AUGUST 2023 ISSUE
THERE’S BEEN a seismic change in the way Australian travellers think about and book their trips.
According to a survey commissioned by The Travel Corporation (TTC), Aussies want to travel sustainably more than ever and support local communities along the way.
The findings come from the study of more than 1,000 Australians conducted in June 2022 which found half consider themselves more informed about sustainable travel compared to five years ago.
Some 40 per cent say what they look for in a travel experience has changed as climate issues become more visible.
According to the study, we want to travel more sustainably but see cost as a barrier, a feeling exacerbated by a strong desire to book with tour operators that make sustainability a key hallmark of how they operate.
Further, Australians are eager to reduce food waste when they travel and spend their money supporting local businesses, wildlife conservation efforts and community economies, with 65 per cent of respondents seeing it as ‘travelling with purpose’.
Coinciding with the release of its survey findings, TTC also unveiled its 2022 Impact Report – the second annual self-assessment which tracks its progress against its own five-year sustainability strategy, entitled ‘How We Tread Right’.
“Our Impact Report 2022 provides direct insight into the work we’ve done to achieve our sustainability ambitions to date as we continue to work towards achieving our long-term goals,” said Shannon Guihan, TTC Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of The TreadRight Foundation.
“These focus on climate action, sustainable food production, responsible consumption, travel experiences, diversity, equity and inclusion, and animal welfare.”
Heard The One About The Bike And The Buffalo?
A NEW charity has just been launched which aims to help travellers positively impact the lives of communities worldwide.
The Explore Foundation has been set up to support grassroots projects that target poverty, increase access to education and healthcare, and promote conservation.
The Foundation is the brainchild of small group adventure tour operator Explore, who recently surveyed 1,000 Australians who are regular international holiday travellers.
Survey results showed that the biggest barriers to visitors supporting local communities included lack of awareness of community needs (32%), lack of knowledge (30%) and lack of information on how to give back to the communities visited (30%).
“Launching a Foundation is probably one of the single things that we’re most proud of in our 41-year history,” said Michael Edwards, Managing Director of Explore.
“We’re a company that puts purpose alongside profit and we know that travel can be a real force for good in the world.
“This is the very exciting next step in our sustainability strategy and it’s going to be absolutely core to what we do in the future.”
The Foundation is launching with two projects – One Bike in Tanzania and Lone Buffalo in Laos – with more to follow.
Lone Buffalo has developed a program called Develop Together, which aims to give Secondary school students (in which only three per cent of young people are in attendance) access to learning opportunities and expert workshops, to encourage them to reach their full academic potential.
Set at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, One Bike is a social enterprise that uses bicycles to empower and improve the local community through education, environmental awareness and promoting sustainable tourism.
To celebrate the launch, Explore matched all One Bike donations last month up to the value of 25 new bikes. With an initial donation of 50 bikes provided by the Foundation, they hoped to fund 100 new bikes in July alone.
THIS IDEA IS KINDA GOOD
TRAVELLERS CAN use a new hotel booking platform to find design-led accommodation that is kinder to people and the planet.
GoKinda offers a carefully curated and hand-picked collection of hotels that have been selected based on their genuine commitment to style as well as environmental and social impact.
The collection currently features 455 hotels from across the globe, including boutique properties to better-known brands, covering a variety of locations and price-points and the portfolio will continue to grow.
“We launched GoKinda to help bridge the gap between what the post-pandemic traveller wants and what they actually book,” said founder Alison Greer.
“I’ve worked in the travel industry for over two decades and even I struggle to find the kind of hotels I want to stay at – those that are equally conscious as they are stylish, and that agree with my budget, whether I want to save or splurge.”
Hotels featuring on the GoKinda platform are categorised into ‘certified’ and non-certified.
Those hotels that have opted to be formally recognised for their conscious efforts by a third-party certifier (with standards recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council), appear on the website with a ‘certified’ tag.
“We search high and low looking for the kind of hotels our travellers, like me, will love, while also providing the reassurance that they’re making better decisions for our planet and community.”