As climate change and over tourism continue to threaten the way we travel, it’s crucial that the industry adapts to offer experiences that will not leave travellers with a guilty conscience.
We know the way we travel will be shaped by climate change in the years to come, and we know that our actions as travellers will work to either speed up or slow down the effects of environmental and cultural degradation.
With flight boycotts and bed burning protests predicted to come up in the not-too-distant future, many travel companies are scrambling to market their products as sustainable, and some are even making bank on their eco-conscience.
Ok, so it may not be THAT fast, but you catch our drift.
One thing is for sure, sustainability is beginning to having an impact on how travellers spend their money.
To find out more about what travel companies can do to adapt, we had a chat to World Expeditions Travel Group CEO, Sue Badyari.
“As climate change happens, increasing numbers of travellers will look to minimise their carbon footprint while travelling,” Badyari said.
“The adventure niche is perfectly positioned for this.”
The demand to visit more remote areas and less frequented destinations correlates with travellers’ awareness of the effects of over tourism and sustainability.
As a result, the onus is on travel companies like World Expeditions to make sure these areas stay protected.
“The drive to get to more remote destinations is constant,” Badyari said.
“One of our camping-based, trekking holidays would have to be one of the greenest holidays on the planet.”
“In Nepal, we know that people choose to travel with us because we don’t burn wood at all and because we stay in exclusive campsites, rather than tea houses.”
“As more people become aware of the devastating effects of deforestation, they’re demanding green alternatives.”
“Travellers want to ensure their travel experiences are child and animal-friendly.”
“All World Expeditions’ itineraries involving animals have been vetted to ensure they have the wellbeing of the animals front and centre.”
“Similarly, travellers demand that their chosen operators have programs which ensure children are protected.”
“World Expeditions became the first Australian tour operator to remove all instances of orphanage tourism from its programs back in 2013.”
In fact, World Expeditions are so ahead of the game on sustainable travel, they’re holding a Thoughtful Traveller Q&A session tonight, which you can live stream here, where agents can learn about important issues affecting their clients travel.
According to World Expeditions’ Responsible Travel Manager, Donna Lawrence, travel agents are on the front line – they are the people talking to travellers every day, so it’s important they understand the issues that are important to their clients.
“Responsible Travel sits at the core of our ethos and we work hard to incorporate its principles in all aspects of operations,” she said.
“As well as collaborating with leading organisations in the Responsible Travel space, we believe we have a responsibility to educate our travellers, our trade partners and the wider travelling community about the concepts of Responsible Travel.”