Washington, D.C. (September 5, 2012) – Sustainable Travel International announced today that it has joined the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA). VEGA, the world’s largest consortium of economic growth volunteer organizations, with 19 member NGOs has assisted 140 developing countries & mobilized more than 25,000 experts to promote economic growth activities over the past 4 decades.
VEGA’s track record includes over 25 programs worth more than $140 million. VEGA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization and was founded in 2004 by the US Agency for International Development through a Leader with Associate (LWA) award cooperative agreement.
“We are very excited about joining VEGA. Working on the development side of tourism we’ve seen first-hand the damaging effects poorly planned tourism can have on a destination. We have joined VEGA because we believe it is important to have a common understanding of what sustainable tourism is, not just for travelers but for tourism operators as well,” said Brian Mullis, CEO and Founder of Sustainable Travel International. “VEGA’s member network is impressive, and we look forward to building partnerships as we all strive to promote sustainable tourism.”
“We are pleased that Sustainable Travel International is joining in our efforts. The tourism industry is growing and we have a responsibility to ensure that growth is done in a responsible way,” said Mike Deal, Executive Director of VEGA. “We look forward to working with Sustainable Travel International to help implement and explain sustainable tourism, so that it becomes as ubiquitous as travel itself.”
VEGA and its Members have long recognized the potential of tourism as key to economic growth in developing countries, and are actively working on programs using an integrated cross-sectoral approach to sustainable tourism. By tapping into the opportunities inherent in tourism value chains, programs involving close collaboration with host country ministries, associations, chambers, NGOs, and both large and small businesses, stimulate sustainable economic growth, job creation, environmental practices, and social & cultural preservation.