15 Apr 2021 Business Insights

How to be a Sustainable Travel Brand

The year started with optimism, even though the UK went into a national lockdown in January. However, the vaccine rollout now means there’s an endgame in sight for the pandemic. And while there is still some uncertainty about when we can all travel again, the thought of going on holiday is no longer a far-fetched dream.

For travel brands, that means gearing up for the return of holidaymakers with plenty of pent-up demand unleashed. But what will the travel industry look like post-Covid, and do brands have a responsibility to be more aware of sustainability?

In this guide, we’re looking at the benefits of being a sustainable travel brand from now on and how it can help you build better relationships with customers. So read on and find out everything there is to know about being a sustainable travel brand.

Environmental impact 👍

Placing emphasis on environmental and social considerations can help you bounce back better once the world resumes some form of normality. The pandemic and its restrictions have highlighted the importance of climate change and its impact on the planet in the years to come.

Unfortunately, travel was one of the biggest enablers affecting the environment negatively, especially air travel. And the reality is that fewer planes in the sky saw pollution around the world fall by almost a third during the first lockdown.

But what’s the long-term answer? Grounding flights is unrealistic, as it removes one of the biggest freedoms we have: the ability to go anywhere. Yet, travel brands can still promote sustainability and do their part for the environment.

Here’s how…

Being an ethical travel brand 🌍

The public has become more aware of the climate, and the themes of ethical responsibility and environmental sustainability have gained momentum in the last 12 months. People are making their concerns known, and brands are taking note.

There is a larger desire to buy products and services from ethical companies, with 88 per cent of customers saying they want the brands they buy from to make a difference. Travel brand AndBeyond knows this all too well and is just one of the many companies promoting sustainable travel.

The safari tour operator invests back into the environment and has installed an electrical microgrid at its Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp in Botswana. It’s only the second one on the continent and decreases the need for a generator, reducing the use of electricity. AndBeyond’s efforts are just one way that brands are trying to do their part.

Travelling better 🧳

Not all travel brands have a safari where they can implement environmentally friendly actions. But that’s not to say the environment can’t be front and centre of your efforts moving forward. We could very well be looking at a situation where the next battleground in travel is environmental and social, rather than convenience and price.

It’s prevalent in many industries, from finance to government policies. So why not travel? After all, out of all countries in the world, it’s the UK’s population who believe climate change is a major issue, with 81 per cent saying it’s a global emergency.

Therefore it’s up to brands to lead the way and show consumers they care about the environment and are actively taking actions to help. Sometimes we think of making sweeping changes when it comes to having an impact, but in this case, small changes can also help.

How to be a more sustainable travel brand ❤️

It’s possible to still go on holiday and do good in the process. And you can promote these ideas to your customers, whether it’s through more information on social media or creating content about how to travel sustainably.

Sustainable travel goes deeper than reducing carbon emissions; it’s also about protecting rare wildlife species. Over the years, we’ve seen a huge shift in holiday activities like riding elephants, as we now have more knowledge about how some of these animals are treated.

Again, as a travel brand, you can point people in the right direction when it comes to sustainable ways to holiday. That could be in the form of helping travellers reduce the carbon footprint or help sustain natural and local environments that see a large intake of tourists.

Making better decisions 🤔

Travel has a huge role to play in helping the earth breathe again. Consciously-minded travellers may well choose to fly less, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the travel and tourism industry will lose out overall.

For example, people could choose to go on holiday less frequently, but for longer time periods; or go on trips that benefit local communities. They may wish to stay at eco-friendly hotels or be more mindful when choosing excursions and activities, opting for things like environmentally friendly safaris.

It’s all about making small changes. Lots of people making incremental changes here and there soon adds up to significant changes globally. As a travel brand, you can communicate this message to your audience and help them make eco-conscious decisions when they book their next holiday.

Working for a better future

Socially conscious travel is here to stay, and people are becoming more aware of their ecological footprint. As a travel brand, you can promote these causes and champion sustainable travel. Doing so will help the environment and put you in good standing with your customers, who are eager to travel again, but in the right way.