When it comes to putting something back into our holiday destination and supporting local communities, British holidaymakers appear to be doing better than we might expect, but this positive behaviour is not necessarily about a conscious decision to be greener according to new research from ABTA and the Travel Foundation.
The research highlights that over 80% of us make an effort to purchase food from local cafes and restaurants when on holiday and a similar amount like to explore the local area.
However, when booking our holidays a significant three quarters of us do not take into consideration whether the accommodation we stay in has a positive impact on both the local environment and community. Furthermore, almost 1 in 5 of us typically remain within the resort complex for the majority of our stay.
The findings coincide with Make Holidays Greener Week, from the 2nd to 9th July, a national campaign from The Travel Foundation which urges people to do three things on their summer break to make a difference to the place they are visiting and the people that live there.
Shopping for souvenirs in local markets, asking your holiday rep or hotel about exploring the local area with local guides and conserving water to help protect the environment are examples of some of the things that people are being urged to do when they are on holiday this summer.
Nikki White, Head of Destinations & Sustainability at ABTA said: “Whilst we are pleased that the research shows that the vast majority of us are supporting local businesses by eating out and exploring our destination, it contrasts with how we spend time preparing for holidays and our awareness of the importance of buying locally-produced goods and protecting the environment. The quality of our holidays relies on beautiful, well-cared for environments and a warm welcome from the local community, so caring for destinations is vital. Make Holidays Greener Week highlights how there are simple things we can all do to make a difference.”
“The travel companies we use also have an important role to play. Booking a hotel from the Travelife collection through your favourite travel company is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your accommodation provider is doing as much as it can to protect the environment and support local communities in your holiday destination.”
Sue Hurdle from the Travel Foundation said ‘Many of us are already getting out to explore the local area and to sample local culture because it makes for a better holiday and this also brings benefits to destination communities who rely on tourism to make a living. Many of us make an effort to buy locally when we are at home, and on holiday we can enjoy similar benefits if we do the same.”
“Make Holidays Greener week isn’t about being super-green, but about how we can all take some very simple steps no matter what type of holiday we take. This research shows that it is easy to be greener and we want everyone who travels this summer to be conscious about the simple things they can do to make a difference and to have an even better holiday.”
This is the second year that the travel industry has come together to promote greener holidays and what holidaymakers can do themselves to put something back into the destinations they love.
The campaign is being supported by travel firms including The Co-operative Travel, Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook, Teletext Holidays, Holiday Extras and Virgin Holidays.