More customers will question the impact of their holidays on the world in the post-Covid environment, says the chairman of Atas.
G Adventures’ managing director Brian Young said the travel is “a massive force for good” when “done right”, and said customers will still want holidays.
“What we’re going to see is more customers questioning, ‘what’s the impact I’m making by taking this holiday’,” he added. “All of us have a big part to play. Our footprint, when we bring Atas together, is massive.
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“There’s no denying that, if it’s done right, travel is a massive force for good. And that’s where we are above some of the other sectors for sure. That’s where we really can demonstrate that we have a massive positive impact in communities, a massive impact to the economy of these places around the world.
“As we come out of this, that’s one of the key things that we can shout about. We do it really well, across all the companies [in Atas].
Cosmos chief executive Giles Hawke added: “All of us, prior to this pandemic have were focussing a lot on sustainability. And when you start looking at it, touring is a hugely sustainable way of taking people to places. It’s relatively small group, so the impact on local community is relatively little; the mode of transport [coach or bus] is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport.
“One the other big aspects is about the tourist dollar that stays in the destination. With touring holidays, you’re staying in local hotels, using local excursions, using local tour directors, guides, local experts. So, actually, our contribution – both economically and socially, as a sector – is extremely positive. We need to make more noise about that.”
Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold chief executive Ulla Hefel Böhler added: “So much of our money stays in the local businesses; it’s not just projects we support but also using local, small family-run restaurants, using farm to table places, local guides. I really do think we can make a difference.”
She added that touring holidays help play a role in “bringing the economic recovery to those communities” that they travel to.
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