Podcast: Travel Impact Alliance’s Kelly Louise talks global community building and sustainable travel

It’s not easy to find a common thread that can quickly unite a global community. Kelly Louise found such a thread in sustainable travel. Her passion for many years led her from a blog to launching the Travel Impact Alliance, a global non-profit geared towards improving the visibility and cachet of sustainable tourism and destinations worldwide.

In this week’s Travel is Your Business episode, we chat with Kelly about how she leveraged her blog into both a thriving digital media agency and a global movement.

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Show notes from Mouth Media:

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:

  • 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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