Responsible Travel and Sustainability
Today, responsible tourism and sustainability are more important than ever. Travel media plays an important part in shaping how the diverse cultures and ecosystems around the globe are understood here in the UK. Our writers, photographers, bloggers, broadcasters and editors are integral in chronicling the world to diverse audiences and in sharing a greater understanding and respect for other countries and cultures.
Although we recognise that travel will never be fully sustainable while flying is major polluter, we strive to promote responsible tourism by:
– Reducing our carbon footprint by seeking alternatives to flying, where possible
– Supporting organisations with tried and tested responsible policies
– Reporting truthfully on the places we visit
– Respecting local indigenous people, their customs, traditions and beliefs
– Contributing to local economies by supporting local and independent businesses
– Respecting the landscape and promoting environmental conservation
– Promoting animal welfare and the ethos that wild animals should remain wild, rather than habituated to humans
– Not supporting or promoting organisations or activities that damage the environment or negatively impact human or animal rights
The British Guild of Travel Writers has been supporting responsible travel since long before it was ‘cool’. Our International Tourism Awards (initially the Silver Otter Awards) were launched in 1978 and are designed to celebrate tourism projects around the globe that put people, culture, nature, landscape, education and, above all, connection at their heart.
These awards are entirely voted for by members.
The Glasgow Declaration
Like many of our industry colleagues, we are working on signing the Glasgow Declaration: Climate Action on Tourism.
The declaration requires signatories to make three main promises:
– As signatories we commit to deliver climate action plans within 12 months of signing and implementing them accordingly.
– If we already have plans, we commit to updating or implementing them in the same period to align with this declaration.
– We commit to report publicly both progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as the actions being taken, at least annually.
Our Sustainability Lead, Diana Jarvis, spoke to Jeremy Smith, one of the founders of the declaration, about what we as a members’ organisation can promise as well as how we can go about implementing those promises.
You can see the webinar here.
Our sustainability working party met to discuss how we can respond to this and we devised a set of promises that we will make public in the coming months.
We’re extremely proud to have a handful of members who are not only experts in all things responsible travel but have written books on the topic:
Emma Gregg : The Flightless Traveller
Karen Edwards : The Responsible Traveller
For any further sustainability related questions or enquiries, please get in touch with Diana Jarvis [[email protected]] BGTW Sustainability Lead.