© Shutterstock

‘Business As Usual’ is no longer an option

“The wildfires in Australia, in the Arctic, in the Amazon rainforest, record breaking heatwaves, pollution and flooding here on the Indian sub-continent and severe droughts in Southern Africa in recent months are stark reminders of the climate crisis we live in, and yet another wake-up call that immediate actions to reduce our carbon footprints are required. Our industry is an ever increasing and contributory factor of this problem” Says Julian Matthews, founder of the TOFTigers campaign.

The business of tourism, especially nature based tourism, depends on the well-being of our destinations, and put simply, “there is no business to be done on a dead planet”.

In our industry, the climate crisis is already affecting various destinations around the world, especially natural habitats, be they on land or sea, and this in turn affects our ability to help protect and promote these destinations in a valuable and positive way for your business and their long term survival.

So what can we do? How should the tourism industry address the climate crisis?

FIRST STEP

Alongside a host of other organisations and travel companies, TOFTigers is joining the ‘Tourism Declares Climate Emergency’ campaign and stating:

  • We’re a collective of travel companies, organisations and industry professionals who believe tourism should declare a climate emergency.
  • We acknowledge the science stating we have one decade to address the climate crisis.
  • We accept we have a responsibility to tell the truth, act now, and work together to help turn it around.

SECOND STEP

What this means for TOFTigers makes 5 key corporate commitments – see here – and we will redouble our efforts in 2020 to bring down our own carbon footprint, but also to encourage others through our campaigns, via our membership and through our various PUG and Footprint certification tools, to focus hard on decarbonising our world and measuring that change.

CHALLENGING STEP

We recognise this is an extremely challenging call, requiring compromise and sacrifice, but also providing better systems, more innovations and simple ‘old fashion’ methods of operations and activities, much of which is already underway with many of our esteemed colleagues and quality operations. We just need to redouble our efforts – as time is not on our side.

We agree with Jeremy Smith, Lead Coordinator of Tourism Declares and a leading sustainability advocate, that “carrying on as before, or just tweaking business as usual is not an option”, and wholeheartedly support his call for the tourism industry declaring a climate emergency as “a necessary step towards mobilising our industry to be part of the solution”

Many other industries are making great strides on these actions, and we can learn from them, but historically the tourism industry has been a laggard in this respect, and failed to acknowledge its clear responsibilities on this front.

We all need to change.

To see full details of the Tourism Declares Climate Emergency view website here