Banyan Tree Group joins Expedia Group in the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge

New commitment brings industry one step closer to a global standard for a more sustainable travel future

Banyan Tree Group, a global hospitality leader rooted in sustainability stewardship, has joined Expedia Group and UNESCO in the global expansion of the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge (hereinafter also “UNESCO Pledge”). The Group’s pledge will see 48 Banyan Tree properties adhere to the responsible environmental and cultural practices established by the UNESCO Pledge.

The UNESCO Pledge promotes responsible practices such as environmental protection, community resilience and heritage conservation, with the ultimate goal of changing the nature and impact of global tourism. Banyan Tree Group was built on sustainability practices and adds a unique contribution in establishing further a global standard for a more sustainable travel future.

“In light of the pandemic and the reductions we’ve seen in environmental impact during this time, more travellers – and travel companies – are seeking opportunities to be better stewards of the planet,” said Jean-Philippe Monod, Senior Vice-President Government and Corporate Affairs of Expedia Group. “Banyan Tree Group has, from its inception 27 years ago, been rooted in sustainability and is taking an exemplary role by being among the first hospitality brands to take the UNESCO Pledge.”

Launched in 2019 with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), UNESCO and Expedia Group, today more than 4,000 hotels are committed to the UNESCO Pledge globally. Participating hotels support the reduction and elimination of single-use plastics and promote local economy and culture. They receive a ‘We signed the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge’ certificate, renew their commitment every year, and report on progress achieved. They also receive increased visibility with a badge on multiple travel booking sites across the Expedia Group marketplace, as the pandemic prompts eco-awareness among travellers.

“Banyan Tree Group, as part of our culture, is on a mission to amplify sustainability awareness and create impact by sharing our learnings and sustainability measures to help other hotels’ kick-start implementation,” said Steve Newman, Assistant Vice President, Group Sustainability Director and Coordinating Director of Banyan Tree Global Foundation (BTGF). “As an industry, we have the ability and power to transform global inequity. As a company, we are committed to helping our partners and industry colleagues become even more planet-aware and friendly, as we ‘build back better’ post-pandemic.”

Banyan Tree Group has received recognition for its commitment to environmental protection and community development through its non-profit arm, Banyan Tree Global Foundation (BTGF), which aligns the Group’s efforts to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The hospitality company’s ‘Stay for Good’ program focuses on three core areas of environment, community and responsibility, which includes a target to reduce the resource consumption by 5% year over year. Centred on the belief that the business is a vehicle for societal betterment and transformation, the Group also recently awarded the Greater Good Grants to eight external organisations for community and environment projects that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Banyan Tree Group is in a unique position to help guide sustainability standards and practices moving forward, and we are pleased to have the Group joining our global effort today,” said Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO. “The crisis has shown us that we cannot continue in the same way as before. Together, we must join forces for a tourism recovery that supports communities, creates jobs, promotes culture, and protects heritage.’


To learn more about the UNESCO Pledge, please visit our Thailand pilot microsite: A global microsite will be announced later in 2021.