ABTA to develop green retail strategy

ABTA to develop green retail strategy

Sustainability featured high on the ABTA agenda today following a debate and talk from industry experts. In the ‘Destination Sustainability’ session, ABTA Head of Destinations and Sustainability Nikki White said the association is looking to provide more advice to travel agencies on the matter. “We’re working most in the retail sector and want to build a strategy for retail members,” she explained. “We will develop initiatives across all departments and not just supply chains.” White added that green efforts should eventually become ‘part of the housekeeping’. Meanwhile, The Travel Foundation’s Chief Executive Sue Hurdle said that agents need to take notice of the environment as it could affect product availability and business. Being green is also important to customers, after TUI Distribution Director UK and Ireland Nick Longman said that 82% of its clients cared about climate change and 92% expect companies to help tackle it. In addition, ABTA’s own research has shown that 47% of consumers believe a travel company should help the communities it sells to and 33% want to know how their travel company benefits the destination they are visiting. However, some agencies voiced their frustration at customers not opting for green holidays, despite their best efforts to promote them. In response, White warned agents not to confuse a holiday with a project and Professor Harold Goodwin suggested showing clients videos or interviews from customers who had already been on the tours. “Travel agents have a big opportunity to open up new tours and experiences,” he said. “Clients can share their experiences and build up interest.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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