//ABTA: industry must be more sustainable

ABTA: industry must be more sustainable

Association publishes Tourism for Good – A Roadmap for Rebuilding Travel and Tourism

ABTA has published a report designed to lay out how the travel industry must rebuild a responsible and resilient sector post-pandemic.

The report, entitled Tourism for Good – A Roadmap for Rebuilding Travel and Tourism includes a framework for collaborative action with tourism that benefits all of those involved.

New figures reveal that 52 per cent of people believe that the travel industry should open in a ‘greener’ way, with consumers increasingly interested in how their holiday benefits the people and places that they visit. About half (49 per cent) of people say that sustainability credentials are important, or essential, when booking a holiday. In 2011 it was just 20 per cent.

Clare Jenkinson, head of sustainability at ABTA, said: “Building on ABTA’s longstanding work on sustainability, the Tourism for Good report is designed to act as a strategic framework to guide our activities as the industry reopens and evolves. The core principles include, for example, the need for tourism to be sustainable and resilient against future shocks, for policies and actions to be designed in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the urgent need to accelerate decarbonisation. We commit to measuring the progress that is being made and identifying the areas where more work needs to be done.”

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The report centres on the belief that tourism is a force for good – both for holidaymakers and destinations alike. However, there are issues that need to be resolved, including the need to further decarbonise and to ensure that more money stays in a destination and supports local communities.

The UK holiday market is also a major contributor to world and UK GDP. While in the UK, the industry supports 526,000 full time jobs and generates £37 billion in economic impact, for certain destinations – The Maldives, Jamaica, Cyprus, Malta, Mauritius, Greece, Spain and Portugal – which rely heavily on tourism already, UK holidaymakers alone make a contribution of more than 1 per cent of national GDP

In order to accurately track the progress being made, ABTA has launched a sustainability indicator survey for its members to complete which will establish a baseline of how the travel and tourism industry is currently embracing sustainability. The findings will be used to identify the areas where progress is being made and the areas that require more focus.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, added: “Tourism’s unexpected standstill has given us a unique opportunity to reflect on the type of industry we want to rebuild, fit for the challenges we face and a contributor to the global good. I believe the future prosperity of the industry depends on putting sustainability at the heart of our recovery. This report therefore underlines ABTA’s commitment to working with our members, the wider travel industry, and the UK government to create a more sustainable industry that allows everyone a share in its success.”

The full report is available online at abta.com/tourismforgood

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.