Delivering training for the Latin American Travel Association
Following the successful completion of the Latin American Travel Association’s (LATA) pilot Strategic Sustainability Training Programme delivered in partnership with The Long Run — Preferred by Nature, the first official cohort will start their course in April.
The pilot began in November and has seen 11 companies – DMCs, hoteliers, and UK tour operators – complete the training. The programme helps travel businesses take a 360-degree view of sustainability to create a supply chain that is aligned to The Long Run’s 4C framework (a holistic balance of community, culture, commerce, and conservation).
Megan Parkinson, head of sustainability at LATA, says “I am thrilled with the success of the pilot group of our pioneering Strategic Sustainability Training Programme. Latin America has a lot to be proud of, with numerous sustainable initiatives being implemented but as a collective region, we need to do better in shouting about it. When we started our sustainability journey at LATA, our aim was to create a sustainable business community with clear and consistent sustainability policies that can be shared, understood and delivered”.
The success of the programme, which is offered free of charge to all LATA members, is that it is relevant to businesses at all stages of their sustainability journey. Research of the membership prior to the pilot found that some companies were daunted by where to start, while others were forging ahead, certified by B- Corp, Travel Life and Preferred by Nature. LATA has worked alongside The Long Run to strengthen their Strategic Sustainability Planning course, making it more relevant to the diverse nature of tourism’s value chain, and to provide members with a consistent method to plan, execute, and communicate their efforts.
Parkinson continues, “We know that many of our members are making great headway in their individual sustainability journeys but for many, it’s a step that they feel unsure how to begin. The programme’s objective was always to be as relevant for complete beginners as it was those further along so I am looking forward to seeing how we can share our learnings in the Sustainability Network and keep helping each other.”
Dr. Anne-Kathrin Zschiegner, who is Head of Technical Assistance at The Long Run and led the pilot training, says, “It’s great to see organisations like LATA seek partnerships like this one to create long-lasting meaningful change rather than simply paying lip service to sustainability. Part of our mission is to help more travel businesses understand holistic sustainability and embed it into everything they do, so we’re very grateful to LATA for giving us a platform to create a ripple of change across Latin America.”
Here’s what some participants had to say about the training:
Thomas Power, CEO of Pura Aventura, a B Corp-certified tour operator says “I’ve spent a good deal of time over the past years really working to place sustainability at the heart of Pura Aventura, culminating in our becoming one of the first travel companies in the UK to certify as B Corp. At least I thought it was culminating, nobody told me it’s all a journey, not a destination… B Corp really does sharpen your mind as to how to engage with continual improvement across your business. What it doesn’t do is bring this activity into one coherent whole. The Long Run does just that. Their strategic planning coaching looks to be how everything we’ve learned over the years can be brought together and power the business forward. It’s early days but I’m excited to really get started implementing the new tools, skills and ideas which have come out of the course. Thank you LATA, thank you The Long Run “
Paul Cripps, Amazonas Explorers, a Peruvian B Corp certified DMC says “The LATA pilot scheme in conjunction with Long Run was exactly what I was looking for. When trying to work out what a sustainable DMC might look like, total stage fright and fear kicks in as the task just looks too huge to contemplate and procrastination seems the best option. This course breaks it down into manageable bite size pieces that makes one think, yes there’s a lot to do but this is totally doable. And the end result will hopefully be spectacular.”
Laura Radford, Senior Marketing Executive, Latin Routes says “As someone who is truly passionate about sustainability, but is also truly clueless, the LATA pilot, in conjunction with The Long Run, has been invaluable in providing me with a framework to base our efforts on moving forwards. It has provided clarity on an often overwhelming subject”.