With environmental consciousness at an all-time high, sustainable travel has been an especially hot topic. Within the industry, sentiments of the need for increased awareness and action have been ringing loud and clear, and World Travel Market (WTM), an event for the global travel industry that took place in early November in London, was no exception.
For an industry that has direct impacts on our planet, its people and wildlife, the pressure of putting measures in place to protect these invaluable segments of the environment can no longer be ignored or deferred. Themes such as carbon offsetting, flight shaming, overtourism, wilderness conservation, and the empowerment of local communities were top of mind during the events’ many showcases.
The TreadRight Foundation was pleased to be involved in these discussions. Chief TreadRight and Sustainability Officer Shannon Guihan presented the 2019 World Tourism Award, which honoured industry leaders in outstanding sustainability initiatives. TreadRight Ambassador Celine Cousteau spoke to TV, radio, web and magazine media about her partnership with TreadRight and what sustainable travel means in regard to the responsibility of those involved in the industry. She also sat on a panel at the Make Travel Matter event hosted by Wanderlust Magazine, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold & TreadRight. She was joined by Lyn Hughes, Wanderlust Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Shannon Guihan, and Claire Hanney of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, to speak on many aspects of the topic including where the onus falls.
The overall consensus was clear – the onus is on everyone involved. Travelers, travel providers, and members of the travel industry all have the power to make travel a force for good.
For both travelers and those in the industry involved in choosing travel partners, knowing how to distinguish a genuinely sustainable operator should not only be a priority, it’s also quite simple. Asking a few questions can empower a sustainable choice:
- Do you have a sustainable tourism policy in place?
- Do you ensure that you work with local, in-region guides and companies?
- Do you have a measurable strategy in place to reduce the impact of your offices?
- Do you have an animal welfare policy in place?
- Do you have plans to reduce the impact that plastics are having on global tourism destinations?
- Do you reinvest any of your profits back into the destinations that you operate in?
Many brands can answer yes to several of those questions, but all of The Travel Corporations‘ brands can answer YES to every one of those questions. Being aware of the problem, the solution of sustainable travel, and those organizations that are making travel a force for good, will empower us to collectively make travel matter together.