Comment: Responsible travel is a USP

Comment: Responsible travel is a USP

During the judging of G Adventures’ Responsible Tourism Ambassador competition a few weeks ago, one of the contestants revealed he’d never been asked about responsible travel in the eight years he’d been an agent.

But having noticed a trend towards more authentic, experiential travel, he realised it made business sense to make responsible holidays a USP.

In fact, all the agents in the final had identified clear markets for selling responsible travel – taking it from just a buzzword to a commercial opportunity.

Whether that be older customers wanting an immersive experience as they become more active in their later years; families keen for their children to get under the skin of a country; or young people having an unforgettable adventure – all were viable customers for responsible travel.

And underpinning all of the demographics was the desire to not just take from a holiday but to give something back.

This theme continued at Travel Weekly’s first Touring & Adventure Showcase last week, at which more than 100 guests heard how a growing number of holidays were involving an element of social enterprise and contribution to the communities they visit.

And this week, we report on how even Thomas Cook’s Club 18-30 is responding to the trend by teaming up with G Adventures to offer 10 of its trips. That’s not to say the likes of Malia and Ibiza are under threat, but there is definitely a growing number of people who want more than clubbing all night and recovering on the beach all day.

Agents who recognise these ‘responsible’ travellers – throughout their life cycles – and stay ahead of the curve, will not only prosper but help sustain destinations so our industry is still going strong for years to come.

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