The Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas) has stepped up its commitment to sustainability with a new dedicated online hub and regular tips for agents.
It has also pledged to host a “more sustainable” fam trip to Lake Como, in partnership with Intrepid, with 14 agents travelling by train to reach the destination at a more leisurely pace. There will be 50 agents in total on the fam trip.
The alternative travel option means agents will be able to enjoy the scenery along the way – and know their carbon footprint will be smaller.
Claire Brighton, Atas director, said: “Sustainability has always been at the core of our association and was an integral part of each session at last year’s conference.
“It is also an essential element of our members’ strategies, with operators and destinations in the touring and adventure sector leading the way in sustainable and responsible tourism.
“The climate crisis is having more effects on our lives each year so we need to do all we can to tackle emissions, pollution and inequalities that threaten destinations at home and abroad.
“Now, we’re making even more strides towards greener travel and showcasing those efforts on our new sustainable hub on touringandadventure.com.
“As well as shining a spotlight on our members’ eco-credentials, we’ll be helping agents with tips and advice about how to make their own lives and businesses more sustainable.”
Brighton said agents can also talk about the sustainability information with their customers and be proactive by sharing details on social media, emails and websites.
Atas will provide an environmental tip each week, ranging from ideas about shrinking carbon footprints, cutting waste, choosing meat-free alternatives, and switching to more sustainable business partners in sectors such as banking or power suppliers.
The tips will be featured on Atas newsletters and social media channels.
“We will encourage agents to share their own sustainability stories and hopefully inspire others to go green,” Brighton added.
“Our drive will also showcase the impact of responsible travel policies in destinations, such as the financial benefits for local people and the impact of community projects.”
Further initiatives are also planned for the first few months of 2024, including a webinar for Earth Day, a global event on April 22.
Dr Susanne Etti, the global environmental impact manager of Intrepid Travel, will present the ‘Climate Reality’ presentation – originally delivered by Al Gore, former US vice-president and environmentalist.
“We will invite Atas members and travel agents to join the free webinar so watch this space for more details,” added Brighton.
A dedicated sustainability working group will be established with representatives from Atas tour operator members.
“We have been busily working on these sustainability initiatives since our hugely successful conference in October, so it’s very exciting to be able to reveal our news,” said Brighton.
“And there are other initiatives in the pipeline, so we can keep up the pace and inspire agents to join us on our sustainability journey.”