Banyan Tree Group joins Expedia Group in the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge
New commitment brings industry one step closer to a global standard for a more sustainable travel future
June 22, 2021 – Banyan Tree Group, a global hospitality leader rooted in sustainability stewardship, has joined Expedia Group and UNESCO in the global expansion of the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge (hereinafter also “UNESCO Pledge”). The Group’s pledge will see 48 Banyan Tree properties adhere to the responsible environmental and cultural practices established by the UNESCO Pledge.
The UNESCO Pledge promotes responsible practices such as environmental protection, community resilience and heritage conservation, with the ultimate goal of changing the nature and impact of global tourism. Banyan Tree Group was built on sustainability practices and adds a unique contribution in establishing further a global standard for a more sustainable travel future.
“In light of the pandemic and the reductions we’ve seen in environmental impact during this time, more travelers – and travel companies – are seeking opportunities to be better stewards of the planet,” said Jean-Philippe Monod, Senior Vice-President Government and Corporate Affairs of Expedia Group. “Banyan Tree Group has, from its inception 27 years ago, been rooted in sustainability and is taking an exemplary role by being among the first hospitality brands to take the UNESCO Pledge.”
Launched in 2019 with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), UNESCO and Expedia Group, today more than 4,000 hotels are committed to the UNESCO Pledge globally. Participating hotels support the reduction and elimination of single-use plastics and promote local economy and culture. They receive a ‘We signed the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge’ certificate, renew their commitment every year, and report on progress achieved. They also receive increased visibility with a badge on multiple travel booking sites across the Expedia Group marketplace, as the pandemic prompts eco-awareness among travelers.
“Banyan Tree Group, as part of our culture, is on a mission to amplify sustainability awareness and create impact by sharing our learnings and sustainability measures to help other hotels’ kick-start implementation,” said Steve Newman, Assistant Vice President, Group Sustainability Director and Coordinating Director of Banyan Tree Global Foundation (BTGF). “As an industry, we have the ability and power to transform global inequity. As a company, we are committed to helping our partners and industry colleagues become even more planet-aware and friendly, as we ‘build back better’ post-pandemic.”
Banyan Tree Group has received recognition for its commitment to environmental protection and community development through its non-profit arm, Banyan Tree Global Foundation (BTGF), which aligns the Group’s efforts to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The hospitality company’s ‘Stay for Good’ program focuses on three core areas of environment, community and responsibility, which includes a target to reduce the resource consumption by 5% year over year. Centred on the belief that the business is a vehicle for societal betterment and transformation, the Group also recently awarded the Greater Good Grants to eight external organisations for community and environment projects that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Banyan Tree Group is in a unique position to help guide sustainability standards and practices moving forward, and we are pleased to have the Group joining our global effort today,” said Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO. “The crisis has shown us that we cannot continue in the same way as before. Together, we must join forces for a tourism recovery that supports communities, creates jobs, promotes culture, and protects heritage.’
To learn more about the UNESCO Pledge, please visit our Thailand pilot microsite: https://unescosustainable.travel/. A global microsite will be announced later in 2021.
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About Banyan Tree Group
Banyan Tree Group (“Banyan Tree Holdings Limited” or the “Group”) is one of the world’s leading independent, multi-branded hospitality groups. The Group’s diversified portfolio of hotels, resorts, spas, galleries, golf and residences is centered on five award-winning brands (Banyan Tree, Angsana, Cassia, Dhawa and Laguna) that offer exceptional design-led experiences for global travellers of today and tomorrow.
Founded in 1994 on the core concept of sustainability, Banyan Tree Holdings seeks to create long-term value for all stakeholders and destinations across its network of properties, products and brands, through a purpose-driven mission. With 7,800 associates across 22 countries, Banyan Tree Management Academy (BTMA) was established in 2008 to support the Group’s goals through advancing people development, management excellence, and learning with integrity and meaning.
Banyan Tree Holdings has received 2,759 industry awards and accolades since inception. It has also received recognition for its commitment to environmental protection and community development through its Banyan Tree Global Foundation (BTGF), which aligns the Group’s efforts to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Executing on its regionalised growth strategy, the Group’s global footprint continues to grow with 35 new hotels and resorts under design and construction in the pipeline, in addition to 48 operating hotels in 13 countries as of 31 December 2020.
Banyan Tree Holdings entered a strategic long-term partnership with Accor in 2016 to develop and manage Banyan Tree branded hotels around the world along with the access to Accor’s global reservations and sales network, as well as the loyalty programme ALL – Accor Live Limitless. It also formed a joint venture with China Vanke Co. Ltd. in 2017 – focusing on active ageing and wellness hospitality projects.
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UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities.
Media Contact: Clare O’Hagan, UNESCO Press Service, firstname.lastname@example.org +33(0)145681729
About Expedia Group
Expedia Group, Inc. companies power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, Egencia®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, Expedia Local Expert®, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.
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