WASHINGTON (July 26, 2022)—The U.S. Travel Association announced today the launch of its new Sustainable Travel Coalition, which aims to align the travel, transportation and technology sectors in developing and advancing strategies to enable a more sustainable future for the U.S. travel industry.
With nearly 60 member organizations at launch, the Sustainable Travel Coalition will serve as an advisory body to inform U.S. Travel on sustainability issues, opportunities and concerns within member organizations and destinations. A dedicated Policy Committee will help drive the broader coalition’s efforts to enable regular progress and collaboration.
U.S. Travel has several long-term goals, which will inform the coalition’s near-term policy priorities. The long-term goals:
- Spotlight industry progress by showcasing innovative technologies and calling attention to the ongoing actions and leadership of travel professionals in the sustainability space.
- Amplify industry goals and commitments to conservation, best practices, waste and emission reductions and both long- and short-term investments.
- Highlight why sustainability matters and the importance of it as a core to travel’s future.
- Play offense by identifying and promoting proactive policies to help the industry achieve its goals.
- Defend against harmful policies that slow progress toward sustainability goals or penalize the industry without progress.
“Seeing the world and saving the world should not be mutually exclusive,” said U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes. “As technology advances and consumers demand more sustainable travel options, the work of this coalition will ensure that the U.S. travel industry can meet the needs of an evolving market while also protecting our planet’s natural resources.”
“This is clearly an issue that spans well beyond the travel industry itself to practically all other sectors of the U.S. economy,” added Barnes. “By bringing together stakeholders across related industries, we are aligning leaders in travel, transportation and technology on the critical issues that will affect their businesses for decades to come.”
Travel Industry Letter to Congress
To accelerate investment in sustainable travel, more than 100 travel industry organizations—including groups within and outside the Sustainable Travel Coalition—called on the federal government to advance the following near-term priorities:
- A tax credit for the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), such as those proposed in the Sustainable Skies Act (H.R. 3440/S. 2263).
- An enhanced tax credit to increase the availability of electric vehicle charging stations.
- An enhanced tax deduction to increase energy efficiency upgrades to commercial buildings.
- Federal investments to protect and restore natural attractions, including recreational waterways, shorelines, and National Parks.
- Other clean energy incentives for investment in renewable energy deployment, green hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, direct air capture and other innovative technologies to lower the carbon intensity of transportation fuels and the power grid.
In addition to the priorities detailed in the letter, the coalition will identify and advocate for other priorities in the coming months.