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20 May, 2017

“The Olive Tree”: New Publication launched to help Travel & Tourism meet UN Sustainable Development Goals

Colombo — A pioneering publication designed to help the travel & tourism industry put its shoulder to the wheel of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been launched at the PATA Annual Summit here in the Sri Lankan capital this week.

Although discussion of the SDGs is taking up a lot of time and space at travel & tourism events worldwide, industry executives often fail to understand how it is all relevant to them, where to find additional information and resources, and how they can make a meaningful contribution.

The publication is designed to address all the above issues.

Sponsored by Jetwing Hotels of Sri Lanka, and named “The Olive Tree”, it is a joint effort between the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the Bangkok-based travel publication Travel Impact Newswire.

Click on the image to download the publication FREE.

It features a compilation of announcements, news releases and initiatives by United Nations agencies and other multilateral groupings such as the Asian Development Bank on a broad range of SDG-related themes and topics, from Messengers of Peace to Infrastructure Investment to Illegal Fishing and Rice Farming.

Each article is accompanied by a sidebar specifically explaining its importance and relevance to travel & tourism. This becomes an “idea bank”, allowing industry executives to quickly see the linkage and decide how they wish to get involved in advancing the cause.

In his message, PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy says: “The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a global vision for humanity and one that we all should work to fulfill. The industry has an active role to play in achieving these goals, however this can only be done through concerted efforts from both the public and private sector.

“The title of the publication refers to the idea of the olive tree and its relationship to the idea of peace and understanding. We must remember that travel and tourism provides the perfect opportunity for people from various backgrounds to share their stories with each other in the hope that they can better understand each other as human beings, regardless of race, faith or religious belief.”

Mr Hardy added, “As PATA acts a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region, we will continue to work with our members to assist them towards these goals.”

Jetwing Hotels Chairman Hiran Cooray says, “This pioneering publication is a perfect partnership between the public and private sectors and the media to help make the world a better place.

“Sri Lanka has overcome the challenges of a long and bloody war, and is now pursuing a path to nation-building. Travel & tourism is a critical contributor to this task, and the private sector has a major role to play. As one of the country’s largest private sector players in the travel & tourism sector, Jetwing is proud to be contributing to job creation, cultural preservation, poverty alleviation in an environmentally friendly way.

“We hope this publication will rally the entire PATA fraternity to forge stronger links with the UN system and other multilateral agencies in pursuit of a common objective: Fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, well before the target of 2030,” Mr Cooray writes.

Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil, who initiated the project, says, “Travel & Tourism is a unique global industry. It can rightfully claim to be the only one that can positively advance all the 17 UN SDGs. Globally, travel & tourism is awakening to this powerful potential. So is the UN system.”

Citing his long experience in covering UN meetings at its Asia Pacific headquarters in Bangkok since the early 1980s, Mr Muqbil says, “Behind the internal politics, the UN system and many other global multilateral agencies do a lot of great work. Their meetings, activities, reports and research can help the T&T industry make a robust contribution to the fulfillment of the SDGs.”

He says “The Olive Tree” will help travel & tourism decision-makers “mine” through a treasure trove of UN events, activities, campaigns, statistics and free reports and boost awareness of how the SDGs and T&T are deeply inter-linked.

“In turn, the UN agencies themselves may better appreciate and respect the importance and value of travel & tourism in meeting their goals.”

The publication is available free of charge. It can be downloaded FREE by clicking on the image above.