Agoda, GSTC, USAID lead sustainability education for Asia hotels

Agoda, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have partnered to provide sustainability training for hoteliers across Asia, with programmes set up for Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, and the Philippines.

The Sustainable Tourism Development Initiative builds on the success of Agoda’s ongoing partnership with the GSTC, which has provided sustainability education for hundreds of hoteliers to date across India, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand to support the industry to meet the rising consumer demand for more sustainable accommodation options. Support from USAID comes the US-Supporting Economic Growth in Asia activity.

From left: USAID’s Bryan Byrne, Agoda’s Omri Morgenshtern, and GSTC’s CB Ramkumar

The self-paced training course offers localised, interactive learning modules, supplementary study materials, and quizzes that address the distinct sustainability challenges across the region.

Covering different aspects of the GSTC Hotel Criteria, the global standard for sustainability in travel and tourism, the platform will provide an introduction to sustainability and sustainable tourism, insights into global trends and industry best practices, and practical tools on applying these learnings. The learning materials on the platform will be available in English and regional languages.

Furthermore, a sustainability scholarship fund has been established to support select hotels across the region, particularly those that are small, medium, and women-owned enterprises. Financial aid will go towards further training and third-party sustainability certifications recognised by GSTC.

Omri Morgenshtern, CEO of Agoda, said: “It is our responsibility to raise awareness about sustainability among both our consumers and accommodation partners, and are thrilled to support the industry in developing the knowledge and working towards third-party certifications.”

USAID India Mission Director Veena Reddy, stated: “USAID believes it is critical to work in collaboration with the private sector to drive sustainable development progress, including mitigating climate change. Tourism, when sustainable, provides an important pathway for inclusive economic growth and preservation of cultural heritage, and can be a valuable tool for environmental conservation.”

Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC, said paricipants in the training programme will earn the “opportunity to enhance their professional credentials and marketability in the hospitality industry, opening doors to career advancement opportunities in the future”.

Sponsored Post