Will a greater emphasis on healing planet earth really impact travel destinations and decisions?
And what is the role and responsibility of travel companies as they reposition themselves and their offerings?
Two questions that might make for uncomfortable reading for many travel brands, given that for some just getting back into an operational norm is their number one priority.
The COVID-19 pandemic took the industry to a dark place, with almost next to zero customers, staff laid off or furloughed and unease over when business might return to normal.
In the year prior to the outbreak, activitists such as Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg had managed to put the issue of sustainability back on the agenda in a serious way.
Travel brands, through their "corporate social reponsiblity" strategies had acknowledged the environmental impact of the industry through often feeble lip service or the beginnings of some measures to reduce their carbon footprints.
There were some who argued that brands should have either collectively or individually used the extended downtime during the global lockdowns in 2020 to look at themselves and consider what might be the best moves to make to accept and then act on their role to make the sector a greener one.
There is, many suggest, no other option to take.
Travalyst was created in 2019 to encourage sustainable tourism projects around the world and bring brands together to address some of the issues the sector faces now and certainly in the future.
Booking.com, Skyscanner, Ctrip and TripAdvisor, alongside payment giant Visa, are the founding parters of the project, headed by CEO Sally Davey.
She joined Phocuswright analyst Mark Blutstein at Phocuswright Europe 2021 to discuss the project and outline what the industry can and should do.
The full interview is included below...
Recovery and Responsibility: Can They Go Hand in Hand? - Phocuswright Europe Online 2021