In November, world leaders congregated at COP26 where executives from the travel and tourism sector like many other global industries, committed to a goal of reaching net-zero by 2050.
Prior to the pandemic this industry was thriving contributing to approximately 10% of global GDP but producing 11% of global greenhouse gases in 2019. To combat this, recent pledges have been made to help implement a new strategy for the travel industry, here we look at what sustainable travel could look like in 2022.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg propelled the term ‘Slow Travel’ into mainstream media as millions watched her sail across the Atlantic Ocean as opposed to flying. The purpose was to highlight the impact of aviation on global warming, but slow travel has other benefits outside of carbon neutrality. Many travellers adjusted to life in quarantine which was slower and for many more peaceful than what was before. Priorities changed, and relaxation, community and sustainability became priorities.
One start-up embracing the trend is French business Midnight Trains who are planning to launch a “hotel on rails” network in 2024 that will offer routes from Paris to 12 different European destinations. The European Commission also declared 2021 the European Year of Rail so we are likely to see more brands adopting travel by train.
Sustainable tourism is not only about environmentally friendly practices, but also about leaving a positive impact on cultures, economies and amongst the local communities. More now than ever travellers want brands that are both eco-conscious and doing their part in communities across the world.
Joro is a certified B-Corp travel company in the UK that specialises in creating inspiring trips that allow travellers to enjoy the norms of a holiday abroad and help communities in the process. In a recent article with The Times co-founder Henry Comyn discussed how travellers don’t always need high-adrenaline trips to have fun, and that many want meaningful adventures that give back to people or the planet.
Carbon neutral travel
As one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse emissions carbon neutrality is an important yet difficult task for the travel industry. But companies like Sustainable Travel International have recently begun offering travellers the chance to calculate their flight emissions using an online calculator and offset emissions through their platform.
Whilst tour operator Exo Travel has created a way to measure the average carbon footprint of activities that guests partake in during holidays and then funds a compensation scheme to support sustainability projects across Asia. This is a great way of actively reducing each guests’ carbon footprint.
In November the International Air Transport Association said they wanted aviation to reach net-zero by 2050. This is a step in the right direction for sustainable aviation as global commercial fleet in-service is set to increase to 20,700 by the end of 2022 to accommodate a 47% growth rate in passenger capacity.
British Airways is set to become the first airline worldwide to use UK-produced sustainable aviation fuel SAF in the early months of 2022. The fuel is produced using sustainable waste feedstock and will be delivered to BA via pipeline infrastructure that links directly to UK airports. To help achieve their net-zero target by 2050 BA is set to purchase enough fuel to reduce lifecycle C02 emissions by almost 100,000 tons. The airline has set a precedent with many other predicted to follow suit.
If you would like to discuss how a proactive communications strategy could help highlight your businesses’ sustainable practices in the media, get in touch today.