VIRTUOSO LAUNCHES SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT

Virtuoso convened its rst sustainability summit in Las Vegas during Travel Week, at which, among other things, Fairmont released its rst “green guide for running hotels”, in tune with the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. We asked Virtuoso CEO Matthew Upchurch what Virtuoso is doing to advance the cause…

“About eight years ago, we hired Costas Christ – one of the fathers of green travel – and now he’s almost full time with us. In the early days of the green travel revolution, it was

all about certification, and the whole certi cation thing has been pretty much a train wreck. In most cases, these schemes have been very confusing and not very effective. Within the Virtuoso network, there are some of the most extraordinary examples of sustainability. Take the Brando for example, literally a zero-carbon footprint, zero fossil fuel resort. We felt that our #1 responsibility at Virtuoso was to shine a spotlight on the things our partners were already doing. Another very interesting thing is that when it comes to millennials, you have to be very careful how you address this, because millennials in particular will say ‘Please don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back’ for doing something you should actually be doing in the first place”