The Environment Chief at the European Commission has said that tourism is not behind other industries when it comes to sustainability.
Jesús Maria Alquézar Sabadie said in a recent conference: “I don’t think tourism is lagging behind. We need to reduce energy consumption, emissions, water consumption, waste. You can’t do everything at once. The pathway is education, collaboration and for operators and destinations that are not the most advanced to start.”
The Global Sustainable Destinations Summit heard from various people in the industry about where the sector was heading, its climate plans and how these can be improved.
Speaking after Mr Sabadie, Glenn Mandziuk from the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance added: “We want to send a message that the industry is ready for this. We’re at a tipping point. We have to make a difference. Time is running out and the industry must step up to the plate.”
According to Sustainable Travel International, tourism currently accounts for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions; making it a key area of focus for cutting carbon.
Starting with customers is key, according to Booking.com’s Kees Jan: “We need to work on the customer journey – how we create more awareness among customers. We can now see, through our data, that certain destinations implemented action on single-use plastics or energy reduction and come up with a targeted approach.”