Burcin Turkkan, World President of Skal International, announced for Earth Day 2022 that the organization, a leading association of tourism industry professionals, will be prioritizing sustainability as a key commitment in the long term.
Skal International already hosts annual global awards for sustainability within the travel industry as one of its top recognitions. These awards are presented annually at the Skal World Congress. Entries are being received now for awards to be presented in October at the Congress being held in Croatia.
Turkkan stated that the Sustainability Subcommittee of its Advocacy and Global Partnerships Committee, co-chaired by Skalleagues Mayumi Hu of Taiwan and Kit Wong of Mexico, is making recommendations to develop “sustainability champions” at every level of Skal, hold regular sustainability webinars, and strengthen relationships with organizations which support the protection, preservation, and renewal of historic, cultural, natural, and animal resources worldwide.
“Skal is making this announcement on Earth Day to emphasize that this will be a long-term commitment and that we, as a global tourism organization, see sustainability as a global priority.”
The very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Today, there are 1 billion people mobilizing for action on Earth Day in over 190 countries.
In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.
However, the stage was set for change with the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries as it raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health.
Earth Day 1970 would come to provide a voice to this emerging environmental consciousness and putting environmental concerns on the front page.