*By Euromonitor International
Euromonitor International is delighted to launch its first ever Sustainable Travel Index to help destinations and travel businesses make the necessary transformation to a more sustainable and purpose-driven tourism model post-pandemic.
One year on, travel and tourism continues to be challenged significantly by travel bans, restrictions and new health protocols as governments grapple to contain the virus and its multiple impacts. Undeniably, the pandemic shone a harsh light on the flaws and limitations of the volume-driven tourism model that is no longer fit for purpose.
As destinations around the world seek to reopen in a way that protects local communities but equally preserves livelihoods, there is growing awareness by consumers, businesses and governments for the need to chart a path that puts people and planet on a par with profit. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint, travel and tourism businesses are joining forces to declare a climate emergency, and looking to sustainability champions such as Intrepid Travel to lead the way.
Only by embarking on a sustainable transformation, powered by technology and data, is there a secure future for travel and tourism to ensure that SMEs can survive, and remain relevant in a post-COVID age.
That’s where we believe that, as a market research company, we have an important role to play. Leveraging Euromonitor’s vast internal data and expertise on Travel, Sustainability, Economies and Consumers, along with insights from partners such as the Travel Foundation and Greenview, we have analysed each country’s comparative performance across the seven key pillars identified to make up sustainable tourism. These pillars look at 99 countries through the lens of environmental, social and economic sustainability, country risk as well as sustainable tourism demand, transport and lodging.
Overall, there are 58 data indicators across the pillars with each allocated a respective weighting. Using the weightings by pillar helps us to derive the final index ranking, helping us to determine the positive or negative effects of each country’s sustainable travel and tourism offer in a holistic way. Through case studies, we aim to highlight interesting examples of best practice and provide a source of inspiration.
This is the first edition of the Sustainable Travel Index research and we look forward to sharing the results to build the foundations for a successful recovery for communities, travel businesses and ultimately provide the best experience for visitors.
The opinions expressed in this text are the author’s opinion and do not necessarily reflect the position of WTM Latin America.