“Tips on Writing about Sustainable Travel”

By Robert W. Bone

At the March meeting, BATW members received some hints and advice on crafting sustainable travel stories during a high-altitude panel discussion at the San Francisco Hilton Union Square Hotel.

The environmentally conscious program took place in the CityScape Lounge atop the 46-story hotel. It was followed by a light lunch and stunning 360-degree views over the city through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Panelists included Lynda Baum, the president and founder of Exclusive Destinations, Michael Vaughn, the executive chef at the Hilton, Marissa LaMagna, executive director of Bay Area Green Tours, and Jo Licata, community projects manager for the Hilton. All four related how conservation methods were being taken in their areas of expertise.

Licata said she first became interested in the subject a few years ago when she saw so much material on the hotel loading dock headed for the dump. Later she created the Hotel/Non-Profit Collaborative, which diverts excess supplies from area hotels to local service agencies and arts and education programs.

The panel program was moderated by Spud Hilton, travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle“Our future depends on knowing about sustainable tourism,” Hilton told the group.

Besides the panel response, several members later replied with how some of their own articles included aspects of the subject.

Prior to the environmental discussion, members also heard from Robert Sokol, creative director of Via Media, and Susan Cohn, events writer for the San Mateo Daily Journal.  Both stressed the importance of good coverage of local theatrical activities.

Many thanks to BATW President Molly Blaisdell – who coordinated the meeting and also represents this fabulous hotel.