Travel is one of the oldest industries in the world. From the caves of France to the Roman spas for rest and relaxation, through the first hotels serving merchants in search of trade, the history of the hotel industry spans thousands of years. Given its history, travel has been a driver of entrepreneurship – long before the word “entrepreneur” existed. Modern “entrepreneurs” have taken hospitality to new heights, and travel has become an integral part of modern life – a symbol of growth and profit. Social media has fueled a change in consumer behavior and started a new race among millennial travelers. From business travel to leisure exploration, travel is now part of the Millennium Budget. Incentives and perks are in high demand, as budget travelers look for ideal deals. All interest-based activities have formed businesses to bring together people with similar interests and provide them with winning experiences. Growth at all costs Growth has brought about both environmental and societal challenges. Governments and nonprofits have started to highlight the cost of travel and its impact on the environment. We have seen the rise of the conscious traveler, uncomfortable with the environmental consequences of an industry built on moving people from place to place at an exasperating rate. Finally, the past two years have seen the sustainability become a mainstream conversation in the travel industry with Sustainability 1.0 focusing on the environmental impact of travel, pushing brands to create solutions that help restore the damage caused by over-tourism to local communities and the ecosystem Iceland, Croatia and Venice are prime examples where the government has had to step in to restrict travelers. The pandemic brought the travel industry to a screeching halt. The pandemic has destroyed more than 50 million jobs globally and the progress made over the past 10 years is almost being reversed. To re-ignite this interest and opportunity, governments and industry as a whole must rethink not only their sustainable development goals, but also their vision of sustainability. Now is the time to consider Sustainable Development 2.0 – and what it means for the next decade of travel Why Sustainable Development 2.0 will work It makes no sense to ignore the impact of travel on our environment and not make a commitment in conversations around greenhouse gases, preservation of local culture and conservation of natural resources. The core concept of Sustainability 1.0 was that travel agencies and travelers behave responsibly, but it flew in the face of profit. Sustainability 1.0 focused on: reducing greenhouse gases. Emphasis on energy efficiency and reduction of global emissions, to slow down global warming. Preservation of local culture. An emphasis on mitigating the impacts of over-tourism and the destruction of local culture. Conservation of natural resources. A focus on managing how resources are cultivated and maintained across the planet. To attract consumers, most businesses have focused on the “green” aspect. They highlighted efforts to reduce, preserve and conserve, but this came at a cost, influencing margins and ultimately shareholder wealth, forcing companies to actively invest in them and, therefore, to invest in the future. Yet it is not enough to bring the world to where it needs to be in terms of environmental awareness. To support real change globally, we need to understand the interdependence of environmental and economic sustainability. Enter Sustainability, or Sustainability 2.0. The basic belief is that a rising tide lifts all boats. In Sustainability 2.0, we are driving the growth of businesses that create jobs and promote travel, in a healthy environment that ensures the longevity of people and preserves our planet so that the thirst for exploration is perpetuated.There are four pillars of Sustainability 2.0 : Sustainable economy. An economy is our engine and must itself be sustainable. As we saw during the pandemic, it can be much harder to invest in long-term sustainability when people are struggling financially. A sustainable economy also stimulates job creation and inclusive development. Too often the system leans towards the rich and the powerful. Sustainability 2.0, development must be inclusive in order to create jobs in a sustainable economy through restructuring that involves all layers of society. Finally, we must also protect the rights of the individual to enjoy a decent life that is neither precarious nor uncertain. The question remains, how do you drive the four? While there are global agencies, industry bodies trying to strike the right balance, one of the foundations for realizing this vision is an investment in a sustainable tech ecosystem – a system designed not just to sell more rooms. at the best possible price, but also to help stimulate development equally in all regions. Sustainability 2.0 is about iterating quickly, being agile, and finding the path not only to survival, but also to long-term prosperity. To maintain their long-term economic viability, companies must not only look at their business strategy, but also technology-driven solutions. Global agencies recognize the importance of technology in driving sustainability, which is why UNWTO announced in 2020 a list of solutions that will help heal tourism by boosting economic prosperity and job creation. RateGain’s smart distribution is one of the winners, validating our strategy of building solutions that promote inclusive growth. Another aspect that will dictate sustainability initiatives is digital sustainability, which relates to a transparent process of storing and processing data. Since each individual provides access to sensitive data, running businesses as well as governing countries will require special attention to ensure that data is secure and accessible within their own borders, minimizing threats not only to individuals but also to the business. . With more businesses migrating to the cloud, and even more technology vendors looking to cut hosting costs, it’s important for buyers to assess how and where their data is stored. Agile. So what does sustainability 2.0 mean for those who buy travel tech? If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s looking at technology partners who have clear values and stability in supporting operations even in times of crisis. Therefore, while most technology buyers are watching the return on investment provided to them, and procurement teams try to improvise discounts, consideration of budgetary discipline should be coupled with technical specifications as a fundamental consideration. This “fiscal DNA” differentiates those who are here to stay and able to weather any storm. Bold revenue growth, financing can grab the headlines; However, strong growth does not guarantee the depth or security of crisis maintenance operations. Ask yourself: is your partner resilient? Will they be there for you in the long run? Are they performing a problem-based operation for you, the customer? Are they pursuing short-term growth rather than long-term viability by offering deep discounts? These questions would form the basis of Sustainability 2.0, with organizations taking a long-term view and aligning themselves with partners who do the same. And that’s the silver lining of the current crisis for sales and marketing teams: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a long-term view and finally create a stack of text that works for you. When you rebalance your tech stacks to partners who share your long-term vision, keep three things in mind: don’t solve specific problems; consider creating a benefits-driven ecosystem. Prioritize scalability over downsizing and short-term growth. in fact, we are all exhausted and tired of surprises. With products that deliver long-term value and agility, we are improving the customer experience today and sustaining our brand reputation for years to come. As Charles Darwin once said: “It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” However, Darwin’s theory was only a small step in establishing how humanity’s historic journey impacts its today and tomorrow, and with everything happening in the first two weeks of 2021, we truly understand the The role that technology will play today, in shaping our future, let’s make sure it is sustainable for our beloved travel industry. About the Author … Harmeet Singh is CEO of RateGain.
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