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September 21, 2009

Tune In Today and Learn How You Can Help Save the World When You Travel

Mandy Moore will speak today at Conde Nast Traveler magazine's third annual World Savers Congress. So will Ken Burns, Wyclef Jean, Edward Norton, and other celebs who are helping to save the planet.

by Wendy Perrin

Want to learn what it takes to be a responsible traveler? Find out which travel companies are the most responsible--meaning, which are greenest and do the most good when it comes to helping the local communities in which they operate?  Eavesdrop on conversations among the most forward-thinking travel industry C.E.O.s who have gathered to share their hard-earned wisdom regarding how to operate sustainably?  Suggest ideas of your own for how travelers and travel companies can make a difference?

Then tune in to today's World Savers Congress at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, starting at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. I told you all about it a few days ago, and here's the program of scheduled presentations and panels.

You'll find live coverage of the event on this brand-new blog, where we'll be posting reports and insights from the Congress throughout the day, as well as Twitter updates from Congress attendees. We hope you enjoy following along!

September 14, 2009

How Can YOU Help Save the World When You Travel?


In this video address at our World Savers Congress last year, actor/activist Matt Damon told travel industry leaders just how much power they hold to improve our planet. 

by Wendy Perrin

Conde_Nast_Traveler_World_Savers_Congress Not sure how you can help save the world when you travel? Then tune in to Conde Nast Traveler's 3rd annual World Savers Congress a week from today. Leaders of the travel industry will convene in New York City, at the Morgan Library & Museum, to discuss how we all can limit environmental impact and improve the health, education, and economic well-being of the communities worldwide in which we leave our footprints.

We'll be honoring the 2009 World Savers award winners and hearing from speakers and panelists including Ken Burns, filmmaker and director of The National Parks: America's Best Idea, a six-part documentary airing on PBS this fall; Wyclef Jean, musican and philanthropist, on how tourism can help Haiti; Mandy Moore, actor and ambassador for Five & Alive, on the Conde Nast Traveler Five & Alive Fund, administered in partnership with Population Services International; Nicholas Kristof, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, who will moderate a panel on "The Economics of Doing Good"; and Abby Joseph Cohen, president of Goldman Sachs' Global Markets Institute.

Wendy_Perrin_Adam_Stewart Me, I'll be moderating a panel called "The Committed Consumer: Engaging Your Guests Now."  We'll focus on how companies that are committed to sustainable travel can best articulate their message to travelers. The panelists? Carmen Baker, VP for Responsible Business, Carlson Hotels; Richard Edelman, CEO, Edelman Public Relations; Niki Leondakis, COO, Kimpton Hotels; Gregg Michel, President, Crystal Cruises; and Bruce Poon Tip, CEO, Gap Adventures. (As you can tell from the photo above, I had fun moderating last year's consumer panel. That's Adam Stewart, CEO, Sandals Resorts and the Sandals Foundation, at right.) Anything you want me to ask the panelists? Just click on "Comments" below and let me know your questions.

Queen_Rania_Ashley_Judd For scenes from last year's World Savers Congress (where we heard from Queen Rania of Jordan and actor/activitist Ashley Judd, pictured at right) as well as a wrap-up of the remarks and highlights, see our 2008 World Savers Congress page.

Can't join us at the Morgan Library? Then join us on Twitter. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, next Monday, September 21, you can follow live coverage of the World Savers Congress both on Twitter and on a brand-new Conde Nast Traveler blog. I'll be back later this week to tell you how and where.

Speaking of blogging . . . we've got a limited number of seats left at the Congress for NYC-based travel bloggers.  Interested?  If so, please email Megan Montenaro at

April 04, 2007

India At A Crossroads

Man overlooking Ganges River
Man overlooking the Ganges from Varanasi in early March.
Photo: Ahmed Shihab-Eldin

By Tara Kyle

Our sister blogger The Materialist, back from two and a half weeks in India, was telling us today that, of all the places she saw, it was Varanasi, Hinduism's holiest city, that moved her the most. Varanasi came up because of a post we saw on one of our favorite travel blogs, Worldhum, about a five-part series NPR is airing this week, "The Ganges: A Journey into India."  On a 1,550-mile trip beginning in the Himalayas, Philip Reeves chronicles the complexities of a nation where burgeoning economic might coexists with abject poverty. The Ganges, which now hosts rafting trips for India's growing middle class, remains a key symbol of India's contradictions, particularly along its 7 kilometers passing through Varanasi.

Coincidentally, several classmates of mine at Columbia University's School of Journalism were just in Varanasi too, to report on India's religious traditions. In her daily dispatch, "A Sacred Space Soiled," Columbia grad student Neha Singh Gohil describes the dangers (typhoid, dysentery and polio among them) facing those whose faith compels them to bathe in the Ganges' polluted waters, and the battle to clean it up.

Continue reading "India At A Crossroads" »