ABTA Travel Convention 2022

ABTA launches guidance to help agents boost sustainability measures

ABTA has launched new guidance to help travel agents incorporate sustainability into their business practices.

The guidance, free to members and developed in response to feedback from travel agents, is in “recognition of the growing appetite among consumers for sustainable travel”, ABTA said.

It focuses on four areas – environment, destination management, animal welfare and human rights – as identified in ABTA’s Tourism for Good report.

As well as summarising the different issues within each area, the guidance also includes advice on steps agents can take and case studies on what industry is doing, including from agents, tour operators and other suppliers.

ABTA has listed three key recommendations when it comes to operating in more sustainable ways, including identifying actions to reduce resource use; discovering how suppliers are addressing sustainability, and the manner in which sustainable holiday choices are communicated to clients.

The guidance is relevant for all types of agents,  including online travel agents, those with high street stores or individuals working from home.

ABTA stated that its own research shows that almost three times as many people now say that sustainability is important to them when planning their holiday, compared to 10 years ago.

ABTA: ‘Sustainable travel on the agenda’

ABTA director of industry relations Susan Deer added: “Sustainability is rising up the agenda on all fronts – from customers to politicians, but it can be hard for travel agents to know where to start when it comes to adopting a sustainable approach as well as finding the time and resource to do this.

“We know agents have a lot on their plate in terms of rebuilding from the pandemic, so we want to make it as easy as possible for them to look at how they can incorporate sustainability into their businesses.

“Through our guidance we hope to help agents see how they can approach sustainability, recognising that even small steps can make a big difference, and that activities could help to save money on overheads and support sales conversations with customers.”

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