15 Aug

Sustainable travel

Sustainable tourism issues, such as the amount of single-use plastic used in hotels, animal welfare in tourist attractions and carbon emissions, are rising up the agenda for consumers – as well as for the travel industry. Sustainability is increasingly becoming a priority for travel businesses. 
ABTA has been working with Members to help them develop their own sustainability strategies and initiatives, providing solutions such as Travelife for Accommodation, as well as providing specific guidance and support, including on carbon, plastics, modern slavery and animal welfare. More and more Members are getting involved in these activities. If you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to find out more on the resources we have available and how we can help you develop your own sustainability strategies in the Member Zone. You can also register your interest by contacting sustainabletourism@abta.co.uk.

We’ve also heard more from politicians in this area too. The Environmental Audit Committee – a UK parliamentary select committee – is currently holding an inquiry into sustainable tourism, looking at both the impacts of tourism and travel on the environment and how these can be reduced. ABTA is taking initial views on the EAC inquiry from our established policy and sustainability groups, the deadline for which is tomorrow Friday 16 August, and will be consulting on our submission later this month. If you’re interested in feeding into to ABTA’s submission to the EAC, please make contact with lpetherbridge@abta.co.uk.

The former Prime Minister, Theresa May, used her final weeks in charge to commit the UK to reach “net zero” emissions by 2050, and the European Parliament has introduced a ban on single-use plastics which will come into force by 2021, meaning companies need to have plans in place by then. 
You can also expect to hear more from ABTA on sustainability matters over the coming months, including on our response to the Environmental Audit Committee and our various activities in this area.
It’s also worth mentioning that our annual Make Holidays Greener campaign is still underway – and there is still time for Members to get involved if you haven’t done so already. The campaign is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the work Members and suppliers are doing, offering companies the opportunity to inspire and learn from others, while at the same time providing advice directly to consumers. 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive