The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the travel industry, which must now be rebuild “in a more responsible and resilient way”, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said in a recent report.
The association’s “Tourism for Good – A Roadmap for Rebuilding Travel and Tourism” provides a framework for collaborative action to build better places to live in and visit.
According to its findings, more than half of people (52 percent) believe that the travel industry should open in a greener way, as concern for the environmental impacts of travel continues to rise.
Meanwhile, consumers have been increasingly keen to know that their holidays benefit the people and places they visit, with research from 2020 revealing that half (49 percent) consider the sustainability credentials of their holiday provider to be important or essential when choosing which company to book with, compared to only a fifth back in 2011.
The value of UK outbound tourism
The report also emphasizes the huge value and contribution of UK outbound tourism, both domestically and internationally, in terms of job creation, livelihood opportunities and social benefits for local communities.
New research from CEBR shows that the aggregate global GVA (gross value added) of UK outbound tourism is estimated at $81.4 billion and supports 2.7 million jobs, while in the UK, it generates £37 billion (1.8 percent of GDP) in aggregate economic impact and 526,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
For certain destinations – The Maldives, Jamaica, Cyprus, Malta, Mauritius, Greece, Spain and Portugal – which rely heavily on tourism, UK holidaymakers alone make a marked contribution of more than 1 percent of national GDP.
Through case studies and examples, the report also outlines how the industry is taking steps to address its biggest issues by decarbonising, cutting waste and water consumption, ensuring that local people benefit from tourism.
Underpinned by a series of nine core principles, the “Tourism for Good” report sets out a roadmap to guide ABTA’s commitment to working with its members, their suppliers, destination authorities, travellers and the wider travel industry.
“The ‘Tourism for Good’ report is designed to act as a strategic framework to guide our activities as the industry reopens and evolves. The core principles include, for example, the need for tourism to be sustainable and resilient against future shocks, for policies and actions to be designed in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the urgent need to accelerate decarbonisation,” said Clare Jenkinson, Head of Sustainability at ABTA.
The full report is available online at www.abta.com/tourismforgood.