Industry leaders talk green tourism at WTM London

Monday, November 13, 2023


Tourism industry leaders convened in London for the World Travel Market trade event to discuss the latest trends shaping the sector.

The World Travel Market trade event in London showcases the latest trends shaping the tourism and travel industry, now and into the future.

Thousands of representatives gathered in the UK capital to do deals, debate and discuss as the industry continues its bounce-back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leisure travel is back to only 10% below 2019 levels, said Dave Goodger, the Managing Director for EMEA at Tourism Economics. But 2019 was a peak year.

So, the level of travel they were seeing this year has only been surpassed in three years in history.

The recovery comes despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties, on top of a summer of high temperatures and devastating wildfires in countries like Greece.

Dimitris Frangakis, the Secretary General at the Greek National Tourism Organisation said that the biggest challenge for the long-term period in the future is the climate crisis.

Greece has a specific plan until 2030 in order to achieve sustainability in the environment, tackle climate change consequences and, of course, adapt to the new era.

Valencia, in Spain, attracts tourists with its beaches, natural beauty and history. Recognised for sustainable tourism, the city has been named European Green Capital 2024.

Post-pandemic, sustainability is also about keeping traveller numbers in check.

Venice, for example, plans to impose a five-euro tax on day-trippers next year, as it attempts to tackle overtourism.

Other destinations, like Croatia, are also mulling over what they should do.

Martina Srnec from the Croatian National Tourist Board told a news media that they cannot use the word overtourism, maybe just in a few cities like Dubrovnik.

As a country, they didn’t bring any specific measures.

But now, this is the right time for the local authorities and for the decision-makers to start thinking about it.

It’s important because we want to preserve our country as it is today, Martina added.

When it comes to traveller numbers, Thailand says its approach is quality over quantity.

Cooling down the traditional hot spots, and opening up other places within the country.

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