A partnership agreement on sustainable tourism has been signed between the travel platform Expedia and the French hotel giant Accor. The agreement will implement the UNESCO pledge, "the pledge", in Accor's 3,358 hotels worldwide, including 116 in Africa, to promote environmental sustainability and sustainable tourism.
“The pledge, the sustainable tourism programme devised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has just expanded dramatically. It will now be implemented in all 3,358 Accor hotels worldwide, including 116 in Africa. The French hotel group committed to this on March 4th, 2021, by signing a partnership agreement with Expedia Group, the global travel platform. “Accor and all hotels in its network have long-term commitments in this area, as we have decided to remove all single-use plastic items from the guest experience in our hotels by 2022. We are committed to accelerating our efforts and that is why we are now joining the UNESCO Commitment to Sustainable Tourism, in partnership with Expedia Group. Our ambition is to continue to lead the change towards positive hospitality wherever we are,” said Markus Keller, senior vice president of sales and distribution at Accor.
The UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge was launched in 2019 with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Expedia. It promotes responsible practices, community resilience and heritage conservation. The aim being to protect nature and reduce the negative impact of global tourism on the environment. The signatories commit to supporting the reduction and elimination of single-use plastics and to promoting local economy and culture.
Green practices of Accor hotels in Africa
Accor is the leading hotel operator in Africa with 17,000 rooms (116 hotels) in 18 countries. The economic growth and rapid urbanisation of Africa’s major cities, combined with ever-increasing demand for the hotel sector, represent an opportunity for the group, which intends to ensure its sustainability through environmentally friendly offerings. It is in this respect that the hotel group has committed itself to the UNESCO sustainable tourism programme. This programme is in line with its sustainable development strategy, entitled Planet 21.
Launched in Dakar, Senegal, in 2013, Planet 21 is accompanied by an innovative information and mobilisation programme, with educational signage throughout the customer journey, designed to invite them to take an active part in protecting the environment through simple gestures.
The Accor group’s African hotels are also committed to supporting local development and 82% of them buy and promote products from their country of origin on their menus. In Senegal, a guide to sustainable seafood sourcing, produced in partnership with the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Nebeday, has been deployed in all hotels since 2012.