Making Positive Changes
Climate change is happening now and we are committed to being part of the solution. The simple fact is that we all produce more carbon than our planet can manage, so we are on a mission to reduce our emissions year on year.
In January 2020 we were one of the founding signatories to Tourism Declares a Climate Change Emergency, committing to a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Since signing the declaration, we have chosen to go further by adopting science-based emission reduction targets, with the aim of achieving “True” Net Zero status by 2030. You can read more about what this means on our Carbon Footprint page.
The dilemma for tourism is very challenging. On one hand, travel and tourism contribute to 8% of total global carbon emissions (for context, transportation contributes 15% and agriculture 11%). On the other hand, it is the world’s largest employer, redistributing wealth, reducing poverty, providing social mobility while helping to protect the natural and cultural heritage around the world.
Taking aim at aviation, some climate activists suggest that one solution is to stop flying altogether, viewing this as a frivolous luxury the planet cannot afford. In our view, this is one-dimensional, and an end to international tourism reliant on air travel would be counter-productive condemning many countries to poverty and threatening those very ecosystems which are critical to mitigating the effects of climate change.
However, change is necessary and urgent. Our simple manifesto for 21st-century tourism seeks to address the negative impacts of tourism on climate change while ensuring the many positive benefits continue.