Trafalgar’s CEO has urged the industry to avoid taking a linear approach to sustainable travel and to “be genuine to our very core”.
Speaking to Travel Weekly during his recent visit to Australia, Gavin Tollman acknowledged that while the aviation industry is copping a lot of criticism over its carbon emissions, those who choose to fly shouldn’t be scorned upon.
“I think it’s something to be aware of, but not ashamed of,” he said.
“I’m not embarrassed to have flown here. I have no other way of getting to Australia.”
However, that’s not to say that Tollman ignores the issue. Through The Travel Corporation’s TreadRight Foundation, Trafalgar’s CEO purchased carbon offsets for his flights to help tackle another of the world’s major environmental concerns: the Amazon fires.
Over the last few years, Tollman has also transitioned from being a keen motorcyclist to a “huge advocate” of e-bikes, noting that he uses them everywhere.
“We have over 75 people who work in our office in Geneva, and public transportation in Switzerland is extraordinary,” Tollman said.
“I really challenged the team there, ‘How many of us actually have to drive?’. It turned out there were only four.”
Trafalgar’s CEO’s said the industry and the broader population cannot just look at sustainable travel in a linear way by putting all their energy and effort into flight shaming.
“What would drive me mad is to find out that someone who’s focused on shaming air travel thinks it’s fine to drive a big-arse V8 every single day,” he said.
“Let’s be genuine to our very core.”