Sustainability

How can we make tourism more sustainable? Here's how

Recently updated on December 4th, 2023 at 02:22 pm

We really believe travel can have a positive impact on the world – but how can we make tourism more sustainable? It takes action, not just good intentions. It’s why we’re really proud to share our second annual sustainability Impact Report, detailing the real progress and actions we’ve made against our 11 sustainability goals.  

Together with The Travel Corporation’s sister brands and our TreadRight Foundation, we made a promise in 2020 when we launched our 5-year sustainability strategy How We Tread Right. This strategy is underpinned by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, solidifying our mission to make travel a force for good. Together, WE MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®.      

Over the past year we’ve been moving even closer to sustainable tourism and responsible travel, making progress on our goals to support communities, wildlife and environments all over the world. 

Let’s look at a handful of ways we can make tourism more sustainable, and what we’ve achieved this year to address climate action, sustainable food production, responsible consumption, diversity, equity and inclusion and animal welfare. 

Aim for net zero emissions

Originally, our goal was for The Travel Corporation to be carbon neutral by 2030, but with science telling us to prioritise carbon reductions over all else (including carbon offsets) we changed our goal in 2022 to be even more ambitious and impactful. 

GOAL 1: Reach net zero GHG emissions by 2050 

Now we’re the first global tour operator to have our near-term, long-term and net zero targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. We’ve established an industry-first Carbon Fund, which will finance our path to decarbonization. 

RELATED BLOG: How Trafalgar is taking action to reduce our impact to net zero emissions

Use renewable energy

Looking for ways to incorporate renewable energy into our responsible travel and operations is making a big difference.

GOAL 2: Source 50% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025  

In 2022 we sourced 44% of our total global electricity needs from renewable sources, up 20% over the previous year. 

Most of the change to renewables came from our choice of accommodation, but we also generated more than 1.6 million kWh of electricity from solar panels at nine sites across The Travel Corporation – that’s enough to power 550 homes for an entire year! 

 In Europe, we’ve equipped 48 coaches with solar panels across our brands including Trafalgar, helping extend the life of the coach’s battery. 

Eat local, eat organic

By eating local and choosing organic (where possible) we’re supporting local communities, eating better, and cutting food miles. 

GOAL 4: Increase use of local & organic food products across our supply chain 

For Trafalgar, our goal is to have at least one local dining experience across 80% of our itineraries by 2025.

Reduce waste, go digital

We’re moving away from printed brochures, and are thinking carefully about where and how we print. For more than 24 years we’ve been sourcing paper that is certified from sustainability-managed forests, but reduction is the goal to become a more sustainable tourism business.

GOAL 5: Reduce printed brochures by 50% by 2025 

We’re happy to report that at Trafalgar we’ve reduced our printed brochures by 82% since 2019!  

We MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

When we ask ourselves how can we make tourism more sustainable, we look to experiences too. Our responsible travel experiences are carefully chosen to leave a positive impact on the places and people we visit. Endorsed by industry experts, our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences are directly related to the UN Global Goals.

GOAL 7: Include at least 1 MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience across 50% of itineraries by 2025  

Here at Trafalgar we like to make ambitious goals – and smash them. It’s why we’re extra proud to report that we delivered 111 MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences across 63% of our itineraries – with more in the pipeline.  

Find strength in diversity

We harness diversity across the business to make sustainable travel better. That means everything from hiring graduate female coders to reduce the gender diversity gap in tech, to working with businesses owned by underrepresented populations such as women, LGBTQIA+ people, Black or Indigenous people, or people with different abilities.

GOAL 9: Increase our diversity and inclusion efforts 

A lot of our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences support the UN Global Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. By partnering and empowering underrepresented minorities we’re able to give our guests a richer, responsible travel experience at the same time.

Most importantly, in 2022 we launched Woman Only trips, which create safe environments for solo female travelers and support female-owned businesses.

RELATED BLOG: Ladies, assemble! Introducing Trafalgar’s women’s only tours

GET INSPIRED: Women Only Tours

Give back to the community  

At our head offices across the globe, we’re giving back by giving up time.

GOAL 10: Complete 30,000 volunteer hours by 2025  

In 2022, The Travel Corporation completed 7,471 volunteering hours, bringing our total to 46% of our goal.  

Think about creatures big and small  

There’s no excuse for animal abuse. It’s why we have a strict Animal Welfare policy to make sure those without a voice don’t suffer.

Goal 11: Ensure all wildlife experiences adhere to our Animal Welfare Policy 

We’re happy to confirm 100% of our wildlife experiences continue to adhere to our Animal Welfare Policy.

Anything else to add about how we can make tourism more sustainable? Leave us a comment….

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