Incentive travel agencies launch their commitment to sustainability
The Association of Incentive Agencies (IDEMICE) yesterday presented a declaration of sustainability principles for incentive trips, which aims to be a decalogue of good practices and solutions that allow the transition towards a sustainable tourism development model, reducing negative impacts and increasing the positive impacts. The presentation was given by its president, Iñaki Collado, by Alberto Gómez, coordinator of EVENTSOST and by Sergio Escudero, director of MICE & Travel Incentives at ACCIONA Cultura, an IDEMICE associate. Eventsost has participated in the preparation of this document as an expert partner in sustainability management for events.
Incentive trips have a very direct relationship with the sustainable development of destinations, being able to generate both a lot of negative impact and environmental pressure on the environment, as well as promoting a positive impact on the environment and local communities, depending on the approach followed by its organizers. In addition, "the current economic and technological context forces us to have an impact on sustainability that on many occasions we cannot avoid," said Iñaki Collado. For this reason, Collado defended the need to implement measures to correct, minimize and compensate the impact of incentive trips on destinations and the environment.
In the opinion of Alberto Gómez from Eventsost, the events industry has to build a solid sustainable narrative that is consistent with its purposes. “Our sector suffers from not being clear about what needs to be done to organize more sustainable events. Building this story, communicating it and assuming it as one's own has been a very important step, because for the first time an association has taken a step forward and set the direction to follow. From here, many paths of improvement are opened to materialize the commitments in this regard for our sector. But, above all, the rules of the game are established so that all the stakeholders involved (clients, agencies, suppliers) know the common context in the development of more sustainable incentive trips, which will enable sustainability to be taken into account as a hallmark of the quality of an incentive trip”, he explained.
The document, which was presented by Sergio Escudero, offers solutions on hiring means of transport, use of packaging, hiring accommodation, sustainable catering services, sustainable production, workers' rights, generation of positive impacts on the environment, respect for the local heritage of the destinations and co-responsibility of the participants and enhancement of sustainability.
Although this declaration of intent emphasizes measures to be applied at the destination, the decalogue also speaks of the commitment of the Incentive Agencies in their own "home". “We must not forget that sustainability must also be applied in all areas of our activities, especially with regard to sustainability applied to our facilities and offices; qualification and training of our employees and collaborators; keep our team informed about the sustainable and social responsibility actions that are being carried out or that will be carried out both internally and at the level of suppliers and customers; and promote the points of this statement in our sphere of influence so that we are an example for suppliers and customers”, Escudero detailed.
Although the members of the Incentive Travel Association firmly believe in the need to continue striving to correct the negative effects that their activity has on sustainability, "as an economic sector our intention must be to promote the sustainable improvement of the resources we use to organize incentive trips and base our decisions to organize more sustainable trips on the guidelines that we present below, as a way for continuous sustainable improvement throughout our value chain”, concluded Collado.