SITE is Working to Future Proof the Incentive Travel Industry

DdT17a6XkAAP5L8.jpgAt the beginning of 2018, SITE President Annamaria Ruffini announced a new strategic priority: Sustainability in the Incentive Travel Industry. “Sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for companies in our space,’’ Annamaria commented. "It’s an essential part of our service offering to clients and SITE needs to show leadership in demonstrating the value that company shareholders now need to see. I am delighted to have Sustainability as a focus for SITE in 2018 and beyond.’’

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To achieve this mission, the SITE Foundation approved a grant for global, not-for-profit Positive Impact to work with Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 3.22.09 PM.pngmembers to provide research and advocacy with the aim of ‘future proofing the business of incentive travel.’ Terry Manion, SITE Foundation Trustee commented, “As an industry association, SITE has a responsibility to provide education to members, gather research on issues relevant to members and advocate for the value of incentive travel. This initiative does just that.”

Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact explained,  “For over ten years Positive Impact has provided education and collaboration opportunities to inspire the creation of a sustainable event industry. By partnering with Positive Impact, SITE is demonstrating that it understands the value of the incentive industry being championed at the level of the UN Sustainable Development and global business goals. We are committed to being a strategic guide for SITE’s advocacy and research that will benefit all the members.”

Aoife Delaney.jpgEda Ozden.jpgA SITE Sustainability Committee has been formed with SITE board members, Aoife Delaney, CIS, Director of Marketing and Sales, DMC Network and Eda Ozden, CIS, Director of Business Development, Meptur volunteering to co-chair the committee. In a joint statement Aoife and Eda shared the Committee’s vision:

“We want to approach the opportunity of sustainability in a way that is most beneficial to our members and the long-term health of our industry. While it may be our instinct as hard-working planners to ask to be told what to do, we know that is a short-term solution and, as such, we want to focus not only on education, but on working with our members to create a charter that showcases our members’ priorities in each region with regards to sustainability, as well as provide  focus for our association for years to come. We have created a community of SITE sustainability champions that are passionate about educating and empowering our membership and are looking forward to seeing what this year brings.’’

SITE Sustainability Committee members include:

  • Carina Bauer, President-Elect, SITE Foundation & CEO, IMEX Group, United Kingdom
  • Ben Sauvage, DMCP, CMP, President-Elect, SITE Florida and Caribbean & CEO Connect DMC, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Roger Lehner, Organising Executive, IMEX Group, United Kingdom
  • Mandy Brown, President, SITE Southern California & Charter Sales Manager, Hornblower Cruises and Events, San Diego, California, USA
  • Lyne Montpetit, Account Executive, Enercare Centre, Toronto, Canada
  • Jane Scaletta, CIS, General Manager, Allied PRA, Orlando, Florida USA
  • Chooleng Goh, Complex General Manager, Athenee Hotel, Bangkok Thailand

Throughout 2018 the committee will focus on the following 5 priorities:

1. Create a sustainability ambassador program

2. Include sustainability in SITE education and certification programs

3. Integrate sustainability into each 2018 SITE and Foundation event to reduce the global carbon footprint when organizing events

4. Integrate sustainability into SITE and Foundation events to reduce the global carbon footprint when organizing events 

5. Publish monthly educational content, including case studies on sustainability

Members will gain access to current thought leadership on the topic of sustainability, as well as the opportunity to play an active role in creating SITE’s first sustainability charter, due to be launched at SITE Global Conference 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

SITE has created a Sustainability Flipboard, which includes a compilation of articles about sustainability issues.  Members are invited to view the Flipboard and share articles they think may be relevant.


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