Travel agents can reduce their customers’ carbon emissions by helping them to improve the way they plan their itinerary, according to a business consultancy.
By taking a direct flight, rather than a connecting one, agents could save their customers 25% of the carbon emissions for the journey, said Hugo Kimber, chief executive of the Carbon Consultancy.
Agents should also be prepared to tell customers about the impact of their choice on the carbon footprint of their holiday. “People are not put off by knowing about emissions at the point of sale. Journey planning is mostly driven by cost and quality, but carbon emissions should be part of that.”
Travel businesses should be measuring carbon emissions from all their activities and communicating the figures with their customers and suppliers, he said. “Being able to measure product is helping to educate and inform people who are buying the product.”
Having processes in place for measuring emission would also help prepare travel businesses for stricter environmental legislation, which was practically inevitable. “There will be legislation affecting all of us, so it’s best to prepare for it now,” Kimber said
* More WTM 2008 coverage at travelweekly.co.uk/wtm2008