The New Souvenirs: Memories, Experiences, and Sustainable Sourcing
By Tara Hammond Group Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts | April 30, 2017
The United Nations designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector. But how will those of us whose purpose it is to innovate and drive change in corporate social responsibility affect change among consumer behavior? It is not enough to just implement policies and practices.
Communicating our actions to guests is the key to inspiring change in everyday behaviors. The United Nations designation provides a platform to communicate the great programs and initiatives happening all over the world, especially within sustainable sourcing.
This journey begins with the decision to source sustainable goods and services in the first place. We live in a world where operating a sustainable business is not only commended by consumers, but is expected. The demand for sustainable operations from consumers has become more and more customary and businesses in the travel and tourism industry must keep up with this demand.
As accessibility to secondary and tertiary cities opens up and travelers seek unexpected destinations, new challenges emerge in building sustainable supply chains. But it also provides an opportunity to educate travelers on responsible sustainable sourcing in food and beverage, employee recruitment and retention, and energy sourcing. With effective communication, we hope travelers will apply this information to their own purchasing decisions well after the vacation is over.
Food & Beverage - Farm to Table, Message to Action
Many terms are used to describe sustainably-sourced ingredients - farm to table, farm to mouth, from the earth, and more. These terms suggest the direct benefits of serving locally-grown or organic items to the consumer. While the importance of knowing where your food comes from and how it was produced cannot be understated, the benefits go beyond Michelin-starred restaurants and consumers' delight in sustainable ingredients. The objective to source sustainable and trustworthy food and beverage options benefits not only the health and wellbeing of travelers and guests, but also the communities in which we operate.