Travel Daily 2020 Travel & Tourism Sustainability Awards

In 2020, Travel Daily is presenting the Travel & Tourism Sustainability Awards. Entries must demonstrate the ability to show leadership and excellence in the establishment and delivery of initiatives that contribute to sustainable outcomes in the travel and tourism sector.

The categories for the awards are:

  • Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Culture & Communities
  • Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – City based business / operation
  • Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Coast, Coastal business or operation
  • Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Ocean or ocean based cruise operator
  • Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Land, land based supplier or hotel/resort
  • Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – River or river based cruise operator
  • Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Ecotourism
  • Best sustainable travel initiative – Airline

Entrants need to respond to five questions and submit their answers along with supporting documentation to by 5pm (AEST) 27/03/2020.

Sustainability Summit 2020 Prospectus

The inaugural Sustainability Summit for 2019 was held on the 30th April at the Primus Hotel Sydney.

The summit was a finalist in its first year for the Mumbrella Publish Awards in the category of Event of the Year.

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for the 2020 Travel Daily Sustainability Summit which will be held at the Doltone House Darling Island. To express your interest in receiving a prospectus please email or call us on 1300 799 220.

Summit Agenda

Sustainability – A European Perspective.

This keynote address by Giles Hawke of the Globus family of brands UK takes a distinct look at sustainability from a European perspective and explores the challenges unique to this region, what Governments and industry are doing, what are the solutions in play and what are the successful outcomes we can all learn from.

Brochures, straws and more: Can the industry really reduce its environmental impact?

For years, brochures have been a mainstay of the travel industry – not to mention documentation wallets, destination guides, plastic promotional items and other marketing collateral. This controversial panel will debate the pros and cons of paper and plastic consumption. How essential is it to the travel industry? Can we go paper and plastic free or are we anchored too heavily to our habits and the way things are today?

Innovation; the key to unlocking sustainable practices to deliver cleaner cruising.

In this session Daniel Skjeldam demonstrates how through innovation and sustainable practices, he is seeing Hurtigruten Cruises develop the most environmentally-advanced hybrid cruise ships in the world and championing the concept of ‘cleaner cruising’.

How the cruise industry is working towards a sustainable future.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced a historic global cruise industry commitment to reduce the rate of carbon emissions across the industry fleet by 40 percent by 2030 – just one of a host of initiatives by cruise lines to reduce their environmental impact.  But how is this being done, and what will need to change to make it a reality?

Travel with a purpose; the importance of giving back.

Intrepid Travel is one of Australia’s largest privately owned travel companies, with an annual turnover in the hundreds of millions and a portfolio of wholly-owned Destination Management Companies around the world employing locals who work to facilitate Intrepid trips. The company is B-Corp certified and has a firm sustainability agenda. This keynote by Leigh Barnes showcases how purpose and giving back can form a central part of an enriching travel experience as well as align with a core company philosophy.

Purpose and Profit; how businesses can achieve both objectives.

Exploring the business case behind why firms inside and outside of the travel industry are choosing to meet verifiable social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance purpose and profit.

Investment in sustainability – does the big end of town really care?

Environmental, social and ethical initiatives in travel businesses are all well and good – but when it comes to potential investors do they just care about the bottom line? Ross Piper has extensive experience in micro-finance as the director of several European banking operations established by World Vision, and is now running one of Australia’s top ethically-focused superannuation funds. This session looks at the current global ethical investment environment, and why travel and tourism businesses can do well by doing good.

Unleashing the beast: tourism and animal welfare.

There’s been a massive shift in approaches to tourism involving animals in recent years, with several major operators removing elephant riding, aquatic shows, bullfighting and more from their programs. This has come at a significant cost for some. Andrew Hutchinson speaks about the impacts of these changes and how the travel and tourism sector can help change global attitudes to animal exploitation.

Making a difference on the ground: The impact of supporting local communities and indigenous tourism through travel.

Travellers today are seeking authentic experiences and interactions with locals. This panel highlights some real world examples of how operators can create a “virtuous circle” by supporting people on the ground to make their best efforts to welcome customers into their communities.

Plastic, we’re drowning in it. Why the travel and tourism industry must help turn the global tide of plastic pollution.

