NTA Endorses Sustainable Travel’s Eco-CertificationAugust 25, 2008 By: George Dooley
The National Tour Association (NTA) has endorsed Sustainable Travel International’s Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification Program (STEP). Through this strategic agreement, NTA said it is furthering its core values and goals to embrace sustainable travel and educate its members on best practices.
“NTA’s endorsement of STI and our Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification Program is noteworthy as it speaks to the organization’s commitment to sustainable tourism and the future of the travel industry,” said Brian T. Mullis, president of Sustainable Travel International. “Our programs will help NTA members to proactively integrate responsible business practices into their operations, improve the health and safety of their employees and guests, and support environmental conservation while gaining a competitive advantage and increasing operational efficiencies, which is good business in this economic climate.”
STI’s eco-certification program, is the world's first comprehensive, global sustainable tourism eco-certification program offered by a non-profit organization. It is designed to aid tourism businesses of all sizes ensure the preservation of destinations and cultures.
“NTA believes that sustainable travel connects cultures and enhances quality of life" said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher. "Bringing this eco-certification program to NTA members is an important step in the association’s support of sustainable travel. As part of NTA’s commitment to support its members’ move toward sustainability and to set standards for successful travel professionals, NTA began exploring accreditation programs. After reviewing STI’s mission and eco-certification program, it made sense to connect with STI, support their mission and bring this comprehensive program and services to NTA members.”
As part of this collaboration, NTA members exclusively will receive a discount to obtain eco-certification and off of STI’s other services like carbon offsets and travelers’ philanthropy. Also, Mullis will speak at NTA’s first Green Annual Convention in Pittsburgh November 15-19 about the market advantages of green travel and how travel professionals can integrate sustainable practices into their businesses. “As many travelers are putting great importance on sustainability, this program will offer NTA members a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” added Hoelscher.