17th Annual Report now released for travel agents, destinations, students
One of the events that affected me most last year was an art exhibition called ‘Tour Operator’ created by Italian artist Massimo Sansavini. All the works of art on display were made of bits of the boats which carried refugees to Sicily. Each artwork had a web page attached showing how big the boat was, how many refugees it carried and how many died in transit.
More than anything it showed me how inextricably travel - the business of dreams - is related to the real world.
In the real world... the pandemic is still not under control, populist authoritarian regimes are spreading like wildfire, LBGTQ, women, minorities of all kinds are still discriminated against, there are still over 26 million refugees, human rights and workers’ rights are consistently infringed in tourism, over 40 million human beings are still held in some kind of modern slavery... and a climate disaster is already upon us.
Although the writing has been on the wall for nearly forty years, the global travel and tourism industry, with notable exceptions, has paid little but lip service to sustainability until now.
Now it’s all change.
There are three forces that have the power to change the global travel and tourism industry dramatically - the market, big money and cohesive powerful global government action.
In 2021 these forces will be in a dynamic conjunction.
The market has already indicated that sustainable tourism will be number one; Governments are lining up behind the Paris Accord on Climate Change outbidding each other in emissions reductions and many trillions are now in a burgeoning global Carbon Market.
The timeline has been painful but it looks like, finally, sustainability and tourism may merge to form a truly durable activity.
This will create enormous changes.
As the global carbon market grows - now powered by a group of people led by ex Bank of England Governor Mark Carney - finally the airlines will have to ditch toothless CORSIA for a tough financial solution. As far as emissions are concerned (and airlines represent 80% of travel emissions) they will have to cut their cloth to fit their flights.
All the forecasts now show that the market will require sustainable tourism practices from season 2021. Clients will look for valid confirmation that their suppliers are actually practising what they preach - they have had enough of fake news - they will not tolerate greenwash.
And now it looks like a change of direction is taking place and the USA will rejoin the Paris Accord - this will mean that our global vision will change.
Destinations will attract massive new funding from global institutions seeking to promote their sustainability credentials. This will enable them to fulfil visitor demand for sustainable local initiatives - in particular food and drink, artisan and produce related. The Experience Economy will change our destinations for the better and offer locals quality employment opportunities creating places that are good to live in and to visit.
Visitors will get a healthier, wider, more fulfilling experiences.
But watch out for China - their trillion dollar Silk Road - now the One Belt One Road infrastructure project may change tourism in a less beautiful way.
We’ve got a long way to go but we could still get there if we choose not to treat our clients as numbers.
I’ve asked some friends to help us understand the plethora of information and projections that are swirling around us confusing 2021. So report subscribers will be treated to six big podcasts. Each a full thirty minute interview with a globally important, powerful and informed individual. Each with a big story. People I’ve known for years.
In the 2021 Sustainable Tourism Report you’ll read something of tourism’s past, a little of its present and a lot of its potential future.
That’s largely because 2020 held very little present - that had been taken by COVID 19 and governments’ measures against it. Something like 90% of tourism activity wiped out.
In the report we deal with with the subjects that will certainly be of critical importance in 2021 and those that will present the biggest, most sustainable opportunities.
Best to understand them now!
Sustainable Tourism is the 38-year-old big issue of 2021 the subject embodies everything that is really important about tourism. We’ve been writing about it specifically for over 20 years. The issue hasn’t changed but it is more important than ever as is sustainable tourism’s dark side - Greenwash and Fairwash - we published the definitive report 10 years ago. This cynical meretricious practice hadn’t changed either, except to get more malicious.
Now we’re in the grips of the pandemic which has stopped tourism and its side effects, but not for long. Maybe its time for something different, less harmful and more fulfilling, can Virtual Tourism help? Can the Experience Economy make holidays both more sustainable and more fulfilling - plus more truly profitable?
What dangers are there on the horizon? Is China’s Silk Road a massive tourism takeover or an opportunity and the Carbon Market is it trillion dollar greenwash or a massive opportunity?
Finally, in this report we explore truly new and amazing structural and financial opportunities for Destinations and the delectable opportunity that Food Tourism presents.
Plus for the first time each report subscription includes six exclusive 30 minute informative podcast interviews, each an in depth talk with a truly powerful global tourism executive. The World Bank and IFC; the GSTC, Green Destinations; ITB, SunX, and one of the world’s top sustainable destinations - they are all there
I hope you enjoy. More importantly I know this report will inform your actions.
To find out more click HERE
Valere Tjolle was for 15 years the sustainable tourism editor for TravelMole.com, the world's largest global online community for the travel and tourism industry. He is now an independent commentator and CEO of Tourism Vision Ltd.
As principal of TotemTourism consultancy for the last 18 years Valere has specialized in the ethical development and marketing of sustainable tourism projects.
Projects have included tourism developments in Africa, USA, UK and Eastern Europe for clients as diverse as the European Union, the World Bank, UNWTO, UNEP, the Department for International Development and local and international travel and tourism entrepreneurs.
Valere has published the Sustainable Tourism Report Suite since its inception in 2003.
The Sustainable Tourism Report has been published annually since 2003. Subscribers include: Club Med, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Rezidor Hotel Group, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, University of Brighton, Tourism Ireland, The Nature Conservancy, Cleaner Climate, Virgin Group, Micato Safaris, Hilton Hotels Corp, Visit Britain, Canada Tourism, Tourism Innovation Group, Dublin Institute of Technology, Sabre Holdings, EplerWood Consultancy, Nichols Tourism Group, The Adventure Company, Exclusively Canada, University of Wales, University of Guelph, Sustainable Side of the Street, IFC, Discover Ltd, Griffith University, Australia, Yukon Tourist Board, Ipswich College, Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, The Tourism Company, Citizen Development Corps, University of Hertfordshire, Disney Corp, Anglia Ruskin University, Kidderminster College, Olive Green Group, Six Senses Group, and many, many more.