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ABTA: Towards a responsible and sustainable tourism.

The recent conference hosted by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) addressed crucial topics highlighting the need to transform the tourism industry towards more responsible and sustainable practices. The data presented during the event shed light on the challenges and opportunities we face as an industry, emphasizing the importance of promoting conscientious and environmentally friendly tourism that benefits both local communities and the environment.

The first step a tourist takes is choosing a destination, followed by selecting a hotel and other tourism activities. It is essential for hotels and other stakeholders to recognize the impact they have on the destination and provide tourists with relevant information about the place and its surroundings. By doing so, travellers can make more informed and responsible decisions, contributing to the conservation and protection of the destinations they visit.

It is also important to focus on the effective integration of the local community which should be approached on a personalized basis in each destination, considering their needs, environment, and culture. Establishing strong and respectful relationships with local communities is crucial to ensure more inclusive and mutually beneficial tourism for both visitors and residents. By working collaboratively with communities, we can promote tourism that generates positive impacts, supporting local economic and social development.

One of the most striking facts revealed during the conference is that tourism contributes 8.1% to total greenhouse gas emissions, both directly and indirectly, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). This figure compels us to take concrete actions to reduce our carbon footprint and transition towards an eco-friendlier tourism industry.

Another significant data point highlighted during the conference is the gender disparity in leadership positions within the industry. Currently, only 32% of executive roles in the tourism sector are held by women. This statistic reminds us of the importance of promoting equal opportunities and empowering women in leadership roles, fostering greater diversity and representation in decision-making processes.

The conclusion we got from the conference is that sustainability should not be seen as a competition but as a collaboration among all stakeholders in the tourism industry. Ongoing education and the implementation of sustainable practices are fundamental to effecting real change. Through knowledge exchange and experiences, we will develop strategies and solutions that prioritize the well-being of our planet, local communities, and future generations.

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