Travel industry is getting greener again, albeit slowly

Travel industry is getting greener again, albeit slowly

The global travel industry is taking the environment more seriously this year than last, reveals the World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report released today (Monday 6 November) at WTM London.

In the annual poll of industry professionals, 71% of respondents said that the environment was quite (35%) or extremely (36%) important to their business. This is more than 10% higher than last year, when the total was 31% and 30% respectively.

In both years, one in ten of the sample said that the environment was not at all or not very important.

However, the renewed commitment to sustainability revealed in the 2017 Report, compared with 2016, is still some way short of the level of interest revealed in the 2015 and 2014 reports. In 2015, 82% said that the environment was quite (44%) or very (38%) important while 2014 the proportion was even higher with 86% claiming the environment was important.

This year’s report also found a slight increase in the number of businesses with a carbon emissions reduction policy, although more than one-third (38%) of travel firms do not have a policy in place. However, this is better than 2016 when 46% of the sample were ignoring the issue. In 2015 the proportion without a policy was also 46%.

One-in-four (25%) respondents said in the current report that their firm had a policy and was implementing it, compared with one-in-five (20%) in 2016. This year’s figure is close to 2015 when 27% of respondents said they were implementing a policy in their business.

But there are still 6% of firms in 2017 who have a policy but are not enforcing it, a slight improvement on 2016’s 8%. In 2015 it was back at 6%.

The most common responses this year, when asked about what was holding back wider adoption, were around the perceived additional cost of carbon-friendly practices and the feeling that there is little public support.

When asked how travel compares with other industries when it comes to reducing emission, 43% believe travel is doing a better job. In 2016, 38% said travel was leading the way.

And when it comes to who should be taking the lead on reducing carbon emissions, 50% said the industry should take responsibility with 46% laying the onus on governments.  Last year the emphasis on industry action was stronger, with 55% of the sample saying travel firms should take control with 42% leaving it up to the governments.

The annual Word Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report also asks UK travellers about their attitude towards responsible tourism. The report released today shows that 76% of British holidaymakers consider the environment when making their travel decisions, a single percentage point higher than in 2016.

However, when asked about sustainability in the 2015 Report, only 61% of Brits were thinking about the environment when thinking about travel.

World Travel Market London’s Paul Nelson, said: “The travel industry has been talking about the need to reduce carbon emissions for some time. These findings show the situation is getting better, but still has much room for improvement, starting with those firms which do have a policy in place making sure it is implemented.

“The annual report also helps track consumer attitudes over time, and it looks as if British travellers are thinking more about the environment than a few years ago.

“Suppliers which implement and promote green initiatives can tap into this interest from travellers for the good of their business, their travellers’ experience and of course the planet.”

– ENDS –


About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises five leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. 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. Around 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL – London every November generating around £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. Next event: 6-8 Nov 2017 – London.

 International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from over 65 countries. Next event: 11-14 Dec 2017 – Cannes.

 WTM Latin America now in its fifth edition attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates US$ 370 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.

 WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.

 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.

 About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than 7m participants.

About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

More information, please contact:

Paul Nelson – WTM Portfolio PR Manager


T: +44 (0)20 8910 7032/ M: +44 (0)79 1955 5510

Natalia Hartmann – WTM Portfolio PR Executive


T: +44 (0)20 8439 5535/ M: +44 (0)74 0336 7331

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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