Experts have outlined recommendations ahead of Dubai's upcoming Cop28 forum
Ahead of Cop28 due to take place in Dubai from November, the fourth edition of the A World For Travel (AWFT23) forum is currently taking place in Seville, Spain alongside the Tourism Innovation Summit.
Dozens of experts are convening to share their expertise and visions on the essential actions required to make travel more sustainable.
AWFT23 secretary general Christian Delom commented: “The sustainable transformation of travel and tourism requires consistency, determination, foresight and leadership and most of all, time and money.
"This transformation is inevitable. While the world is increasingly unstable, we need to collaborate and clarify issues that prioritise investment in research in order to facilitate faster change.”
The travel industry continues to create a major environmental impact. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the industry accounted for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly due to the large amount of energy used by the various forms of transport.
Among the major questions being addressed during the forum is that of transportation and the marketplace’s inability to produce and distribute sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) in the quantities necessary.
Currently, less than 1% of aviation fuel is SAF and in the maritime sector, it's only just beginning. In addition to production and distribution issues, there is widespread uncertainty about the impact of SAF on the performance of planes and ships.
Solutions Addressing Future Trends
A broad selection of travel and tourism sustainability initiatives are being discussed at the Seville forum, including Radisson Hotel Group’s expansive programmes leading sustainability in hospitality.
Inge Huijbrechts, the Group’s Global SVP of Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications, said: “As a leading global hotel company, we have committed to become Net Zero by 2050, with targets based in science and through participation in various industry initiatives growing responsible tourism based on trusted, verified sustainability labels for hotels, such as Hotel Sustainability Basics and the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality.”
AXA Partners head of Travel Solutions Alastair Crossley added: “Since the global pandemic, consumer behaviours have evolved and adapted, and we saw some new habits arise, like bleisure travel where people travel for business and then stay for leisure.
"At the same time, the Millenials and Gen Z segments are the fastest growing and they will represent 50% of all travellers by 2025, so we will need to adapt our solutions to support them.”
Recommendations from AWFT23
The Seville event has split the sustainability challenge into five areas – environment, climate, economic, technical and societal – and outlined the following recommendations moving forward:
- Develop more surface travel products and more eco-friendly modes of transport.
- Communicate and merge sustainability with safety and security.
- Prepare for price increases, notably carbon pricing, to fund more research and development of renewable energy sources and water conservation methods.
- Make sustainability a priority through corporate policies. Travel policies need to be in line with sustainability goals and training needs to be internal as well as external.
- Cross sector collaboration needs to proliferate so consensus on terminology, measurement and response is reached as quickly as possible.
For more information, visit www.aworldfortravel.org