I am very honoured to be asked to contribute to the _FOR GOOD series of publications and specifically Travel For Good.
This phrase ‘travel for good’ has been used as long as I can remember being in travel. As the industry grew exponentially in the 1980s and 1990s, it seemed to justify its growth impact through tourism receipts and job creation.
These are important measures of impact, without question, but certainly very far from giving a holistic picture, and certainly not taking account of other important measures where travel was not necessarily acting for the good of either local communities or the environment.
As I write, at the start of 2023, when our world is still reeling from the impacts of a global pandemic, social and economic unrest, international conflict across vast areas of our world, and the biggest existential threat our generations face with climate change, the world does feel very fragile at times. I feel it keenly.
However, to counteract this, I have a well-known phrase which has determined much of my life, ‘actions speak louder than words’.
I am always staggered by the positive regenerative capability of both human beings and our planet. The fact, for example, that we have the potential to reverse the impact of type-2 diabetes by simply changing our diet, and that damaged landscapes can be rejuvenated when treated appropriately, demonstrates the incredible healing power that exists on our planet and within humanity if we act appropriately. It is truly awesome and very powerful.
“The For Good series is about helping focus the mind on what good looks like, to be positive and, by illustration, actively inspire others to make their own positive contributions”
We need to expand or re-activate our ability, power, and desire to heal, rehabilitate, rejuvenate, and improve the health of our planet and that of our industry.
The wonderful thing is, we are all capable of achieving this, every one of us, because we all play an important role on this planet. We are here for a purpose, and I believe it is really important, no matter how big or small, that we each find our purpose in contributing to a better planet and society- even if it is as simple as ensuring we do no harm.
The For Good series is about helping focus the mind on what good looks like, to be positive and, by illustration, actively inspire others to make their own positive contributions. There is a lot of good happening in this world, and I commend the For Good team for demonstrating this when it is easily drowned out by scary global doom and gloom media headlines.
My message to those working in travel is, remember, both as an industry and as a society, we are very privileged to travel. Travel is not a right. But what our industry is uniquely positioned to do, should it choose, is to actively contribute to the right to live in a safe, peaceful, healthy world where people can survive, create livelihoods, enabling families and communities to prosper locally, whilst developing wonderful experiences and holidays for travellers across the world.
As an industry professional, a travel company or a traveller we should all keep that positive contribution in our minds eye, and bit by bit ensure that our global footprint really does deliver a Travel For Good outcome; not simply a self-centred one.
I am delighted by the tangible examples of travel for good included in this compendium. It is wonderful to see so much good being practiced in the world, and I hope the examples inspire you as they have inspired me.
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…