Travel 2.0 Foreword

By Melissa Tilling, Social Entrepreneur Founder of Charitable Travel, Sustainable Journeys, and The Charitable Travel Fund

Thank you Rebecca and Phill, the inspirational founders of B-Corp champion Kemosabe, for your kind invitation to contribute to the _For Good series and this latest edition of Travel _For Good.

Throughout Travel _For Good we are invited to explore more than a transformative vision for the future of the global travel. This is a place for sharing ideas in action, that show how to blend our ‘legacy tourism’ with the imperative sustainability of our planet. Taking action and sharing the action we are taking is now the most critical piece of this complex puzzle that is Travel _For Good.

At its core, Travel _For Good champions a spirit and demonstration of innovation and responsibility, spotlighting brands, and businesses at the forefront of redefining and shaping the travel industry’s relationship with our damaged world.

“In an era marked by unprecedented challenges, from climate change to social inequality, the imperative for change has never been more acute.”

In an era marked by unprecedented challenges, from climate change to social inequality, the imperative for change has never been more acute. The travel industry, with its vast reach and profound impact on global cultures and economies (World Travel & Tourism Council: 10.3% of GDP and 10.4% of jobs in 2019), finds itself in a pivotal time of desperate planetary need. It is within this context that Travel For Good emerges as a window to a new way of thinking and acting. It underscores how  our approach to the way we travel can – and must – be a fast lane for positive change.

I am encouraged by reading the stories of pioneers and practitioners who embody the ethos of ‘travel for good’. These are brands and businesses that do not shy away from the ongoing challenges of sustainability but instead, confront them head-on with innovation, empathy, and a steadfast commitment to better outcomes using a ‘good’ purpose blended with profit to affect change. The thinking – which I love – is more social than private enterprise, focusing on our global community benefit. The call to all of us in the travel industry – business leaders, thought-leaders, policymakers, and consumers alike – is to embrace a fundamental shift in focus.

This path is not the path of least resistance, but these pages show what can be done. Change demands courage, resilience, and an unwavering dedication to the underlying principles of ‘good’ across the environmental, social, and economic pillars upon which our future depends. The journey towards a more responsible and mindful travel industry is fraught with challenges. It is not merely about preserving the beauty and diversity of our planet for future generations; it is about redefining our very ethos as travellers and as inhabitants of this earth.

“There is a clear consumer appetite to make better travel choice.”

There is a clear consumer appetite to make better travel choice. My social enterprise polled how 62% of consumers wanted a more sustainable holiday. Expedia, and many others polled similar or higher. The key issue now is providing access to consumers on how to simply make good decisions. Our survey showed that only 17% of respondents knew where to find and trust useful information about sustainable travel options. This is why Travel _For Good and the brands and businesses you will read about, are so important.

Travel _For Good shares who is taking demonstrable action, who is making change happen in the travel and tourism offering they make to customers. They are making it easier for the customer to make better choices. They are sharing what they are doing with customers and contemporaries. They are ensuring what they are creating, and why, is easier for the customer to find. This is truly how you make change happen. We must be vocal, we must be clear, and we must be evangelical about Travel _For Good because we are ‘preaching to the converted’ if only they can find us. So, share this amazing publication with everyone you know.

I love the Grinch movie, but it makes me think when he says that he is going to “solve world hunger, tell no one” that we must not be the same. We must share what sustainability looks like in practice, and make it accessible, until we have all changed, otherwise our actions will be lost.


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