May 10, 2017 – Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest leisure travel company, today congratulated its partner, The Nature Conservancy, for receiving the Tourism for Tomorrow Innovation Award at the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC)’s annual Global Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
The WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow awards recognize best practices in sustainable tourism. The Innovation Award celebrates initiatives that use novel techniques to overcome challenges faced by the travel and tourism sector in implementing sustainability practices.
With support from Carnival Corporation, scientists with The Nature Conservancy’s Mapping Ocean Wealth project are using the latest crowdsourcing and data mapping techniques to quantify — for the first time – the total and local economic value of the world’s coral reefs to tourism. The project includes an online atlas that provides maps, marine life databases and other resources that community and business leaders can access to make educated ocean-use decisions.
The Nature Conservancy’s Mapping Ocean Wealth models indicate that 70 million trips annually to the world’s coral reefs generate an estimated economic value of $36 billion.
“It is clear that the tourism industry depends on coral reefs, but now, more than ever, these fragile and beautiful organisms are depending on the tourism industry,” said Dr. Robert Brumbaugh, director of ocean planning and protection for The Nature Conservancy. “Armed with geographic-specific information, available through the Mapping Ocean Wealth project that has been made possible through our supportive partners like Carnival Corporation, governments can take steps to promote the expansion of tourism in harmony with the environment, and businesses can make smart investments that take into account both business goals and protecting our natural systems.”
“Protecting the environment, including the world’s coral reefs, is a top corporate priority for our company, which operates 10 cruise brands and 103 ships traveling the world’s oceans and seas and visiting more than 700 ports of call,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation, which oversees the Carnival Foundation. As part of its 2020 sustainability goals, Carnival Corporation is providing, through the Carnival Foundation, a $2.5 million gift over five years to The Nature Conservancy.
Frizzell continued: “Our donation to The Nature Conservancy, as well as other leading environmental groups, underscores our commitment to sustainable tourism around the world. We congratulate The Nature Conservancy on developing the innovative and now award-winning Mapping Ocean Wealth project, which we are proud to support.”
In addition to the mapping efforts globally, Carnival Corporation’s support of The Nature Conservancy has provided decision makers with new and comprehensive data about coral reef conditions throughout the Caribbean. Research has tracked the success of conservation efforts tied to coral reefs and provided new maps of fish production connected to Caribbean mangrove growth.
Carnival Corporation’s five-year gift has also helped The Nature Conservancy to launch an Atlas of Ocean Wealth – the largest collection to date of information about the economic, social and cultural values of coastal and marine habitats from all over the world. It is supported by multiple international online tools, detailed maps, marine life databases and other resources to educate and inspire community leaders engaged in ocean planning.
Last year, Carnival Corporation continued to show its support by hosting The Nature Conservancy’s 2016 Mapping Ocean Wealth conference at its Miami corporate headquarters. At that conference, conservationists and decision-makers from around the world gathered to discuss ocean sustainability initiatives.
The WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow awards for sustainable tourism initiatives are judged by a panel of independent experts. This year’s awards, presented in five categories on April 27in Bangkok, coincided with the United Nations’ World Travel Organization (UNWTO) proclaiming 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, marking a global commitment to support changes in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards sustainable goals.