More than 12 million people have tuned in weekly to David Attenborough’s extraordinary series, Planet Earth II. The final episode ended not in the vast space of a savannah or at the bottom of an ocean, but in the centre of London. It was a reminder of how we, as individuals and travellers, interact with the natural world, and it made a plea for us to remember that connection, and make the world a home for all life on earth. Nature provides one of the great attractions for tourism, and its preservation is a special responsibility for the travel industry. 2017 will be the United Nations Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and will be an opportunity to renew our commitment to protecting the environments that we and our customers love to visit, benefiting local communities and respecting culture and traditions. We can ensure that our tourism industry is not built on the exploitation of people, animals or natural resources. More young people watched Planet Earth than watched X Factor, and these customers of the future will be increasingly, and rightly, demanding. If you want more information about the tools that ABTA has developed to help the travel industry manage its global footprint, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive