Tourism activities in the Asia-Pacific region are responsible for generating the most emissions, exceeding the global average, according to information shared at Markethub Asia 2023 that took place in Thailand on November 22-23.
Pollution is having a significant impact on the tourism industry, forcing businesses to quickly come up with appropriate strategies to achieve sustainable development.
|Sarah Wang from the WTTC speaking at the Markethub conference
According to Sarah Wang from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the tourism sector accounted for 8.1 per cent of the total emissions globally in 2019, and at one point increased to 9.8 per cent in the Asia-Pacific region.
However, the impact of the pandemic and changes in tourists’ travel preferences have made them more aware of the need to plan responsible trips, and this attitude is spreading that to businesses that provide tourism services.
“The tourism industry is evolving and focussing on sustainability. We see a lot of investment in sustainable and green practices,” Wang said.
Data from the technology platform Hotelbeds shows that 70 per cent of the travellers feel that they would like to be more eco-friendly, and 45 per cent of them consider that waste is the most important environmental issue.
Elena Perez, chief human resources officer of HBX Group, the umbrella organisation for several brands like Hotelbeds, Bedsonline, TravelStack, and Roiback, said that Hotelbeds has practical solutions to respond to tourism's emissions.
“Luckily, we’re not a company that is responsible for large amounts of emissions. We have a plan to reduce them even further, which has been effective this year,” she stated.
Hotelbeds has organised virtual events to share best practices from within the industry, and has some sound initiatives to raise awareness.
“When we learned about a campaign to reduce single-use plastic from one of our partners, we did activities internally to drive the same thing,” Perez said.
She added, "HBX Group planted around 12,000 trees in Thailand last year. We did the same in Mallorca, where they have space in the mountains to grow forest areas.
“Sustainability is not a nice-to-have, it is a must, but it requires the effort and collaboration of all players in the sector,” she commented.
The travel and tourism industry has made a strong recovery to pre-pandemic levels and is predicted to generate $10 trillion this year. It is set to become worth nearly $15 trillion in the next 10 years, according to data from WTTC.
|New digital transformation initiatives for the tourism industry
Vietnam’s first digital art space, SongLab, leverages state-of-the-art technology to create an innovative tourist experience. Spanning over 1,000 square metres, SongLab promises to bring visitors a unique experience when visiting the ancient capital of Hue.
|MarketHub Asia kicks off in Thailand
Hotelbeds' popular MarketHub is returning to Asia later this year to bring travel professionals from across the globe together in Bangkok from November 21-23, 2023.
|Partnership to benefit 10,000 disadvantaged youth nationwide
The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation on November 2 announced their continued partnership to support 10,000 disadvantaged youths across Vietnam.
|Phu Quoc Island seeks new avenues for blossoming tourism
Much more has to be done to boost Phu Quoc Island’s hotel occupancy rates and travel options after a tough year.