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Meet Sustainable Suzie: USTOA’s tour guide to responsible travel around the globe

Among the main responsibilities of sustainable tourism highlighted in the comic is the need to protect the natural resources and wildlife in destinations, and to conserve cultural heritage while creating authentic experiences for tourists.

NEW YORK – The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) launched a first-of-its-kind comic book that introduces a superhero for responsible travel: Sustainable Suzie. Equal parts superhero and cheerleader, Sustainable Suzie fights the good fight towards a more sustainable future for travel around the globe. 

By day, she’s a USTOA tour operator guide named Susan who provides tips for travelers as well as examples of destinations and travel companies that are adopting workable, sustainable practices to ensure there is a world to explore for future generations. Meanwhile, her alter-ego Suzie battles with the villains determined to contaminate the planet.

“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. 

Among the main responsibilities of sustainable tourism highlighted in the comic is the need to protect the natural resources and wildlife in destinations, and to conserve cultural heritage while creating authentic experiences for tourists.  

While Tour Guide Susan leads a small group of travelers to the experience-rich destinations of 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.

The story line artfully uses classic comic book tropes – superhero defeats villains – to illustrate that sustainable travel is about choices. “Awareness is key,” said Dale. “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.”

Meaningful tourism also provides socio-economic benefits for communities who live in tourist destinations. USTOA tour operator members provide truly local experiences for guests in destinations throughout the world, such as sampling Korean street food from some 5,000-odd vendors at Gwangjang Market in Seoul, visiting one of the nearly 1,200 fjords along Norway’s 18,000-mile coastline, and biking 185 miles of trails throughout the forests of Tenerife, among many others.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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