At ABTA we believe that travel and tourism is a powerful force for good: creating economic and social value, sustaining jobs, supporting businesses, and boosting inward investment; not only for destinations where many livelihoods depend on tourism, but also here in the UK, where it makes a significant contribution. Tourism will increasingly play a unique and strategically important role in our global trade and diplomatic relationships.
As a sector we also face challenges, including the need to accelerate decarbonisation, and ensuring that tourism generates greater benefits for the UK, destinations, and local communities. We believe the best way to make progress and to maximise tourism’s benefits is to do so together.
COVID-19 was arguably the travel industry’s biggest ever disruptor and in the immediate aftermath, naturally, business emphasis has been on survival and recovery. However, as we start to travel again and destinations begin to receive numbers equivalent to or greater than pre-pandemic times, we must not lose sight of the urgent challenges that we faced before the pandemic.
“Tourism’s unexpected and lengthy hiatus has given us a unique chance to reflect on the type of industry we want to rebuild”
The universal and global nature of the crisis has reminded us of how we and our world are interconnected, necessitating a concerted worldwide response and a willingness to share and learn from others. This experience should now shape how, as an industry, we approach the other common challenges we face.
Tourism’s unexpected and lengthy hiatus has given us a unique chance to reflect on the type of industry we want to rebuild. Future prosperity depends on putting sustainability at the heart of tourism’s recovery. This can only be achieved by operators, governments, destination managers, partners and communities working together. This is an opportunity to purposefully build back better for a responsible and resilient tourism industry that’s fit for the challenges we face, while contributing to the global good.
Building on ABTA’s long-standing work on sustainability, ABTA’s Tourism for Good report provides a framework to guide ABTA’s activities to support its commitment to continue to champion sustainability with its members, the wider travel industry, destinations and customers, as well as ways in which this can be supported by policies and action by the UK Government.
ABTA continues to support the industry to reduce GHG emissions and achieve net-zero targets, and to do so in collaboration with industry stakeholders. To this end ABTA and Deloitte have launched the Climate Action Guidebook, which outlines how businesses can lead the way to decarbonisation and sustainable travel and tourism. The manual will help leaders gain technical knowledge and understanding of carbon reduction and the practical steps their businesses can take.
I slid open the frosted window and stuck my head out into the cold, white void….
Our individual carbon footprints have come under increasing levels of scrutiny in recent years. Flying significantly…