Crises caused by climate change are becoming more frequent, with a direct and severe impact on destinations.
Are there ways that could help to make destination areas more resistant? What conceivable strategies are there to create a greater sense of responsibility towards the climate?
These questions were examined by a panel of experts at ITB Berlin 2023. They concluded that more cooperation and a willingness to listen to one another provide a basis for finding solutions. “We have to know our capabilities in order to be able to act effectively“, according to Shannon Stowell, chair of the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
Shannon Stowell, Adventure Travel Trade Association: “Many people in the travel industry have finally begun to adopt measures. Everyone must now answer the question of what they are doing to make the world a better place.“ Travel must be developed on the basis of what the destination needs. “Thanks to our worldwide networks we are able to react rapidly to crises“, Stowell stated. “We must work together and utilise the knowledge of everyone involved. Once we know our capabilities we also know what strengths we can apply.“
Lars Peter Nissen, director of the humanitarian group ACAPS: In many destinations the largest part of the critical infrastructure is intended to meet the needs of tourism, Nissen explained: ”These are the people who have trucks, generators and everything else need to keep things running.“ The knowledge and capabilities of these people must be incorporated in every strategy.
Gopinath Parayil, chair of The Blue Yonder: “Given the effects of the climate crisis in the destinations the tourism industry’s networks, with all their available expertise, can and must be a relevant part of the solution. If there are no more destinations then there will be no more tourism. We need a platform where we can come together and combine our strengths.“ Travel companies have access to accommodation, foodstuffs and drinks, as well as to highly qualified personnel that can be deployed very quickly. These are all things that the humanitarian sector needs during a crisis, and are lying idle in the tourism industry.
Dr. Sreeja K.G., director of EQUINOCT Community Sourced Modelling Solutions LLP: “The main concern is for the basis of existence of local people. Various sectors must work together to protect them, and not just the tourism sector on its own. Properly functioning communications are the most important thing. There is not just one approach that works for everyone. We have to listen to local people, all sit around a table and contribute all our capabilities. What is needed is shared responsibility.“
Samuel Karani, general manager for East Africa at Intrepid Travel: “Environmental protection can help to improve tourism.“ In this respect it is important to work together with local communities because, after all, it is their basis for life that is at stake.