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Branson leads Green Debate

Travel Weekly editor Richard Siddle

I BET every industry wishes they had their own Sir Richard Branson. 


I’ve worked in the grocery sector and he was forever popping up to sell his cola and vodka. Whatever he did made more noise and a bigger impact than the collective lobbying powers of the mega brands put together.


When Branson speaks, not only do we notice, but we listen. Thankfully for us he is 100% focused on the fortunes of the travel industry.


And now, with what has to be said is perfect timing, he has turned his attention to the Green Debate. Just as we are calling on the sector to come together and make the case for what the industry is prepared to do to tackle the environmental issue, up pops Branson and does exactly that.


On first sight Branson’s plans appear to be well thought through and tackle the big issues on how to deal with carbon emissions, but also give examples of the small steps airlines can take to make a difference, such as painting their planes with a ‘greener’ paint.


How the rival airlines respond will be fascinating. No doubt the first reaction among most airlines is that Branson has once again managed to pull off a great PR coup.


But whatever the personal advantages to be gained from aligning your business to the green issue, the vital thing for the sector is that arguably the biggest PR asset the UK travel industry has is at the forefront of what will inevitably be a period of dramatic change.


Whether you like this style or not, everyone in the travel industry should congratulate Branson and his team on bringing the right kind of publicity to this sector on the Green Debate at exactly the right time.


Don’t miss our complete coverage of last week’s ABTA/Travel Weekly Green Debate starting on page 26.


Have your say on the Green Debate forum

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