AirAsia launches program to promote responsible tourism

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MANILA — AirAsia Philippines recently launched its #HowIFly project to promote responsible travel to provide positive impact to the community and environment.

The airline’s previous #WhyIFly project encouraged travelers to spread the love of travel through stories told via pictures and videos.

#HowIFly shifts the focus from inspiring travel to responsible travel.

Capt. Dexter Comendador, CEO of AirAsia Philippines, said that this project was influenced by AirAsia’s own internal green operating procedures. These are technical measures by the AirAsia crew to increase fuel efficiency, lessen the environmental footprint of the AirAsia planes, and lower the fares due to the company’s savings from the program.

According to the airline, there will be an estimated 1.5 billion travelers each year by 2020 and these travelers have the power to change the world by simply becoming aware and being responsible.

The launch of #HowIFly featured adventure moviemaker Patrick Martin’s short films, which provided context as invited resource speakers talked about the project’s three pillars: Nature Conservation, Wildlife Preservation, and Community Development.

For the Nature Conservation pillar, Ocean Quest Southeast Asia’s training director Reggie Reyes talked about their coral rehabilitation projects in Cebu. These are being done to protect the marine treasures Moalboal, Malapascua, Mactan and other prime diving spots in Cebu.

Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Eden David talked about the wildfire tragedy of Mt. Apo in Davao that destroyed 200 hectares of forest, which not only affected the flora and fauna of the mountain but the livelihood of the guides and porters of the community as well.

Lastly, Sibaltan Heritage Council head Enrico Cabiguen invited travelers to his village 30 minutes from Coron. Sibaltan houses the Balay Cuyunon and the Pangko Maritime Museum, which tell the history and heritage of the Cuyunons, the first settlers of Palawan and the largest tribe on the island. He invited travelers going to Palawan to take an educational detour to learn more about his people

The launch concluded with guests signing the #HowIFly travel manifesto to signify their commitment to the project.

Travelers are encouraged to post 15-30 second videos on Instagram on how they fly responsibly with the hashtag #HowIFly and tagging three of their friends to do the same. AirAsia Philippines will choose three lucky instagrammers who have participated to win a roundtrip ticket for one to an AirAsia destination.

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