The Co-operative Travel has called on companies across the trade to work on common goals to support sustainable and responsible tourism.
The plea by managing director Mike Greenacre follows the launch of the group’s new green strategy, which aims to raise more than £700,000 a year for The Travel Foundation and strongly rejects a new runway at Heathrow.
Greenacre, an ABTA and ITT board member, will seek to influence discussions on the environment to reduce carbon emissions but conceded the group’s opposition to new runways may not be popular.
He said: “I would hope the industry as a whole could find common ground on what these issues are and we can form a common strategy to ensure we are going in the same direction, not necessarily driven by commercial reasons.
“At the end of the day, carbon emissions are either too high and will lead to climate change or we’re all being sold a pup. My belief is we all need to do something about this. I will work vigorously to persuade others to get common ground on this.”
ABTA head of business development Andy Cooper said the association was already tackling the issue of sustainable tourism but admitted it could do more.
He said: “There is a lot the industry can and should do to push the case for more sustainable tourism but only 2% of global emissions come from aviation.”
He claimed Heathrow’s third runway would help cut carbon emissions because aircraft would no longer be wasting fuel as they circle the airport waiting to land. “To suggest that the industry should not build another runway is perverse,” he said.