Tourism accounts for 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally according to a new study which marks the first attempt to quantify the total carbon footprint for the travel industry. 72.8 million trips are made from the UK per year, which is steadily increasing.
At a time when the environment is at the forefront of consumers’ thoughts, it would be fruitful for both consumers and the industry to incorporate sustainability into their travel plans this summer.
Flying is particularly damaging for the environment, as aviation is essentially a fossil fuel industry that produces 2.5% of total carbon emissions. This could rise to 22% by 2050 so it is time to wake up to the devastating impact that flying has on the environment.
The sustainable travel industry has grown by more than 50% since the year 2000 with locations in Central America and South East Asia leading the way for destinations that allow holidaymakers to either take part in eco-activities or relax, content in the knowledge that their travels are having a minimal impact on the environment.
WeSwap, which is the world’s first peer-to-peer currency exchange service, has commissioned nationally representative research across a sample of more than 2000 UK adults.
- 13% of Brits, representing 6.4 million people, are choosing eco-friendly resorts or take part in activities that reduce their carbon footprint when abroad
- These statistics increase to 20% of those aged 18-34
- 38% of holidaymakers, representing 18.7 million people, say that travelling is their top priority when budgeting for 2019
- 50% of those aged 18-34
WeSwap has pulled together their top ten destinations for those of us looking to get away via alternative modes of transport in a bid to be more environmentally conscious as we travel:
- Amsterdam – Eurostar has plans to launch a direct train from London to Amsterdam Central for under £100
- Dublin – Virgin trains ‘Rail & Sail’ tickets to Ireland are their best kept secrets as it is possible to buy a single ticket from Dublin station for under £46
- Venice – The Thello sleeper train can get you from Paris to Venice overnight for as little as €35 in a couchette or from €95 with a bed in a two-bed sleeper
- Normandy – Brittany Ferries sail from Portsmouth to Caen and Cherbourg and if you can take your own car
- Lyon – This is just over 5 hours from London via Eurostar and tickets are available for under £110
- Morocco – High-speed trains in France and Spain allow you to leave London in the morning and reach Tangier the evening of the following day
- Salzburg – Travel from London to Salzburg in a single day or break up the journey with a stopover in Cologne or Munich
- Prague – London-Brussels Eurostar tickets are available from £58 return, with a stop in Brussels, you can then use Czech Railways
- Budapest – Once in Prague, how about a three capitals tour? Prague to Budapest takes just under seven hours by two-hourly EuroCity train starting at €20
- San Sebastian – It’s easy to reach without flying by taking the Eurostar from London to Paris and a TGV from Paris to Hendaye on the French-Spanish border from as little as €25 each way
“In a time where the environment is a the forefront of consumer thinking, it is great to see that so many locations are easily accessible for Brits with many eco-friendly options available this summer,” says head of product marketing Stephanie Meyer-Scott.
“We are a nation of holiday-makers that go further than ever before and that needs to come with a certain level of awareness and respect to the environment. We are seeing an increase in eco-tourism because just as recycling and single-use plastic are becoming a big focus, so is eco-logical travel.”