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  • Writer's picturePru Goudie

Hotelplan UK publishes first Planet & People report: Protecting Our Futures

by Pru Goudie

  • Travel group gives over £1.25 million to sustainability initiatives and charitable projects

  • Latest audit shows progress in decarbonisation, but highlights industry-wide challenges

Download Report Here

Hotelplan UK – the parent company of Explore Worldwide, Inghams, Esprit, Inntravel and Santa’s Lapland - has released its first Planet and People report, to follow on from its Climate and Biodiversity papers published early in 2023. 

The report, Protecting our Futures, tracks Hotelplan UK’s progress towards sustainability goals and incorporates elements of the group’s People strategy for the first time. It highlights where the group has surpassed targets – increasing investments in the planet and charity donations by more than 16% to £1.25 million, for instance - as well as addressing areas such as carbon reduction where efforts need further acceleration to meet Glasgow Declaration targets.

“It’s been an incredible trading year for our brands, but we’re publishing this report to show that healthy profits and passenger numbers aren’t our only objectives,” said Hotelplan UK CEO, Joe Ponte. “We’re focused on being a purpose-led organisation, meaning an equal focus on People, Planet and Profit is paramount. We’ve got a clear vision of the travel business we want to be and are excited to share the path we’ve mapped to get us there.”

Highlights of the report include:

Giving Back

  • Hotelplan UK invested over £1.15 million for the planet during its 2022/23 financial year – surpassing its £1 million commitment due to higher-than-projected passenger numbers

  • Investment went into carbon removal solutions with Klimate, biodiversity restoration with Rewilding Britan and environmental protection with Cool Earth

  • In addition, over £100,000 was given to charities and projects at brand level – up from £74,000 originally pledged

  • Hotelplan UK will invest a further £1 million in carbon removal and rewilding projects, plus donate a further £100,000 to charitable causes in its 23/24 financial year 

Carbon Footprint

  • The group’s intensity carbon footprint – based on tCO2e per passenger, per night – has decreased by 5%, year-on-year

  • The group’s absolute carbon footprint has increased by 42% due to uplifts in passengers and business travel

  • Going beyond GHG Protocol, Hotelplan UK’s absolute footprint includes estimated transport emissions for all passengers travelling to/from its trips – including those who booked land-only trips and arranged their own flights/transport

  • To specifically reduce flight emissions – which made up 75% of last year’s footprint - options for flight-free holidays have been increased and direct, economy flights are being sold by default


  • Hotelplan UK’s board and senior managers have had bonus targets equally aligned against People, Planet and Profit targets

  • Accessibility was improved at the group’s HQ to support DE&I, with the addition of gender-neutral toilets, braille signage, a wheelchair-adapted kitchen and quiet spaces

  • The group offers sustainability-centred benefits, including a low-carbon travel policy where team members can earn extra paid leave by swapping flights for lower-carbon alternatives

Hotelplan UK’s director of sustainability, Prue Stone, co-authored the report. She commented: “We’ve made encouraging progress by reducing our carbon footprint per passenger this year; and the expansion of our sustainability team means each brand now has an expert scrutinising its activities and driving change wherever possible. We want to be clear on the challenges of decarbonisation, however. In 2024, along with focusing on the factors we can directly control, we’re determined to work closely with partners and the industry to turn the dial on key issues such as comparable measurement methodologies, low carbon transport, activism and advocacy.

Nicky Lyle, Hotelplan UK’s group director of HR and another of the report’s authors, added: “Being an organisation that prioritises sustainability relies heavily on having a team that believes in the same vision; and strong internal commitment to recruiting people who share our values. We won’t achieve our planet goals unless we invest in our team – the two go hand-in-hand.  We’re pleased to share in this report how we’re bringing that to life and how we’re embedding sustainable behaviours and outputs across all areas of the business.”

“The road to a sustainable future for tourism is not an easy one, but we firmly believe that acting and communicating with transparency will speed the journey,” added Joe Ponte. “Witnessing progress inspires us all to do more – whilst being open about difficulties and vulnerabilities supports banding together to find solutions. This is the approach we’re taking at Hotelplan UK and we look forward to sharing further updates.”


The next Adventure Travel Networking Conference & Marketplace will take place on

27 & 29 February 2024 as a hybrid event.

See ATN24 Conference Agenda & Ticket Sales HERE


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