03 Oct

ABTA responds to sustainable tourism inquiry

Tourism can be a force for good, offering a vital source of income and employment for communities in destinations, and helping to improve welfare and health and safety standards. It is important that the wider impacts of tourism are also understood and managed and ABTA is committed to working with its Members, their suppliers, travellers and destination governments, including the UK government, to build a sustainable industry.

The UK Government has an ambition to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and ABTA recognises that aviation and shipping, which international travel and tourism is reliant upon, are carbon intensive and have a crucial role to play in reaching these objectives.

In response to the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry, ABTA has highlighted examples where the government can help, including undertaking the modernisation of UK airspace. It should also consider establishing a taskforce for decarbonising aviation, similar to the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce - working in partnership with industry and incentivising alternative fuels.

At the same time, a sustainable tourism approach is needed to cover operations and supply chain via the promotion of recognised certification. Travelife, run by ABTA, supports over 1,500 hotels sold by Members in over 50 countries with improving their sustainability performance and highlighting those achievements to travellers and travel companies.

Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “Tourism brings with it considerable benefits that the industry should rightly be proud of. Economies and people depend on tourism, it protects and promotes cultural exchange and can support the preservation of natural environments and cultural heritage. 

“The UK tourism industry plays a vital role in generating jobs and supporting communities in many destinations across the world. However, the industry must be mindful of its wider impacts, including climate change and it must play its part in combating this, in support of the government’s net-zero target. The breadth of ABTA’s industry relations, from hotels and attractions in destination, to tour operators, cruise companies and retailers in the UK, means that it is ideally placed to encourage and guide companies on their path to decarbonisation. 

“ABTA is openly engaging and looks forward to working with the UK government, its Members and the wider industry to develop policies and promote best practice that reduce any impacts of tourism and travel on the environment.”

For further information, contact:
ABTA press office, press@abta.co.uk or 020 3117 0596

Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via landline: 020 3693 0183
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 has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 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.