As we are nearing the end of our webinar series, this week we featured our second Sustainability topic - Social Sustainability.
Our speakers this week were Dr. Kelly Bricker and Ashleigh Poff. They spoke all about what Social Sustainability is, why it matters and how we as event planners can make a difference while we all recover from this global pandemic.
Here is a recap from Dr. Bricker’s session
Social Sustainability Definition
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) provides standards and codes for accreditation and certification social tourism within the four pillars identified under the Sustainable Development Goals. The second pillar focuses on socioeconomic impacts and local community benefits. Its guides are also in keeping with the UNWTO definition of Sustainable Tourism which is “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”. It entails:
Measuring impact of tourism
Economic impact - Direct and indirect impact of tourism to the destination’s economy is monitored and publicly reported
Community Impacts - How organization provides basic services to neighboring communities
Social Impact - Tourism as a social impact doesn’t socially affect, impact local community no adverse effect
It should be an enhancement in the local community and not an eyesore
Identifying opportunities in Business
Infrastructure and social community development
Decent work - ensure labor rights are respected
Safe and secure working environment
At least a living wage, training etc. (living wage -to be able to provide for essential needs)
Support for community
open, transparent and engaging system
Access for All
There should be a universal design/experience, where practical, for persons with disability or impairments. This goes beyond disabilities and includes persons with any challenges such as senior persons, persons with younger kids, medical conditions and allergies.
Obtaining buy-in from local communities
Present the facts. Look at impact of tourism on the community
Protect social and cultural aspects
Let them know that social sustainability is now tied into the sustainable development goals
Look at the current demand, especially with COVID-19, where more governments are more interested in providing healthy environments for people to live in.
Obtaining government buy in
More governments over past 2 years are engaging in GSTC training courses
Utilize opinion leaders
Highlight benefits and drawbacks of tourism
Utilize results from visitor surveys to show impact