The US Travel Association (USTA) announced in July the launch of its new Sustainable Travel Coalition, which aims to align the travel, transportation, and technology sectors in developing and advancing strategies to enable a more sustainable future for North American travel. This comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s push for industry alternatives to fossil fuels, which included an investment in climate change policies as well as moving the country toward electric vehicle options.
The Sustainable Travel Coalition, with its nearly 60 member organizations, will serve as an advisory body on sustainability issues, opportunities, and concerns within member organizations and destinations. A dedicated Policy Committee will help drive the broader coalition’s efforts to enable regular progress and collaboration.
“Seeing the world and saving the world should not be mutually exclusive,” said USTA Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes. “As technology advances and consumers demand more sustainable travel options, the work of this coalition will ensure that the US travel industry can meet the needs of an evolving market while also protecting our planet’s natural resources.”
To accelerate investment in sustainable travel, more than 100 travel industry organizations—including groups within and outside the Sustainable Travel Coalition—called on the federal government to advance the following near-term priorities:
- A tax credit for the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), such as those proposed in the Sustainable Skies Act (H.R. 3440/S. 2263).
- An enhanced tax credit to increase the availability of electric vehicle charging stations.
- An enhanced tax deduction to increase energy efficiency upgrades to commercial buildings.
- Federal investments to protect and restore natural attractions, including recreational waterways, shorelines, and National Parks.
- Other clean energy incentives for investment in renewable energy deployment, green hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, direct air capture and other innovative technologies to lower the carbon intensity of transportation fuels and the power grid.
In addition to the priorities detailed in the letter, the coalition will identify and advocate for other priorities in the coming months.
“This is clearly an issue that spans well beyond the travel industry itself to practically all other sectors of the US economy,” said Barnes. “By bringing together stakeholders across related industries, we are aligning leaders in travel, transportation and technology on the critical issues that will affect their businesses for decades to come.”
Visit ustravel.org for more information.