On Wednesday 6th of July, the Tashkent office of Advantour gathered for an intensive morning of sustainable tourism presentations and lively group discussions in an effort to bring more detail, focus and intentionality into our efforts not just to promote sustainability but to lead in it as a leading tour operator in the Central Asia and Caucasus region.
Recently hired consultant from London, Mr. Sammi Lammy introduced key concepts in sustainable business frameworks as they are known in Western Europe and Northern Europe, in countries where the legal system already promotes and increasingly forces companies to behave in environmentally friendly ways and promote social, economic, and environmental sustainability within the business practices.
Though the legal framework is not so developed in our region, opportunities to work with partners and lead the way in creating and expanding environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards are abundant. A key aspect is measurability, and how to apply the principles in our contexts and across the countries we work in. As more and more tour operators and partners join in, this will not only create sustainable jobs and improve the local environment, but it will also put gentle pressure on local decisionmakers at regional and federal levels to think carefully about how the law can be clarified to incentivise a more sustainable direction in tourism.
For nearly twenty years, Advantour has worked on the ground with local communities and partners to develop and deliver the best experiences for visitors coming to the region. Improving the lives and livelihoods of our stakeholder communities has been at the heart of what we do. Yet we can do so much more in being intentional and creating a more standardised framework and measurable targets so that we can challenge not only our clients, but peers and suppliers to partner with us in ensuring a long-term and prosperous future for tourism in the whole region.