UK Tourism Giants Want to Help the Industry Map Out a Sustainable Future

UK Tourism Giants Want to Help the Industry Map Out a Sustainable Future

Some of the biggest names in the UK travel industry are banding together to help the sector that has been buffeted by a global recession, fluctuating fuel prices and resource shortages plan for a more sustainable future.

The founding partners of Tourism 2023 announced their plans today at the ABTA travel convention in Barcelona.

Working with the organization Forum for the Future, the founding partners are ABTA, British Airways, Carnival UK, the Co-operative Travel, the Travel Foundation, Thomas Cook and TUI Travel, according to a report on the group's work.

The effort also has had support from Defra, the U.K.'s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Advantage Travel Centres has since been noted as an early joiner in the group.

The firms that sign on with the group pledge to "collaborate to create a commercially sustainable tourism industry by the year 2023, which benefits communities in tourist destinations and protects the environment."

The group has already sketched out four scenarios that are intended to spark discussion on how to prepare for the future. The scenarios -- envisioned as "Boom and Burst," "Divided Disquiet," "Price and Privilege" and "Carbon Clampdown" -- require the group to consider how growing domestic demand, climate change, water and other scare resources, legislation and increasing travel from emerging economies will affect their industry.

The group says its considerations for the future will be based on six principles:

  • Protecting the environment,
  • Developing employees,
  • Providing customers with mainstream sustainable products,
  • Ensuring that destinations benefit from tourism,
  • Innovating to create sustainable transport and resorts,
  • Developing a business which is environmentally, socially and financially sustainable.

The group has also identified three potential areas for "urgent industry collaboration":

  • Demonstrating that tourism delivers real socio-economic benefit to tourist destinations,
  • Making tourism a low-carbon, low-impact industry,
  • Encouraging demand from customers for sustainable tourism.

More information on the group's efforts, including animations of the four scenarios of a possible future and a downloadable report (pdf) of the group's work, is available at

Image CC licensed by eisenbahner.