Where do you start when the turquoise waters off Bali are opaque with plastic waste? When plastic bottles and rubbish is lapping at the shores of the Galapagos Islands, piling up on Mount Everest and settling into the nooks and crannies of the Mariana Trench? In less than a century, plastic has found its way into every aspect of our daily lives; most of us are wearing it, eating it and drinking from it, sitting on it, walking on it and probably even ingesting it. Plastic is a fantastic, life-changing high-performance material – but one third of all the plastic ever manufactured has leaked into our natural environments devastating wildlife and ecosystems. Only nine percent of the rest has been recycled worldwide. From grass roots clean-up crews to  corporate boardrooms, we’re urgently looking for solutions. What can the travel and tourism industry do when destinations are being ‘trashed’ and more and more travellers are looking for experiences that ‘don’t cost the planet’?

Conservation and the importance of responsible travel to enable future generations to explore the planet.

Small scale tourism can offer real environmental and social benefits to communities. In Melanesia, where Professor Tim Flannery has worked for 40 years, controlled visits by small groups of respectful tourists are keenly anticipated and benefit not only the community but also enrich the traveller experience. Conservation projects, including marine conservation areas, and the preservation of culture, have resulted from such sustainable tourism practices.

Tackling overtourism.

With global tourism forecast to grow at a significant rate for the foreseeable future, overtourism is a key challenge that must be addressed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry – not to mention the planet and some of its most beautiful places. This panel discusses some of the threats and opportunities posed by overtourism.

Get 10 percent off your hotel stay for summit

For interstate travelers or attendees from out of town, you can save 10% on your accommodation when attending the 2019 Travel Daily Sustainability Summit.

Book at room at the Vibe Sydney and enter the promo code TRAVELDAILY to receive 10% off the BAR rate. Press the + tab to obtain the promo rate on the page.

There is a 24 hour cancellation policy for this hotel with details provided upon booking.

Book a room at the Primus Hotel Sydney and receive 10% off the best available rate.

Call guest reservations on 02 8027 8000 or email and quote code 1266450.

Sustainability Summit Sponsors

We are grateful for the commitment and support of our sponsors to the 2019 Sustainability Summit.

Headline Sponsor

Intrepid Group

Gold Sponsors

Globus, Avalon Waterways

Silver Sponsors

Abercrombie & Kent, G Adventures, The Travel Corporation, Bentours

Bronze Sponsors

Rocky Mountaineer Rail, Monaco Tourism, Hands On Journeys

Networking Sponsor


Limited number of sponsorship opportunities remain. To inquire call Christian Schweitzer on 1300 799 220 or email

Speakers announced

Confirmed international speakers include:

  • Giles Hawke, Global Lead – Sustainability and CEO UK for Cosmos Tours and Avalon Waterways.
  • Daniel Skjeldam, CEO Hurtigruten

Confirmed local speakers include:

  • Leigh Barnes, Chief Purpose Officer, Intrepid Group
  • Joel Katz, MD, CLIA Australasia & Asia
  • Andrew Hutchison, Head of Product & Operations, Adventure World
  • Sue Badyari, CEO, World Expeditions
  • Sarina Bratton, Chairman Asia Pacific, PONANT
  • Sharron Willing, Senior Director and Head of Philanthropy, Abercrombie & Kent
  • Simla Sooboodoo, Founder & CEO, Hands On Journeys
  • Brett Mitchell, Regional Director APAC, Intrepid Group
  • Sandra Vardanega, Worldwise Manager, Flight Centre Travel Group’s Responsible Travel Charter
  • Natalie Taylor, National Sales Director, Bluestar Group
  • Damian Perry, MD Asia-Pacific, Hurtigruten
  • Louise Laing, Director of Marketing and founding member of the G Adventures Eco team, Australia
  • Angus Tandy, Head of APT’s Kimberley and Outback Wilderness Adventures
  • Meg Hall, Marketing Manager, Chimu Adventures
  • Anthony Dennis, Editor Traveller, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age

Special guest speakers include:

  • Professor Tim Flannery, Founder of the Australian Climate Change Council and 2007 Australian of the Year
  • Ross Piper, CEO, Christian Super / Brightlight Investments
  • Louise Williams, Walkley-award winning writer, consultant and co-author of Quitting Plastic
  • James Perrin, Sustainability Manager, Stone & Wood Brewing Co
  • Brad Gurrie, CEO, Social Suite

More speakers announced soon.

Travel Daily launches Sustainability Summit

The Business Publishing Group is proud to today announce the inaugural Australian travel industry Sustainability Summit.

We’re aiming to encourage the industry’s ongoing efforts to make a global impact.

The one-day event in Sydney will see industry suppliers, operators, agency groups and other stakeholders take part to share best practices, learn from each other and examine key issues such as overtourism, single-use plastics, non-exploitative product development, sustainable cruising and aviation practices and how the industry can continue to make a difference.

For more info on participation email