April 29, 2022, Beijing, China – Airbnb and WildAid recently signed a historic memorandum to jointly promote an inclusive tourism model that standardizes sustainable and green practices within the host accommodation industry.
In recent years, extreme weather disasters caused by climate change have posed enormous challenges to both human survival and sustainable development. Airbnb is very concerned about ecological issues such as the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity. The company has committed to working with leading international organizations and experts in ecotourism on sustainable operations, including sustainable travel for hosts and guests on its platform. Within this framework, Airbnb and WildAid jointly launched two sets of guidelines, “Advice for Being a Sustainable Host” and “An Initiative to Practice Sustainable Travel”, aiming to improve Airbnb hosts’ understanding of sustainable operations and strengthen Airbnb users’ awareness of green travel.
Yu Chong, Chief Representative of WildAid China, said “the cooperation between WildAid and Airbnb in promoting sustainable tourism development began in 2021 when we jointly called on tourists and tourism industries to refuse illegal consumption and purchase of wildlife during their travels. We are excited to continue working together this year to raise awareness in the tourism sector to proactively address climate change. The guidelines we’ve produced have provided millions of Airbnb community members with practical advice on individual actions to reduce carbon emissions. We look forward to promoting low-carbon, sustainable development across the industry to help reduce carbon emissions from travel, lodging, and activities, both as host and guests.”
Xiao Jinhong, Chief Operating Officer of Airbnb China, stated, “The vigorous development of the tourism industry is inseparable from the local high-quality natural resources and ecological environment. Advocating and practicing the development model of sustainable tourism has always been the goal of Airbnb. The cooperation with WildAid will effectively help the operators in the Airbnb community to practice sustainable operations in energy saving and carbon reduction, reducing the use of single-use plastics, and green advocacy. It will also help Airbnb to develop more eco-friendly tourism products. Both Airbnb and WildAid will highlight the advantages of shared tourism, using Airbnb’s host community to circulate the messages of responsible travel and eco-friendly lifestyles to guests, and promote the sustainable development of local tourism destinations.
Airbnb will expand its partnership with experts from WildAid and tourism industries to produce online courses and offline trainings on sustainable operations, providing hosts with more platforms and information to understand the sustainable operations of homestays. The continuous interaction with the host community will promote ecotourism more widely to travelers. The two parties will also partner with the World Tourism Alliance to hold a “sustainable travel” seminar to share their experience with sustainable development of tourism and explore such changes within the industry.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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