Global Travel & Tourism industry unite to do MASSIVE GOOD
Innovative travel-related fundraising initiative will help finance health care for the world's poor
New Delhi, Sept. 30, 2009 – Leading representatives of the Global Travel and Tourism Industry joined today, for the first time ever, to declare their support for a new ambitious global health initiative, MASSIVEGOOD. The project has been created by the Millennium Foundation for Innovative Finance for Health, and will allow travellers to give a 'micro-contribution' every time they purchase travel services, which will go towards fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries. The initiative has the potential to raise up to $1 billion in additional funding for global health during its first four years of operation.
"We pledge, by supporting this initiative, to encourage our industry to help raise funds to treat the sick in the poorest of our world's countries," affirms the declaration signed by major travel industry representatives.
The announcement was made on the first day of the UN General Assembly, during a meeting of the Task Force for Innovative Finance for Health, spearheaded by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, representing the industry at the announcement, stated: "As the leaders of an industry that is central to the global economy, generating almost one out of every ten dollars spent in the world and employing 220 million workers, we recognize this responsibility."
Leading representatives of the global travel and tourism industry joined in signing a declaration of principles committing their support to the Millennium Foundation and the launch of MASSIVEGOOD. Signatories included the World Travel and Tourism Council; Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, which represent the leading Global Distribution Systems (GDS), managing the world's airline reservation networks; leading online travel agent Opodo; American Express Business Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel, as travel management supporters; Voyageurs du Monde as a leisure travel agent supporter; Mondial Assistance as Call Center partner and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The technology solution for MassiveGood was developed by Amadeus, and can be integrated into all GDS systems and embedded in the regular booking system for airline tickets and other travel reservations. As a result, MASSIVEGOOD will make it easy for everyone who travels to make a small ($2) micro-contribution through a simple click each time they book their reservation, whether online or through an agent.
Speaking on the occasion, Ankur Bhatia, Managing Director, Amadeus India said, "Amadeus has always been conscious of its responsibility towards the society at large, our participation in this global cause - the Massive Good project is reflective of our commitment towards the cause and the community at large."
The initiative, baptized today as MASSIVEGOOD, will seek to raise additional needed funding for the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, through a WHO-hosted organization, UNITAID.
"The biggest crisis the world is facing is the glaring inequalities in access to health care between the rich and the poor," Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, Chairman of the Millennium Foundation, United Nations Under-Secretary and Special Advisor for Innovative Finance for Development, stated. "The Millennium Foundation has been privileged to have such supportive and active partners in this endeavor, without which the project could never have had such overwhelming success," added Dr. Bernard Salomé, the Foundation's Managing Director.
"The solution developed by Amadeus is standalone and system agnostic, which can be easily integrated into the booking process of any travel seller or any other purchasing system, with ease. It will enable travelers to voluntarily donate the amount they want while purchasing a travel product. The "MassiveGood" project marks unprecedented cooperation among GDS companies to help fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases in developing nations," added Mr. Bhatia
This is the first major fundraising initiative launched by the Millennium Foundation, whose mission is to mobilize new sources of innovative funding to achieve the three health-related Millennium Development Goals agreed to by the United Nations in 2000: to treat and fight life-threatening diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; to reduce childhood mortality; and to improve maternal health.
• Malaria kills 1 child every 30 seconds - $2 can treat 2 children against malaria.
• Tuberculosis kills 1 person every 15 seconds - $24 can cure 1 adult of TB.
• HIV/AIDS kills 1 person every 13 seconds – 40€ can treat 1 child for a year.
• Every 3 seconds, a child under the age of 5 dies in low-income countries.
• Every minute, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth.
• The travel and tourism industry's different sectors (air, hotel, car rental and train) together account for 9.4% of the world's GDP (about $5,800 billion) and 8% of global employment (220 million jobs worldwide).
PRESS RELEASE ADDENDUM
SUPPORTING QUOTES FROM INDUSTRY PARTICIPANTS:
"Amadeus is proud to have initiated and developed the technology behind this exciting project. The result is an innovative financing solution that can be integrated into the world's travel distribution systems as well as any other purchasing system. The success of this initiative is dependent on a global movement and worldwide cooperation of the travel industry.
Supporting MassiveGood reflects our strategic approach in social responsibility to utilize our expertise and commercial network to drive development within communities that need it," David Jones, President & CEO, Amadeus IT Group
"American Express Business Travel is proud to declare its support for MASSIVE GOOD by promoting their vision to raise the financing to fight the most threatening diseases within the world's most vulnerable populations." - Charles Petruccelli, President, Global Travel Services, American Express.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel
"As a global player in the travel management arena, Carlson Wagonlit Travel is delighted to be participating in this important humanitarian effort. Every year, we handle tens of millions of transactions. By offering our clients the opportunity to contribute to MASSIVE GOOD, we are not only helping create awareness for this worthy cause but inviting them to make a significant difference." – Douglas Anderson, President & CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
Global Business Coalition
"HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria are health issues on which the travel and tourism industry can have a tangible, significant, life-saving impact," said John Tedstrom, President and CEO of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. "The industry's customers comprise a huge audience – and projects like MASSIVE GOOD provide an effective way for companies to finance disease eradication by making corporate citizenship a part of routine customer interactions." – John Tedstrom, President and CEO, Global Business Coalition.
"The Millennium Foundation has worked diligently to make this project a reality for over a year. Health is a global issue. This movement will help people to understand that, and that they can help by making a small effort that has a big effect. Our partners recognize this and are vital to this success. We are excited about forging new partnerships with other industry actors, with whom we are already to turn this declaration into action." – Bernard Salomé, Managing Director, Millennium Foundation.
"Mondial Assistance is very proud to partner with MASSIVE GOOD and to bring a tangible contribution to such a universal cause. We believe this partnership is a perfect demonstration of our group's mission and dedication to help people, anytime, anywhere." – Jon Ansell, Member of Mondial Assistance's Executive Committee.
Sabre Travel Network
"When Millennium Foundation first approached Sabre about this initiative, we jumped at the opportunity to support it. This is one of those unique opportunities where you unite as a travel industry to help tackle the challenges faced by those in developing countries. With more than 40% of the world's travel agencies using Sabre, we feel confident that we can make a positive contribution to Massive Good, and encourage travelers to support this when launched. This initiative supports our other Corporate Social Responsibility activities and we sincerely believe it will bring meaningful change to the global communities we live in." –. Chris Kroeger, President & CEO, Sabre Travel Network.
"Travelport is honored to be part of this ground-breaking initiative – one that unites the travel community in a mission to drive change where it is so desperately needed. We are taking social responsibility to a new level by harnessing the power of global organizations and single individuals behind a common cause. Every contribution to this ambitious project, no matter how small, will make a crucial difference for millions of people by expanding and improving health care in our world's most impoverished countries." – Jeff Clarke, President & CEO, Travelport.
Voyageurs du Monde
"Voyageurs du Monde is the specialist in custom travel for individuals in France. We actively support sustainable development in all aspects (environment, social, and improving conditions in developing countries), which is part of our company values. Voyageurs du Monde has supported UNITAID since its beginning, as well as all innovative financing initiatives." – Jean-Francois Rial, President and CEO, Voyageurs du Monde.
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