Travel and tourism is a powerful force for good, not only supporting jobs and livelihoods at home and in destinations, but also often promoting the preservation of culture and nature. 

Global tourism is not without its challenges. There is an urgent need to decarbonise and continue to manage the impacts of tourism in destination, ensuring that local people and communities feel the full benefits of tourism.

Sustainability is a key priority for ABTA’s work and has been for some time. Actions taken by our Members include setting carbon reduction targets, developing excursions which maximise the benefit to local communities, single use plastic reduction and implementing animal welfare policies. 

Collaboration is essential. In addition to supporting and convening our Members, ABTA is working with our Members’ suppliers, destination authorities, travellers, the wider industry, and the UK government to build a more sustainable industry.

Our Tourism for Good report provides a roadmap for rebuilding travel and tourism, and sets out how we can embed sustainability into tourism’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We highlighted four areas for action:

  • environment, such as decarbonisation and management of waste, including single use plastics
  • destination and community impact, ensuring tourism continues to deliver benefits for local communities, and that we preserve the culture and nature that make travel and tourism special
  • human rights, including labour rights, child safeguarding and anti-discrimination and diversity and inclusion
  • animal welfare.

ABTA supports our Members to develop a sustainability approach that is right for their business across their operations, supply chains and with their customers. This includes developing policies and targets, staff training, supplier codes of conduct and certification, measurement and reduction of carbon emissions, management of single use plastic and developing modern slavery approaches.  

Members can find out more by viewing our sustainability resources on the Member Zone or contacting

We support our Members to manage sustainability in their supply chain with the international sustainability certification scheme Travelife for Accommodation.

With destinations representatives and governments, ABTA promotes proactive, integrated destination management. We facilitate dialogue between destinations and our Members on sustainability; support sustainability certification of accommodation, through Travelife for accommodation; and share examples of best practice from our experience of working with partners and destinations around the world.

ABTA works to understand customers’ attitudes to sustainability and provides them with information and guidance to enable them to make more sustainable tourism choices.

Collaboration across the industry is essential, for example we are a Member of sustainable aviation, an alliance of UK airlines, airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers, working towards net zero aviation in the UK.