Make travel matter

Make travel matter

The travel industry has a huge responsibility to help make travel matter and reduce carbon emissions to mitigate climate change, writes Anthony Lim

Cartagena Colombia, Photo credit: Luxury Gold

While the travel industry is buoyed by the response it has been receiving from globe-trotters, travel enthusiasts are in turn enthused by the rise of budget airlines that has helped them fulfil their travel dreams. However, this also means that the travel industry has a huge responsibility to help make travel matter and reduce carbon emissions to mitigate climate change.

Time is running short as climate change has already caused many irreversible changes. Iceland has lost its first glacier, Okjökull, to climate change in 2014 and the size of glaciers have been reduced by 12% since 2000. Drought conditions are worsening in Australia and closer home, India suffered an exceptionally dry spell last year. Scientists have also predicted that rising sea levels may cover Maldives, Seychelles and parts of Hawaii before the end of the century.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) states that changes in climate and extreme weather events have already begun to affect biodiversity across the globe. Deforestation in the Brazilian
Amazon has started to put wildlife and plants at risk of extinction and local communities, and businesses that use natural resources from the forest are at risk of being affected by these changes affecting the Amazon rainforest.

Travel is an incredible gift. It has the ability to open our eyes, our hearts and our minds to the unique cultures and wonders of the world. As travellers seek more responsible alternatives to explore the world, choosing the right travel company that can help make travel matter is important..

 

Here are some questions that can help a traveller evaluate his/her choice of a travel company and be more responsible while travelling:

What type of sustainable tourism policy do you have in place to protect the wildlife
and places we care about most? 

What are your plans for going carbon neutral?

Do you have a strategy in place to reduce single-use plastics?

Do you support the economic well-being of local people such as using local guides?

Do you reinvest any of your profits back into the places you visit?

Do you help your customers have a better understanding on how their travel
impacts our planet, its people and wildlife?

Being aware of the problem, the solution of sustainable travel, and those organisations that are making travel a force for good, will empower us to collectively make travel matter.

(The author is managing director, Insight Vacations & Luxury Gold, Asia)

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