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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds I think first of all it’s worth mentioning that the industry generally, is a real force for good, it brings really essential employment, vocational training, improvements in infrastructure to so many destinations in the world, so tourism can be a force for good, but we also need to very carefully manage the environmental impacts. Over the years, I think customers are looking for something slightly different from their holidays, I mean the mainstay of our program is still package holidays, but we’re introducing more flexibility, more authenticity into those holidays.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds Customers care very much for local food, they want to interact with local people, they want to explore the local area, and so we’re seeing changes of that kind and we’re adapting our holidays to accommodate that, and we have a lot of our own hotels that we either own or manage and there’s a huge focus there on local food, organic food, and we offer also a huge range of experiences for customers to explore the local area, to interact with communities, often to have meals in those communities, to eat out in local restaurants, explore local markets etc. For many years, the industry has been looking at its’ impacts on the environment and seeking to mitigate those.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds Many years ago we started working with our trade association in the UK, ABTA and also European trade associations to develop a tool called ‘Travel Life’, which is a certification tool, which works with hotels to ensure that they’re employing people under the best possible conditions, that they’re measuring and managing and seeking to reduce any adverse environmental impacts, and that they are supporting culturally and economically the local community.

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 seconds And we’ve been working with that tool and other similar tools which are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, working with those tools across our supply chain over many years, and now over 10 million of our customers are actually staying in hotels which are certified to those levels, so that is something of an assurance to customers, that the hotels that they’re staying in are seeking to reduce any adverse environmental impacts, employing people fairly, and really benefiting the communities where they’re located economically and culturally.

An industry perspective

In the video, Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability at TUI Group gives her perspective on the impacts the tourism industy can and does have around the world.

She also talks about how those impacts are being mitigated through initiatives like ‘Travelife’ but is it enough?

This week we have reviewed both the negative and positive impacts of tourism but do the impacts balance out and is that sufficient, or should we be aiming to mitigate all the negatives of tourism?

What do you think the solution is?

Your task

Select one negative impact of tourism and suggest how it can be solved, ideally by looking at cases where it happened – for example, environmental degradation in a certain destination that became a wildlife sanctuary. You should find plenty of online reports, news articles and videos to help you.

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This video is from the free online course:

The Impacts of Tourism

Coventry University