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ASTA Announces Its World Responsible Tourism Day Initiative

ASTA Announces Its World Responsible Tourism Day Initiative ( ASTA Encourages All Members to Take Action on Nov. 14

Las Vegas, Sept. 10, 2007 –ASTA is pleased to announce its initiative for World Responsible Tourism Day. On Nov. 14, 2007, working in conjunction with Tourism Cares, the travel industry’s non profit dedicated to protecting and enhancing the traveling experience for the present and future generations of all consumers, ASTA Headquarters will work to beautify the grounds at George Washington’s historic home, Mount Vernon, in Mount Vernon, Va. ASTA will also develop member materials to increase awareness and further educate clients on the power of responsible travel and the role they play.
Additionally, several ASTA members will travel to Peru with ASTA partner, Global Volunteers. Global Volunteers is an organization that assists tourists in planning volunteer vacations so they might perform humanitarian work in various countries around the world. ASTA members will return home with a better understanding of the Global Volunteers organization and how to sell volunteer vacations to interested clients.
“Everyone involved with the travel industry has a responsibility to encourage tourists to become more environmentally and socially aware,” said William Maloney, CTC, ASTA COO. “ASTA is committed to providing members with the resources they need so they can continue to educate clients on responsible tourism.”
“Participating in World Responsible Tourism Day will ensure the health and beauty of tourist destinations around the world for generations to come,” said Cheryl Hudak, CTC, ASTA president and CEO. “Together we will make the commitment and, little by little, we will make a difference.”
A few suggestions for agencies that are looking to get involved: Plant a tree to offset carbon emissions, donate money to a reputable tourism cause, or organize a clean-up at a local historic sight. Regardless of the initiative, ASTA encourages all members to take action to ensure the success of World Responsible Tourism Day. ASTA will highlight various agencies’ initiatives in ASTA Dateline Weekly, ASTA International Dateline Weekly and ASTA SmartBrief.
According to World Travel Market, the creator of World Responsible Tourism Day, responsible tourism: “Minimizes negative economic, environmental and social impacts; involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances; makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity; and is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and host, and builds local pride and confidence.” Simply put, responsible tourism will improve the social, economic and environmental health of tourist destinations around the world.
The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.

Kristina Rundquist/ Sarah Wilhite 703-739-8710

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