Adventure travel firms urged to create climate action plans - TTG 05 February 2021
Updated: May 20, 2021
TTG Media Ltd.
Travel companies have been urged to create their own climate action plans to show their commitment to sustainable tourism.
Alex Narracott, founder of Much Better Adventures and Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, made the plea during the online Adventure Travel Networking Conference. Narracott said the industry “needed to step up” in the battle over climate change - so far there have been 180 signatories to Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency’s pledge, in which organisations promise to publish a “transparent climate action plan”. “It should be standard practice for every travel business to have a climate action plan and that should be published,” he added. “We are looking for new signatories to make that commitment.” Narracott said Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency was currently working on a series of climate action blueprints that will be presented at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.
Daniel Turner, co-founder of animal welfare consultancy Animondial, added that sustainability should be made a legal requirement for travel companies – a move, he said, that would “help focus minds” in the sector. “It’s important to understand how the industry can make a meaningful difference,” said Turner. Prue Stone, head of sustainability at operator Explore!, said: “The tourism industry plays a really significant role in climate change. Our sustainability strategy stems from the UN’s sustainable development goals.” She also urged companies to adopt a “holistic approach” to their sustainability plans and avoid “silos” where they can become too focused on just one element of sustainability. “It’s not just about the customer experience, it’s about the community you visit and the impact you have there,” added Stone. “It can seem overwhelming sometimes but it doesn’t have to be – it’s not if you start simple. Changes have to work in the countries you’re putting them in; there has to be a line communication and engagement.”
Chris Haslam, Chief Travel Writer at The Sunday Times and also a panellist, added "Based on what we have seen from our readers, this enforced hiatus has made people think what they want from travel and what their responsibilities are in relation to the environment".
From Left: Prue Stone - Explore!; Daniel Turner – ANIMONDIAL; Chris Haslam - The Sunday Times; Alex Narracott - Much Better Adventures;