Travel Weekly says

Richard SiddleHow green do we want to go?

IT seems every politician other than George Bush sees the capital to be made out of aligning themselves with a strong environmental message.

Tory glamour boy David Cameron even trekked across a Norwegian glacier last week to position himself as the UK’s leading green politician.

But such antics are not done on a whim. The environment is fast becoming one of the key political issues of our time.

And rightly so if all the doomsday scenarios around global warming are even partly right. But it is an issue the travel industry is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with – and at loggerheads over.

Airlines claim they are being victimised and argue there are far worse culprits when it comes to environmental damage.

But with low-cost flights driving increased holiday traffic, is pointing the finger elsewhere really a credible environmental message?

The green lobby is becoming increasingly powerful. It may not have the backing of the airline and oil industries, but it is promising ambitious politicians with popularity and votes.

This industry needs to set out where it stands on the environment. Polite notices about putting out towels to clean in hotel rooms don’t wash with an increasingly green public.

the green debate logo - 270406We have the Travel Foundation predicting restricted air travel to protect the environment, while EasyJet claims airlines are being “persecuted”.

Who would you want to hear defending the travel industry on BBC’s Today programme?

This issue is not going to go away. Tobacco firms knew for 20 years that advertising and smoking bans were inevitable and fought to ensure they came out the best they could. What is travel’s strategy to protect itself?

Today Travel Weekly launches ‘The Green Debate, Where Do You Stand?’. It is time to have a clear and open debate on this issue.

We might make people’s dreams come true, but there are those who argue travel contributes to future nightmares.

We may not agree, but it is something we need to stand up for. Over to you.

We want to hear your views on what the travel industry should do to go green and protect its image. Join the debate at or on the Travel Weekly forums.

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