Published on : Friday, January 10, 2020
This May, the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), in partnership with Visit Norway, will host its first SIR – Sustainability is Responsibility Summit in Bodø, Norway. The two-day executive-level interactive member conference will bring together leaders from across the travel industry to set a path for a more sustainable future.
The May 20-21 program includes inspirational and educational content, case study learnings and interactive dialogue presented through a series panel and roundtable discussions, keynote presentations and fireside chats. The summit is aimed at fostering future collaborations, innovative approaches and cross-sector education that will benefit all participants.
“Achieving sustainable tourism is a complex initiative that is best addressed globally by working together as an industry in order to maintain long-term impact,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “We’re thrilled to be hosting our first summit in Bodø and to be working with our partner Visit Norway, a groundbreaker in the development of innovative sustainable tourism efforts.”
“We are delighted to be working with our partners at USTOA to create this impactful event and honored to serve as its first ever host,” added Hege V. Barnes, director of Visit Norway in New York. “Few places in the world better articulate the need for truly sustainable tourism initiatives than the Norwegian Arctic. We are eager to welcome the global tourism industry to Bodø and to take part in the larger conversation that will help guide the industry towards a more sustainable future.”
To moderate and facilitate the summit, USTOA and Visit Norway tapped sustainability thought leader, Malcolm Preston, who specializes in the measurement and valuation of environmental, social and economic impacts. Preston served as Global Head of Sustainability Services at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) until his retirement in 2018. In that role, he developed and led a global team of 700 sustainability and climate change experts. Prior to that, he led the PwC Travel and Tourism Group from 1996 to 2010. Today, Preston is an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University teaching Sustainable Decision Making. He is also visiting Faculty at Harvard Business School, teaching on their Exec Ed Sustainability Leadership program. In addition, Preston is a moderator/facilitator for the Responsible Business Forum, a series of four large annual sustainability conferences around the globe.
Dale added, “USTOA is proud and honored to have Malcolm facilitate our first summit. His endless passion and expertise will provide invaluable insight and inspiration to make our association a viable part of a more sustainable yet profitable global tourism industry.”
The summit is open to executive level attendees, directors and CEOs of Active and Associate Member companies of USTOA. Attendance will be capped at 50 leaders to secure a qualitative level of involvement and interaction. Companies must be a current member of USTOA with annual dues paid for 2020 in order to attend.