A growing interest in green travel from consumers will drive the industry’s efforts to address the climate emergency, according to the WTM Industry Report released today.
Some 250 execs from around the world responded to the survey. When asked to rank what changes to the travel industry would help the climate emergency, nearly half (48%) specified the increased demand from travellers for green travel as the most relevant.
Respondents were able to choose more than one area of interest, which revealed some more specific responses. For example, nearly one-in-four believe that fewer flights is the most material factor under the industry’s control which can be changed for the better – 15% saying fewer long-haul with help the climate while a further 8% expect less short-haul trips.
At the same time, a large proportion (30%) think that a change in fuel usage will also be an important factor, suggesting an interest in sustainable aviation fuel and electric and/or hydrogen powered planes from within the industry. The importance of using alternative energy across the industry was cited by 39%.
Just over one-in-five (21%) believe that controlling the number of visitors to a specific destination will help.
Juliette Losardo, WTM Exhibition Director, observed:
“The demand for green travel is already forcing travel execs to think seriously about the climate emergency.
“Flights are not necessarily the problem, it’s the fuel used to power the flights which produces greenhouse gas emissions. We’re pleased that many of our respondents are aware that alternative fuels are in development and could make a large contribution to a greener future for aviation and for travel.”
The sample was also asked about issues around sustainability other than the climate, referencing the United Nations 17 Strategic Development Goals. Multiple responses were possible, with the top three areas of interest revealed as health and wellbeing for all, education and an end to poverty.
However, there are still some people within the industry who need educating on issues relating to the climate and sustainability – 8% of the sample believe that there is nothing that the industry can change to help the climate, while only 7% believe the industry has a role in promoting LGBTQIA+ rights.
Losardo continued: “WTM London has been championing travel’s role as a force for good, and we asked this question to gauge whether the travel industry was aware of sustainability issues beyond the climate.
“Overall, the responses prove that we as an industry do indeed care and are engaged across many areas of sustainability, but there are still areas where we need to improve.
“WTM London and our sister events across the portfolio will double down on educating the industry and providing practical guides, insight and analysis for travel to become an even stronger force for global good.”