The World Travel & Tourism Council is calling on the travel industry to be more ambitious in their carbon reduction targets.
The organization has joined forces with the UN Environment Programme and Accenture to publish its Net Zero Roadmap report setting out a framework for the industry to work with to achieve decarbonization by 2050, or earlier in some cases.
The report, which is aimed at accommodation providers, tour operators, aviation, cruise and intermediaries, provides recommendations in five areas:
- Set baselines and emission targets now to achieve individual and sector goals
- Monitor and report progress regularly
- Collaborate within and across industries and government
- Provide finance and investment required for the transition
- Raise awareness and build knowledge and capabilities on climate change.
The report points to research from Booking.com's Sustainable Travel Report 2021 which reveals that 83% of global travelers view sustainable travel as vital, 69% of global travelers expect more sustainable options from the industry and 61% say the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably.
The findings support other recent studies from Lufthansa Innovation Hub as well as Skyscanner revealing current consumer sentiment on the importance of sustainable travel and the lack of options.
A number of challenges to decarbonization have been identified as the most common across all elements of the industry including emission measurement and reporting, the potential for changing regulations and lack of government support and financial resources.
Recommendations for governments are also provided including clear commitments, prioritization of sustainable infrastructure such as at ports and airports and facilitating business transition.
Finally, the report categorizes different elements of the travel and tourism industry into three target corridors with, for example, an easy-to-abate corridor, which could include travel agencies, targeting net zero by 2030 and at least a 50% emissions intensity reduction by 2025.
The hard-to-abate corridor, which includes the aviation sector, targets net zero by 2050 and a 25 to 30% emissions reduction by 2030.
Other segments such as accommodation and cruise come in the middle corridor with net zero by 2040 and at least 60-70% emissions reduction by 2030.