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A Vision for Sustainable Tourism with Jeremy Sampson

Can tourism growth and climate action can peacefully coexist?

Jeremy Sampson believes they can. As tourism veteran and the CEO of the Travel Foundation, he is focused on helping the travel industry find ways to become both more sustainable and more profitable. He joins this episode of the podcast to share his organization’s vision for how the tourism industry can take practical steps toward a more climate-friendly future.

Jeremy explains how empathy and understanding have been largely absent from conversations about travel and sustainability and gives practical ideas about how small tourism organizations can take meaningful steps forward on environmental issues. Plus, we have news about U.S. airlines resuming service to Israel and a Road Tip about managing trash that accumulates on a motorcoach.

Insights from Jeremy Sampson

On discussing sustainability in travel:

“A bit of empathy is required — understanding where people might be coming from. We need to understand each other. And where organizations haven’t quite succeeded in the past in moving this message along is not necessarily understanding the day-to-day motivations, incentive and behavior of industry professionals. Because it’s not that people don’t care — it’s that the don’t necessarily know how. We need to be able to find the common points in our agendas.”

On how smaller companies can contribute to sustainability:

“I believe everyone should play a role, and I believe it’s unfair to pin a significant chunk of the responsibility on small suppliers. But I think it’s important to recognize that we not hold everyone to the same standard.

“Businesses can be a part of behavior change. They’re the ones closest to the ground…. When you give them opportunities to play a role in designing unsustainable options right out of the system… there are thousands of things companies can do to encourage more sustainable choice.”

On navigating political divisions:

“I believe at the end of the day there’s actually a real shared agenda for change, and it’s the terminology that trips people up. When it comes to transitioning the tourism economy in a climate change paradigm, what are some of the solutions? Mostly, it’s to make the industry much more local, less dependent on big supply chains — more investment in local opportunities and local infrastructure. It also means creating new product and new ways for the industry to promote itself.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Follow Jeremy Sampson on LinkedIn.

Follow The Travel Foundation on LinkedIn.

Access The Travel Foundation’s Envision 2030 report here.

Learn more about the UNWTO’s Glasgow Declaration here.

Access the U.S. Civil Rights Trail Travel Guide here.

Key Moments From This Episode

1:28 — Travel News: U.S. airlines returning to Israel

2:52 — Road Tip: Traveling with trash bags

6:57 — Discover the U.S. Civil Rights Trail

12:24 — How Jeremy Sampson became a champion for tourism sustainability

16:38 — Navigating conversations about travel and climate

21:53 — A vision for tourism sustainability in 2030

30:52 — How technology is shaping tourism sustainability

33:57 — How small tourism organizations can make a big difference in sustainability

37:36 — Finding common ground in the climate wars

51:15 — Brian’s thoughts on the intersection of travel and climate

Thanks to our sponsor Visit Atlantic City for making this episode possible. Learn more about Atlantic City’s travel experiences for groups at

About the Podcast

Gather and Go with Brian Jewell is a tourism industry podcast that helps group travel leaders plan, promote and lead better trips. There are also tips and insights for destination marketers and others who support the tourism trade. Each episode reaches thousands of professional tour operators, travel agents and the volunteer group leaders they serve. The audience also includes destination museum leaders, church travel leaders and other tourism enthusiasts around the world. Each show includes an interview with a smart travel pro or an insightful person from outside tourism who’s expertise can help make travel businesses better. You’ll also hear travel news, road tips and more. New episodes are released about twice monthly.

You can find Gather and Go wherever your listen to podcasts or subscribe by email.

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