EasyJet holidays and The Travel Foundation agree sustainability partnership

EasyJet holidays and The Travel Foundation have agreed to partner on a sustainable destination stewardship project focussing on five key European holiday hotspots.

The tie-up was revealed at today’s Travel Weekly Sustainability Summit hosted by Deloitte and supported by sponsors Google, Spanish tourism board Turespana, Visit Gibraltar and Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.

Rebecca Armstrong, destinations programme officer for The Travel Foundation, said the partnership will focus on the impact of tourism on destinations and the local populace.

The five destinations earmarked for an initial year-long period for the initiative are Tenerife, Majorca, the Algarve, Dalaman and Rhodes.

“This is about implementing tourism stewardship,” said Armstrong, “it’s all about managing tourism in a better way starting with the needs of the destinations and their communities rather than how we just sell destinations where people live and work, not just as holiday destinations.

“What do they want tourism to contribute to those destinations? We will work with five key destinations in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey…working with public private stakeholders to establish priorities and needs.”

Armstrong said The Tourism Foundation hopes its work with easyJet Holidays will establish a “new model” for how tourism is managed and how sustainable practices can be applied in the mainstream market.

She added it will recognise the role that both the industry and host communities can play in working inclusively to forge a more sustainable future for travel.

Armstrong told the summit that the Glasgow Declaration For Climate Action in Tourism agreed at the recent Cop26 climate summit which commits signatories to reducing their carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and net zero by 2050 was “hugely significant”.

“The climate emergency is the biggest challenge we are facing as an industry right now. We have just passed 400 signatories in four weeks, but we need everyone in the industry to support these plans. Coming together around these common commitments was a huge step.

“By signing up [signatories] understand the commitment they are making. If we are going to meet these targets, we have to do it together. I hope it’s realistic, but we need everyone on board.”

Signatories to the Glasgow Declaration include many destinations that are likely to be at the forefront of the impact of climate change as well as tour operators, travel agents, and tourism industry bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).