The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) has published a groundbreaking comic book featuring Sustainable Suzie, a responsible and ethical travel champion. Sustainable Suzie fights the good fight for a more sustainable future for international travel, playing the roles of both superhero and cheerleader.
Susan works as a USTOA tour operator guide during the day, offering advice to tourists and examples of locations and tour operators adopting practical, sustainable methods to guarantee that there will be a world to explore for future generations. Suzie, her alter ego, engages in combat with the bad guys trying to contaminate the earth.
“Traveling sustainably means being aware of the impact of tourism on the environment and the communities we visit, and our goal for the comic book is to break down barriers travelers might have to understanding that even small steps can make a big difference,” said Terry Dale, president & CEO of USTOA.
“While a comic might seem unorthodox, Sustainable Suzie conveys the core messages of responsible travel with humor, a much more digestible way to understand the issues, the stakes, and the solutions,” he continued.
The comic emphasises the importance of conserving cultural legacy while offering travelers authentic experiences and the need to save natural resources and wildlife in tourist regions.
While Tour Guide Susan leads a group of travelers to destinations in Korea, Tenerife, and Norway, all of which are committed to sustainable practices to preserve and protect their natural and cultural resources, and onboard sustainability pioneer United Airlines, Sustainable Suzie is called into action to fight wasteful comic villains determined to continue their destructive paths to pollute the planet.
Superheroes defeating villains is a typical comic book theme cleverly used in the plot to show that sustainable travel is about making the right decisions. The key is awareness, Dale added. “And that’s the purpose behind Sustainable Suzie, to make ‘sustainability’ approachable and achievable so that we can all make responsible travel decisions that respect the places and people we visit, leave a smaller footprint, and, most importantly, do no harm.”
Communities that reside in tourist sites gain socioeconomic advantages from meaningful tourism. For example, guests can sample Korean street food from some 5,000 vendors at Gwangjang Market in Seoul, travel to one of the nearly 1,200 fjords along Norway’s 18,000 miles of coastline, or bike 185 miles of trails through Tenerife’s forests, among many other genuinely local experiences offered by USTOA tour operator members.
Do you have any industry news that you’d like to share? Send us your press releases, survey results, news, and articles, and we will publish them here on the IHS website. Just complete the contact form and get in touch.