Abta has published a report outlining the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global travel and the need to “rebuild a more responsible and resilient tourism industry”.
The report, entitled Tourism for Good – A Roadmap for Rebuilding Travel and Tourism, was unveiled as the association held its first virtual Travel Convention on Wednesday.
Abta said the pandemic had brought into relief the value of tourism to holidaymakers, the UK and destinations, and said that nine core principles outlined in the report provided a framework “for collaborative action to build better places to live in and better places to visit”.
It also said there was clear consumer demand for the industry to embrace sustainability in the future, with 52% of 2,000 people polled saying the industry should open in a greener way post-pandemic.
Central to the report is the belief that travel and tourism is a “powerful force for good”, although it also acknowledges challenges including the need to accelerate decarbonisation and ensure that tourism generates greater benefits for destinations and local communities.
The report also emphasises the contribution of UK outbound tourism, and calls on the UK government to support tourism’s contribution to economic development and employment, deliver policies to encourage transport providers to transition to greener technologies, and to help consumers to transition to low-carbon transport.
In order to track progress, Abta is encouraging members to use a sustainability indicator survey to assess current approaches to sustainability and identify areas that require more focus.
Clare Jenkinson, head of sustainability at Abta, said: “Building on Abta’s longstanding work on sustainability, 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.
“We commit to measuring the progress that is being made and identifying the areas where more work needs to be done.”
Mark Tanzer, chief executive, added: “Tourism’s unexpected standstill has given us a unique opportunity to reflect on the type of industry we want to rebuild, fit for the challenges we face and a contributor to the global good.
“I believe the future prosperity of the industry depends on putting sustainability at the heart of our recovery. This report therefore underlines Abta’s commitment to working with our members, the wider travel industry, and the UK government to create a more sustainable industry that allows everyone a share in its success.”
The full report can be viewed here.
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