By Brian Collett — Four ethical goals have been set by the International Tourism Partnership, the London-based hospitality industry body, to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
The goals represent the first industry-wide global sustainability commitment.
The partnership, whose members collectively run 26,000 hotels and include such respected names as Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott, has set youth employment, human rights, carbon emissions and water economy targets.
It expects its youth policy to touch a million young people under 25 by 2030, doubling its impact on youth employability.
The partnership believes the hotel industry is equipped to offer work and career options as it is growing by 4 per cent yearly and already provides one in ten of all jobs. It hopes this will help some of the world’s 71 million unemployed aged 15 to 24 and the 156 million young workers living in poverty thanks to unstable, irregular jobs.
Some of the work will be provided under the Youth Career Initiative created by the industry to solve the problem of youth unemployment and hotel skills shortages.
Partnership members will intensify their efforts to eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking through increasing awareness of human rights, transparency and remediation.
Part of the human rights focus will be on supply chain labour, including fees charged to workers to obtain employment.
Hotels will aim to cut absolute carbon emissions by 66 per cent by 2030 and 90 per cent by 2050 just to stay within the two degrees Celsius atmosphere warming limit set by the Paris climate summit. Partnership members will encourage the whole industry to collaborate in reducing gas emissions.
The partnership points out that hotels already account for about one per cent of global emissions, a proportion likely to increase with the industry’s growth.
A second environmental goal will be to limit water use by embedding water economy programmes in hotel portfolios. The task is particularly difficult because fresh water demand is likely to outstrip supply by 40 per cent by 2030, when a third of the world’s population will be living in areas of severe water distress, and proportional consumption by hotel guests always greatly exceeds local citizens’ use.
Wolfgang Neumann, chair of the partnership’s governing council, said: “Our vision for 2030 is for sustainable growth and a fairer future for all.
“We understand that bigger impacts can be achieved faster through the industry working together at scale. For this reason we invite other hotel companies to join with us in our commitment to these four critical goals.”
Partnership director Fran Hughes announced: “Business leaders have put competition to one side to create an ambitious vision for the future and a rallying call to the whole industry.
“By working together, I feel certain that these businesses will create a more sustainable future for the entire hospitality industry.”