EasyJet Holidays CEO tracks ‘seismic shift’ in travel’s attitude to sustainability

EasyJet Holidays CEO tracks ‘seismic shift’ in travel’s attitude to sustainability

There’s been a ‘seismic shift’ in attitudes from travel providers towards the importance of sustainability in recent years, the boss of EasyJet Holidays told World Travel Market.

Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, introduced the operator’s CEO Garry Wilson on stage as one of the early adopters of sustainability in the industry, who understood its importance more than 20 years ago.

In reply, Mr Wilson said: “Back in 2001 sustainability as a concept was seen to be quite novel, something that people knew was the right thing to do but difficult to articulate and very much the premise of niche tourism. The thing that I am hugely reassured by is just the seismic shift of understanding about sustainability and why it is important.”

He said the issue of sustainability in travel is now “on an industrial level”, with “aircraft being designed, hotels built and destinations being developed”.

“The entire industry is involved,” he said. 

Mr Wilson joined EasyJet Holidays in 1999 from TUI Group, where he was Managing Director for Group Product and Purchasing, heading a global team across 20 countries. 

Mr Goodwin told Mr Wilson he had been surprised when he moved to EasyJet, asking why he made the move and whether he had regretted it.

Mr Wilson replied: “In all the time I worked in tourism, EasyJet was always discussed in terms of rapid growth. The one thing they had never ventured into was tour operating. 

“I could stay where I was at TUI – I owe my career to TUI and I loved what I was doing there. 

“On the other hand, there was an opportunity for me to set something up from scratch in a way that I would like to set it up and build the culture and outlook in a way that I wanted. 

“The opportunity to do that was too good to turn down. One of the real temptations for me, which has proved hugely rewarding, is that there was nothing there before. This will be our approach to how we develop destinations and how we work with hotels.”

EasyJet Holidays carried 300,000 passengers in 2019, 1.1m in 2022 “will grow significantly more in the next year”, Mr Wilson said. 

EasyJet Holidays is committed to offsetting 100% of carbon emissions as well as forming close relationships with the people and communities in its destinations. 

The company has said it wants to ‘raise the bar, positively shake things up and lead the industry’ in sustainability. 

He said companies that embrace sustainability will have happy customers, a much higher repeat rate – which in turn leads to lower marketing costs. 

He warned some emerging destinations often don’t think about the social or environmental impacts and said the local community needs to be involved in plans and implementation too. 

Mr Wilson also called out people who are “snobby” about all inclusives, and who criticise them for taking income away from local businesses.

“I hate the snobbery that’s attached to the idea of all inclusives and I hate the attitude that for some reason having an all inclusive destination destroys local communities and business. 

“There’s not a business case to show that. The hotel probably would employ a good few thousand people. That hotel would be sourcing tons and tons of food, creating wealth. 

“As long as the wages and standard of living that they are providing is good, I support all inclusive.” 




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World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents. The events are:


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. The show facilitates business connections for the global (leisure) travel community. Senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating travel industry contracts. 

Next live event: Monday 7 to 9 November 2022 at ExCel London and 6-8 November 2023 at ExCel London.  http://london.wtm.com/


Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 30th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2022 attracted over 23,000 visitors and hosted over 30,000 participants including 1,500 exhibitors and attendees from 150 countries, across 10 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai

Next in-person event: Monday 1 to Thursday 4 May 2023, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai



Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2023. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes ILTM Arabia, ARIVAL Dubai, Influencers’ events and activations, ITIC, GBTA Business Travel Forums, as well as ATM Travel Tech. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events as well as a series of country forums. 



WTM Latin America takes place annually in the city of São Paulo and attracts around 20,000 tourism professionals during the three-day event. The event offers qualified content together with networking and business opportunities. In this its ninth edition – there have been eight face-to-face events along with a 100% virtual one, which was held in 2021 – WTM Latin America continued to focus on effective business generation, and achieved the advance booking of six thousand meetings that were held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors in 2022.

Next event: Monday April 3rd to Wednesday 5th April 2023 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil



WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.  In 2022, WTM Africa facilitated more than 7 thousand unique pre-scheduled appointments, an increase of more than 7% compared to 2019 and welcomed more than 6 thousand visitors (unaudited), the same number as in 2019.

Next event: Monday 3 to Wednesday 5 April 2023 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town http://africa.wtm.com/


About ATW Connect:  Africa Travel Week’s digital arm, is a virtual hub packed to the seams with interesting content, industry news and insights, and the opportunity to hear from experts on a variety of topics in our new monthly webinar series. All with the aim to keep all of us in the travel and tourism industry connected. ATW Connect focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology.



WTM Global Hub, is the new WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub. https://hub.wtm.com/


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