17 Aug

ABTA encourages travel companies to take part in the final weeks of Make Holidays Greener

Make Holidays Greener (MHG) 2018, the annual summer campaign led by ABTA in partnership with Travelife for Accommodation ends in six weeks. So far, over 600 sustainable holiday pledges have been made by holidaymakers and more than 60 travel companies, from tour operators to hotels, have taken part in a wide range of initiatives.

ABTA is reminding travel businesses, tourist boards and hotels that they can still get involved – as every action counts. From taking part in plastic free initiatives, organising a clean-up activity or encouraging holidaymakers to make a holiday pledge - from saying no to plastic to eating locally - companies can choose how they’d like to take action.

This summer, the Make Holidays Greener campaign has shared how businesses have committed to reducing single-use plastic consumption through initiatives such as no longer serving individual plastic portions of jam, butter and milk, replacing plastic laundry bags with linen ones and issuing reusable water bottles and bags to holidaymakers. More examples are available on the Make Holidays Greener website.

MHG 2018 launched in June with a ‘Say no to plastic’ theme. ABTA Members and destinations have been looking at plastics as part of their wider sustainability strategy for some time now – working on issues such as waste management and recycling in destination, as well as looking at the use of plastics.

For companies looking to adapt their broader sustainability approach beyond the summer, ABTA’s sustainability programme, Better Places, supports Members to adopt the best policy that works for them; and the Travelife certification scheme for hotels & accommodation works with travel businesses around the world to help them improve their social, economic and environmental impacts. 1,400 hotels now measure themselves using the Travelife sustainability criteria – which includes acting to minimise waste and packaging use.

Nikki White, ABTA Director of Destinations and Sustainability comments:

“It’s not too late for travel companies to get involved with this year’s Make Holidays Greener campaign. There have already been some fantastic initiatives and it’s a great opportunity for travel companies to share best practice of what has worked, try out new approaches and get customers involved.

“As is often the case with sustainability, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Specifically when it comes to plastics, companies need to make the choice that’s right for their business. However, every action matters, whether it’s switching from disposable cups to reusable ones, replacing plastic with other materials, promoting recycling or using social media to invite holidaymakers to make a pledge.”

“Almost 40% of consumers say the environmental credentials of holiday providers are important, which has doubled since 2011, and businesses can use this to drive for a change in their approach internally, as well as with suppliers and destinations.”

Holidaymakers can make a pledge via http://www.makeholidaysgreener.org.uk/holidaymaker. Those who register a pledge on the website until 30 September 2018 will also be entered into a prize draw to win a GoPro camera with waterproof casing.

Travel companies can contact sustainabletourism@abta.co.uk to sign up or share what they’re doing.

Holidaymakers and travel companies can share their activity on social media using #MHG18.

The pledges are:

  1. Say no to plastic
  2. Look for the Travelife logo - stay at a hotel that cares for the environment and its staff such as Travelife certified hotels
  3. Reduce, re-use and recycle – leave and recycle any packaging at home before you travel
  4. Organise a holiday clean up
  5. Protect biodiversity
  6. Eat local produce
  7. Buy local souvenirs
  8. Respect local customs and talk to locals in their languages
  9. Protect children – support local community projects and refrain from giving money to begging children or visit orphanages
  10. Offset your carbon
  11. Use local transport
  12. Switch off electrical devices in your accommodation when you’re not using them
  13. Save water – reuse towels and take shorter showers
  14. Tell the world – tell the world about my positive holiday experiences and leave an honest travel review
  15. Free choice – the chance to organise or suggest an activity specific to your holiday

Notes to editors

For further information, contact:

020 3117 0596 or press@abta.co.uk

Emily Jones, Media and PR Manager, 020 3117 0592
Sean Tipton, Senior Media Relations Manager, 020 3117 0513
Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via pager: 07659 190 987

Web: www.abta.com

Twitter: @ABTAtravel

Notes to editors

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA currently has around 1,200 Members, with a combined annual UK turnover of £37 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.