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?
Not sure how you can help save the world when you travel? Then tune in toConde 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.