032 – Kelly Louise of Impact Travel Alliance – Global Goals

Utilizing tourism as a force to solve United Nations global sustainability goals…

Kelley LouiseThe decisions travelers make on their trips have a lasting impact on the global community. Whether an elephant wrangler added to an Instagram story, or the hotels travelers choose to stay at, how can travelers align travel itineraries to align with the UN’s goals for sustainability. Kelley Louise, Founder of Impact Travel Alliance (a non-profit organization and community for travelers and travel professionals interested in improving the world via travel and tourism) joins hosts John Matson and Nick Vivion (tnooz) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

Kelley Louise

  • Louise discusses the nature of the global goals for the UN, and how, while many doubt the travel industry can solve them, the travel industry can be a significant force of meeting those goals
  • Global goal number one, no poverty, and using tourism as a force to solve that
  • Launching an initiative last year of hosting a multi-chapter event, with several cities at the same time, themed with addressing a global goal (currently: innovation)
  • Impact Travel Alliance as a non profit, and a community for travel and travel professionals interested in improving the world via travel
  • Launching the first chapter less than 3 years ago, now some 30 chapters worldwide
  • What is cool about improving the world through travel, and how it is universally appealing
  • Sustainable tourism focused on business and leisure travel, small pivots that make a big difference, such as donations to charity resulting in discounts on hotels
  • Why sustainable tourism/travel doesn’t have to be only budget or luxury
  • How The Culture Collective started as blog, became a creative agency, with Louise landing a job in Uganda, then traveling all around and learning a lot about sustainable tourism
  • The challenge and opportunity of helping brands identify demographics
  • Vegan donuts
  • What sustainable travel really means
  • The power of immersive experiences in changing travel behaviors and priorities
  • How the Impact Travel Alliance is eager and open to collaboration, sharing best practices with one another
  • The three parts of Impact Travel Alliance: global conferences, local chapters, and a media network
  • How Louise learned to plan events, and how her personal drive to do so is wanting a place in the community that felt like a home in the travel industry
  • Seeing something in tourism that is negatively impacting the world, such as elephant tourism in places like Thailand, and a “paradise” that is surprisingly polluted
  • Thinking about what one’s long-term impact on the environment is when traveling, and how some things feel good but don’t have a positive long-term impact
  • Sustainable experiences are empowering and often the most memorable experiences


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  4. Biplab Poddar March 16, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Thanks for sharing this. Your tips are realistic and helpful. I am a travel freak and travel a lott, can relate to it.Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness., and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Next year I want to explore Albany.
    People often have a theme that they base their worldly travels on, but how about a mental mantra for your travel? Out of a cheerleading event that consisted of our family shouting supportive words at our daughter who was attempting to kill a rather monstrous spider that the rest of us were too chicken to get close to, came this great quote, “If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!”

    This quote came back to haunt me when on vacation in Seattle. I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids on the Seattle Great Wheel, the ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, but as we approached it, I realized how high it went and immediately panicked! Just as I had decided to put the kids on it on their own, my daughter says, “Come on dad…If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!” What could I do at that point?! She was telling me to stop thinking and creating more fear about the situation and just get on the thing!
    “If you don’t think, and you just do, then it’s done!” We all now keep this quote in our back pocket, ready to whip out at any time to push one of us forward into an adventure we know they won’t regret. No hesitations, don’t allow any time for fear to set in, and be prepared for your kids to turn your life advice back on you!


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