This past September Sustainable Travel International was an invited speaker to the 2012 World Youth, Student, and Educational Travel Conference in San Diego, California. The event brought together academics, tour operators, destination managers, and travel planners to network and collaborate on topics ranging from destination planning, online marketing, and sustainability. The importance of this group continues to grow as WYSE statistics say that now student travel accounts for nearly ⅕ of all travel worldwide.
During his three days, Bobby met with dozens of our current partners and engaged with others to build new relationships. Specifically he presented and moderated a session titled: How Does Sustainability Impact Your Business: Environmental Management, Social Responsibility, Return on Investment, and Beyond. The presentation was well received by the audience and followed by a robust discussion with an expert panel consisting of: Aaron Chaffee, Director of Hostels, Hostelling International USA; Steven Gwenin, Field Director, Global Vision International; Jennifer Seif, Executive Director, Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa.
"Although I worked in the student and education travel sector for seven years, I’m still amazed at the size, scope, and impact it has on the tourism industry. I truly feel that it is critically important to illustrate the value and impact of sustainability to young travelers and others at the conference tend to agree. An early introduction to sustainable travel helps to create more responsible travelers in the future. Perhaps this simple approach is the paradigm shift the industry as a whole has been waiting for."