotels as an example of sustainable travel in action.

Additionally, this week, Sabre will be amongst the presenters at the XIX Inter American Travel Congress (IATC) in San Salvador. We’ll present best practices in Sustainable Tourism as a means for sustainable development in emerging markets. Fostering links between the public and private sectors and driving Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable practices further into our industry is another objective of UNWTO. It also aligns with our “Better travel, better world” commitment at Sabre, and GSTC’s vision to “Travel Forever”.

Join us, because together we can make the world a better place … one journey at a time!