October 31, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of the travel industry, sustainability has emerged as a crucial element that businesses must integrate into their operations. Our recent webinar, “Integrating Sustainability into Travel Businesses,” brought together a panel of experts to discuss the challenges and best practices for achieving this integration.




Challenges in integrating sustainability into operations


Integrating sustainability into travel businesses presents several challenges. First, there’s the complexity of comprehending the multifaceted nature of sustainability, encompassing environmental considerations, diversity, inclusion, and commercial aspects. Bridging the disconnect between what the travel industry reports as sustainable and what consumers genuinely seek in terms of sustainability options is another hurdle. Additionally, finding practical and sustainable alternatives for deeply ingrained practices, like heavy reliance on air travel in the industry, poses a significant challenge. Navigating these obstacles is essential for travel businesses looking to foster a more sustainable future.



Importance of slower travel experiences in increasing consumer satisfaction


Embracing slow travel, characterised by staying in one place, supporting local businesses, and selecting sustainable transportation, not only fosters more memorable and enriching experiences but also deepens the connection with the local culture. This approach is a win-win for both communities and travellers, as it aligns with the evolving demands of customers seeking positive travel experiences. Travellers want to feel that their presence enhances rather than degrades a destination. Slow and positive travel experiences not only cater to this demand but also lead to increased customer satisfaction, repeat bookings, and referrals. They also enhance your storytelling potential in marketing efforts, offering a more meaningful and sustainable vision of travel.




Certifications and tools to help with integration


Small businesses may find the laborious process of certification daunting, but such schemes offer invaluable guidance for implementing systematic sustainability practices within their operations. One valuable resource for beginning this journey is the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). For evaluation and certification, SP Sustain is a reputable accreditor that assesses travel businesses and destinations against GSTC standards, verifying their adherence to sustainable and responsible tourism criteria. Following these principles can significantly fortify your business, ensuring a commitment to sustainability while expanding your potential for success in the industry.



Key points


Integrating sustainability into businesses should no longer be framed as an option, it is essential. 

A huge range of destinations are being negatively affected by the climate crisis, so even if your focus is purely commercial, it is still imperative to integrate sustainability into operations to ensure your destinations are protected. 

Travelling in the right way, with care for the destination and compassion for the people on the ground has a positive effect on your business. 

Start by understanding the baseline criteria for sustainability in the travel industry, as provided by organisations like the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

Implement, measure, and monitor sustainability practices to ensure they are making a positive impact. 

Consider carbon offsetting as an interim solution while other sustainable practices are being implemented, but recognise that it is not a long-term solution.


If this webinar caught your eye and you’d like to hear more about going paperless with a travel app, book a meeting with us today or start a free trial. 


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