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Accor and Expedia unite to expand Unesco’s sustainability pledge

Pictured: Pullman London St Pancras Hotel, which has signed up to the pledge.

Accor and Expedia Group have joined forces to expand Unesco’s sustainability pledge into 96 countries.

The agreement between the hotel chain, the travel platform and Unesco – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – sees 3,358 hotels added to the initiative to champion sustainable practices, with 205 of them in the UK.

The Unesco Sustainable Tourism Pledge promotes responsible practices, community resilience and heritage conservation.

Firms signing the pledge commit to supporting the reduction and elimination of single-use plastics and promoting local economy and culture.

The pledge launched in October 2019 with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Unesco and Expedia Group. Accor’s hotels join more than 500 hotels in Thailand that have signed The Pledge since the Thai microsite was established in 2020.

Expedia said the expansion of the pledge comes amid growing demand for tourism sustainability practices, “with Millennials and Gen Z taking the lead”.

Markus Keller, Accor’s sales and distribution senior vice-president, said: “Joining The Pledge with 3,358 of our hotels is a continuation of our group’s sustainable development programme ‘Planet 21 – Acting Here’ which sets concrete and quantitative objectives relating to local sourcing, diversity and water, energy and waste management.”

Zuhairah Washington, strategic accounts senior vice-president at Expedia Group, added: “The Unesco Sustainable Tourism Pledge aims to turn words into action and is a testimony of our growing commitment to collaborating closely with the hospitality sector in order to enhance environmental and sustainable tourism consciousness and practices across the world.

“This partnership with Accor is about taking needed steps at a global scale to minimise waste in the tourism sector.”

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