Travel faces backlash from green groups

Travel faces backlash from green groupsTravel faces backlash from green groups

The travel industry could find itself a green pariah within the next 15 years if it does not start tackling sustainable issues now.

Speaking to TTG Digital at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Summit in Madrid, Intrepid Travel co-founder Darrell Wade said he was alarmed by the prediction that 1.8 billion people could be travelling in 2030.

He argued this could put pressure on travel companies as they become viewed as unhealthy for the planet as coal-burning power stations are seen to be today.

Wade warned that companies will need to get their shares accepted by green indices or face investors moving away from stocks that are no longer considered an ethical buy.

He added governments could become increasingly proactive in legislating against unclean companies, while shareholder activists could also begin to emerge.

“We’re one of the biggest industries in the world and we could become a very big target for green groups”

“There’s going to be enormous pressure on the planet. We’re one of the biggest industries in the world and we could become a very big target for green groups or politicians,” Wade said.

“We could do better as a business; as an industry it is pretty alarming, we’ve got a long way to go.”

He said both the WTTC and the industry were failing to treat the issue seriously enough, adding: “They’re not talking about it at the level they should be talking about it.”

Wade added the group, which owns Intrepid Travel, is working hard to be more sustainable as it released the United Nations Global Compact Communication on Progress Report 2014, which shows how it is working to become more responsible.

He said: “It is the first time the Intrepid group has done this. Intrepid is doing a pretty good job but we’ve got more to do in the other brands. “I’m not worried about it, the knowledge is there but it is a matter of putting in the effort.”

Wade added despite responsible travel being viewed as an important issue in the industry, it had little impact on the wider public, adding: “I could count on two hands the number of enquiries we’ve had.”