Published on : Monday, September 11, 2017
Make Holidays Greener, a summer campaign run by ABTA in partnership with Travelife for Hotels and Accommodations ends the summer season with resounding success, with the travel industry raising awareness of greener holidays to thousands of holidaymakers worldwide.
As well as the long standing beach clean activity, Make Holidays Greener introduced 15 pledges to help holidaymakers be more sustainable on holiday.
The 15 pledges covered all aspects of a holiday from taking care of the local environment to supporting local communities in holiday destinations and included simple actions like eating local food to saying no to plastic. There was also the option to design your own pledge.
In total, over 840 pledges have been made by holidaymakers. Eating and drinking at local restaurants was the most popular pledge, with 213 holidaymakers saying they would do this on their summer holiday. Another 79 promised to switch off electricity, 79 said they would reduce, reuse and recycle on holiday and 72 said they would learn the local language and talk to the locals. There was also the opportunity to ‘create your own pledge’ including having a ‘‘leaving no sign of our visits for picnics’ and ‘respecting local wildlife’. Holidaymakers also promised to ‘tell the world’ if they saw good sustainability practices on holiday too.
The campaign was also supported by a travel blogger, The Travel Hack, who pledged to ‘say no to plastic’ saying that she would take a collapsible water bottle on holiday instead.
In addition to encouraging holiday maker pledges, the industry has also taken action.
Over 2,500 people are estimated to be involved in 79 beach clean activities taking place this year. So far 4,660kg of rubbish has been collected across 17 countries worldwide.
ABTA Member, Noble Caledonia gave their customers the opportunity to take part in a clean-up as part of their expedition aboard MS Hebridean Sky in Norway and two Travelife Gold Hotels including Diamonds La Gemma dell`Est in Zanzibar and Atlantica Princess in Rhodes in Greece both managed to collect 350kg of rubbish each.
Barrhead Travel committed to a plastic free day in their office, Midcounties Cooperative encouraged their customers to make a pledge to receive extra loyalty points. TUI Group will have completed 49 beach cleans by the end of September having already collected 1,700kg of waste throughout July and August. Thomas Cook Mexico organised a turtle conservation project and other ABTA Members have been actively promoting the 15 pledges using the hashtag #MHG17 on social media.
Nikki White, Director of Destinations & Sustainability at ABTA said: “We are delighted with the number of pledges that holidaymakers and the travel industry have made to reduce and improve their environmental and socio-economic impacts in destinations. Make Holidays Greener 2017 has raised awareness of the various ways we can help through the 15 pledges which also included buying local souvenirs, protecting local children and saving water. I would like to thank everyone who has taken part this year.”
Stavros Panayides, Hotel Manager of Mythos Beach Resort, a Travelife Gold certified hotel in Rhodes, Greece said: “We have been participating in the Make Holidays Greener campaign for some years. In particular, we have involved a special needs children’s school and an orphanage to participate in the beach clean-ups as well as our guests and staff members. We wanted to highlight the importance of keeping the environment clean and to maintaining the natural habitat and we believe it sets a good example to surrounding businesses. We look forward to participating in next year’s campaign.”
Travel blogger, The Travel Hack said: “I really liked the idea of everyone making one pledge. It doesn’t take long before it becomes an ingrained habit – such as always carrying a bottle of water rather than buying a new plastic bottle whenever you’re out – and if everyone did that it would have such a huge impact. Seeing the pledges laid out on the Make Holidays Greener website in a fun and simple way made it a much more approachable topic and it was easy to see the positive impact you can have on the world.”