07 Jun

ABTA’s Make Holidays Greener campaign launches for 2018

Make Holidays Greener (MHG) 2018, the annual campaign led by ABTA in partnership with Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations, launches today with a ‘Say no to plastic’ theme.

Plastic is a serious environmental issue, alongside carbon and water saving. The past year has seen a tipping point in public awareness on the damage plastics can have on the environment.

The campaign, which runs from 7 June until the end of September, shines a spotlight on environmental and community matters and the work being done in this area by the travel industry. As well as highlighting these areas to holidaymakers, they also have the opportunity to take part by making a sustainable holiday pledge, as every action counts.

There are 15 pledges available which cover all aspects of a holiday - from saying no to plastic to eating locally and reusing towels or taking shorter showers to save water.

Last year, almost 1,000 sustainable holiday pledges were made and an estimated 2,500 people took part in 79 clean-up activities.

Through Make Holidays Greener travel businesses, tourist boards and hotels can also take action themselves – for example, taking part in plastic free initiatives, organising a clean-up activity, or encouraging hoteliers and suppliers to consider alternatives to plastics wherever possible.

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.

ABTA’s sustainability programme, Better Places, supports Members to adopt the best sustainability policy that works for them and the Travelife sustainability certification scheme for hotels & accommodation works with travel businesses around the world to help them improve their social, economic and environmental impacts.

Nikki White, ABTA Director of Destinations and Sustainability comments:

“The seismic shift in public attitudes means customers now have higher expectations about the use of plastics and are wanting to take action themselves too. We’d encourage all to get involved – as every actions counts.

“Holidaymakers can take part in a beach clean, take a reusable bag on their next trip or make a holiday pledge on the Make Holidays Greener website. Not only will it contribute to having a great holiday, but also help to ensure their chosen destination is preserved for years to come.

“Almost 70% of consumers now think travel companies should ensure their holidays help the local people and economy, 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 and share what they’re doing on social media using #MHG18. Those who register a pledge on the website between 7 June and 30 September 2018 will also be entered into a prize draw to win a GoPro camera with waterproof casing.

ABTA will be supporting the industry for Make Holidays Greener throughout the summer – travel companies can contact sustainabletourism@abta.co.uk to sign up and request a support pack.

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


For travel companies looking for further guidance on how to implement sustainable approaches across their business, ABTA’s ‘Delivering Sustainable Travel’ seminar on 26 June offers practical and up to date guidance, as well as advice on addressing the key supply chain risks. For more information or to sign up please visit the website: https://abta.com/conferences-and-events/abta/delivering-sustainable-travel-london-june-2018?mc=6