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Keep It Green


NTA is going green. As part of the association's strategic plan, NTA identified sustainable travel as part of its core values, noting that sustainable travel will drive economic expansion, connect cultures and enhance our quality of life. As travel professionals, we have a special responsibility to protect our planet. So NTA is taking small steps here at NTA Headquarters and at NTA events like Convention to be responsible to the earth. Here is some information about what NTA is currently doing as well as resources for you to explore.



Tour Operators Guide to sustainable tourism

The Tour Operators Guide to Sustainable Tourism is geared toward inbound and outbound tour operators of all sizes. It is designed to give you the information and resources you need to take the first steps towards sustainability or to improve your existing approach.

Information contained in the guide addresses the unique needs of tour operators and provides useful tips on how to measure and manage your business' impacts. Information is organized by topic, to give you a broader view of all the ways tour operators impact the people and places they visit. The topics covered in this guide include supply chain management, energy, air, waste, water, community, conservation, and corporate philanthropy.

Each section is organized so you can:

In addition, Section II-Integrating Sustainable Tourism into your Business- provides in-depth information on how to craft your own sustainability policy and incorporate it into your operations.

The appendices provide further useful information and links to other accredited resources that might be helpful to you. There is also a comprehensive Glossary as well as additional information on critical topics. Click here to access this free sustainability tool only for NTA members!


Carbon Calculator

Ever wonder what your travels or just the energy you use every day in your office costs in carbon emissions? Would you like to help offset those carbon emissions and lower your individual carbon footprint?Carbon Calculator

NTA and Sustainable Travel International have a way that you can. Click on our Carbon Calculator, answer a few questions to assess your carbon footprint. Then, you can purchase carbon offsets through this program to help neutralize your footprint.

STI works with credible projects that address the root cause of climate change and, through this user friendly mechanism, help you address your climate change impact.

You can promote this tool to your travelers too! Just send them to to use this carbon offset program.

Carbon Calculator Webinar

Below you will find the links to the Carbon Calculator Webinar held December 3, 2009. In this Webinar, Ted Martens with NTA strategic partner Sustainable Travel International discusses the global climate change, the role of carbon offsetting and carbon management. You also learn how to use NTA's new Carbon Calculator. Find out how it works and the many benefits for your company and the world. To listen to the audio and follow along visually, click on the PowerPoint presentation then open the mp3 file.

NTA Carbon Calculator Integration Instructions

Ted Martens, director of outreach & development with Sustainable Travel International earned a master's degree in Tourism Studies from Arizona State University, where his thesis research investigated ecotourism development in Central America. Since then, Ted has focused his efforts on helping STI promote sustainable tourism development across the globe.

Sustainable Travel International's mission is to promote sustainable development and responsible travel by providing programs that enable consumers, businesses and travel-related organizations to contribute to the environmental, socio-cultural and economic values of the places they visit, and the planet at large.


Sustainable Travel International's STEP Program

NTA is proud to endorse Sustainable Travel International's Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification Program. STI's program, known as STEP, is the world's first comprehensive, global sustainable tourism eco-certification program. It is designed to aid tourism businesses of all sizes to ensure the preservation of destinations and cultures.

As part of this exclusive agreement, NTA members will receive a discount on obtaining their eco-certification as well as on other STI programs and services. Here are just a few of the discounts NTA members can receive:

Like NTA members, the STI program is very diverse, and therefore includes different levels of participation and certification, which allows you to choose your certification level based on your company or destination's resources and current sustainable practices.

You can learn more by visiting STI.

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At NTA Headquarters

The NTA staff is continually looking at ways to reduce waste and be greener at the office. The following are some of the steps NTA staff is currently implementing. Please consider doing some of these simple steps at your office as well.

Courier magazine has been printed on paper made from recycled Sept09Courierfibers since 2005, and for the past two years, it has been printed using soy-based inks. NTA is now looking at other ways to reduce overall waste in other materials that must be printed. For example, inks that are natural and not synthetic and avoiding odd shapes or dyecuts to save on wasted paper.

NTA sends most all member communications via e-mail. Not only is this the members' preferred method of receiving communications from NTA, but also it helps the association keep it green.

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Green Standards at NTA Events

Below are practices that NTA strives to incorporate in to any event, from board meetings to Convention and MONTAGE:


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Green Resources:

The Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative
RETI has developed a set of Best Practices in Renewable Energy for the tourism industry. These manuals outline renewable energy adoption strategies that maximize energy efficiency, minimize environmental impacts, and result in cost savings or increased profitability across six tourism sectors - accommodations, airlines, cruise lines, public lands agencies, ski resorts, and tour operators. RETI was designed to inspire tourism businesses in all sectors and sizes to explore and adopt renewable energy opportunities. The RETI best practice manuals are the product of a collaborative effort between prominent industry members and the University of Colorado's Energy Initiative (EI) and Leeds School of Business, the North Carolina Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Miles Media, Inc. and Sustainable Travel International.

Calculate your carbon footprint
Visit this Web site to calculate the impact you have on the environment and to learn how you can decrease your carbon footprint.

Green Lodging News
Green Lodging News is a free publication that covers issues impacting hotel operations including energy management, water conservation, and green design.

Travel Portland
This NTA DMO member underwent a thorough audit of its office environment and business practices.

Scottsdale Green by Design Tool Kit
The Scottsdale CVB has created a tool kit to encourage its area partners and members to implement measures that will reduce their impact on the environment. The bureau formed a Sustainability Advisory Committee to guide its sustainability initiatives, such as developing creating the kits, and has developed a strategy to ensure sustainable, green and eco-tourism information is effectively communicated to the local tourism industry.

How Green Are You?
Check out Real Simple's carbon facts to see exactly how your actions can make a difference.

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