U.S. Travel Forms Coalition to Build a More Sustainable Future for All Sectors of the Travel Industry

August 3, 2022

The U.S. Travel Association launched the Sustainable Travel Coalition in an effort to help every sector of the travel industry, including meetings and events, develop and advance strategies for sustainability. 

With nearly 60 member entities to start, including major DMOs, hotel groups and industry organizations such as the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the Sustainable Travel Coalition will serve as an advisory body to inform U.S. Travel on sustainability issues, opportunities and concerns within member entities. A dedicated Policy Committee will help drive the broader coalition’s efforts to enable regular progress and collaboration.

The Sustainable Travel Coalition’s imperative incorporates domestic and international leisure travel, business travel and meetings and events, focusing on every touchpoint of each sector, including travel search and booking platforms, transportation, destinations, hotels, restaurants, meeting and event venues, cruises, sporting events and attractions and entertainment. 

The coalition’s long-term goals include:

  • Spotlighting industry progress by showcasing innovative technologies and calling attention to the ongoing actions and leadership of travel professionals in the sustainability space.
     
  • Amplifying industry goals and commitments to conservation, best practices, waste and emission reductions and both long- and short-term investments.
     
  • Highlighting why sustainability matters and the importance of it as a core to travel's future.
     
  • Playing offense by identifying and promoting proactive policies to help the industry achieve its goals.
     
  • Defending against harmful policies that slow progress toward sustainability goals or penalize the industry without progress.

“As technology advances and consumers demand more sustainable travel options, the work of this coalition will ensure that the U.S. travel industry can meet the needs of an evolving market while also protecting our planet’s natural resources,” said U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes.

Barnes added that sustainability is clearly an issue that spans well beyond the travel industry itself to practically all other areas of the U.S. economy.

“By bringing together stakeholders across related industries, we are aligning leaders in travel, transportation and technology on the critical issues that will affect their businesses for decades to come,” she said.

Calling on Congress

To accelerate investment in sustainable travel, more than 100 travel industry organizations, including groups within and outside the Sustainable Travel Coalition, sent a letter to the federal government to advance the following near-term priorities:

  • A tax credit for the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), such as those proposed in the Sustainable Skies Act.
     
  • An enhanced tax credit to increase the availability of electric vehicle charging stations.
     
  • An enhanced tax deduction to increase energy efficiency upgrades to commercial buildings, including hotels, convention centers and other event venues.
     
  • Federal investments to protect and restore natural attractions, including recreational waterways, shorelines and national parks.
     
  • Other clean energy incentives for investment in renewable energy deployment, green hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, direct air capture and other innovative technologies to lower the carbon intensity of transportation fuels and the power grid.

In addition to the priorities detailed in the letter, the coalition will identify and advocate for other priorities in the coming months.

Click here to learn more about the Sustainable Travel Coalition. Click here to see the industry sign-on letter.

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