Sustainability In The Traveling Industry

Have you ever wondered of the impact the traveling industry has on our environment? Check out our latest blog post to learn how the traveling industry is making changes and starting to think green.


The travel industry has the responsibility to start thinking green; airlines, cruise lines, and hotels have been deeply affected by the pandemic. When we think things are returning to normal another variant comes along and it all starts again, it’s like a never-ending cycle. That is why we need to be deeply conscious of what is happening on our planet and start thinking about our future. The travel industry has started to implement best practices and has become more conscious. 

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In a world where sustainability is front-and-center of the global conversation, many parts of the travel industry are taking it upon themselves to decrease their impact and improve lives at the same time. A report by ABTA, published in February, found that sustainable travel concerns are playing an increasing role in booking behavior. Animal welfare emerges as the major concern for family groups (66%), followed by nature conservation (63%) and the preservation of culture and heritage (61%). 

Let’s talk about the different sectors in the travel industry and the significant changes they are making in order to become more sustainable. 

Hotel Industry

The hotel industry is in constant change, going green has become a growing trend during the past year. Travelers are looking for more sustainable options when traveling and hotels are opting for best practices in their installations.  According to Hospitalitynet by 2050, hotels will need to reduce emissions per key by 90% to be in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Public and political pressure on the sector is rising to implement drastic changes in the coming years. Many hotel chains are responding, but the path to a clean hospitality industry remains a long one. However, the current pandemic offers a pause that might be able to accelerate a reset. There are so many fantastic touchpoints and opportunities to implement sustainable strategies and initiatives that can not only make a shift towards more circular systems but also contribute to a memorable customer experience”, says Margaret Steiner, Architect and Project Manager at White Arkitekter. On the list below we will show you some of the best practices hotels are starting to implement in order to generate a positive change.

  • Install renewable energy sources
  • Embrace recycling
  • Encourage guests to think green; some hotels offer sustainability tours, it’s important to educate guests in these best practices. 
  • Save water
  • Support local communities; A hotel can reduce waste by purchasing locally environmentally-friendly products.  

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Airline Industry

Air travel produces millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. New technologies could help airlines reduce their emissions and meet their sustainability goals. According to c&en air travel produces about 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and it is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gases. Multiple airline companies have announced programs to try to become more sustainable in the coming years. Delta Air Lines recently committed $1 billion to become carbon neutral by 2030. JetBlue pledged to get there by 2040, and United Airlines by 2050. Many other global airlines around the world have made similar promises. Some of the best practices the airline industry is starting to implement include the following: 

  • Reducing fuel consumption
  • Biofuels
  • Eliminating single-use plastics 
  • Providing local food 
  • Carbon offsets 
  • Educate travelers in contributing to sustainable tourism not only in their flight but in their whole travel experience.

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Cruise line Industry

Cruise ships have a severe impact on the environment, the pollutants they emit daily are as much as a million cars, it is one of the tourism industries that pollute the most. The future of cruise lines is very uncertain that is why they are trying to make sustainable changes ASAP in order for the industry to survive. According to Cruise Lines International Association member cruise lines and shipping industry partners have demonstrated a commitment to the development and implementation of environmentally responsible technologies, policies, and practices. While cruise ships comprise less than 1% of the global maritime community and the cruise industry has been one of the most acutely impacted industries by the global pandemic, cruise lines remain at the forefront in developing responsible environmental practices and innovative technologies, which benefit the entire shipping industry. These best practices include the following:

  • Liquefied Natural Gas fuel for passenger ships
  • Advanced wastewater purification systems
  • Use of alternative sustainable fuels and battery/hybrid power
  • Exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) that reduce sulfur oxide levels by as much as 98%
  • Energy efficiency elements

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The tourism industry is changing and we must change with it. We must begin to reeducate ourselves as travelers and start making small changes in our daily lives and implement them. If we start to think green and act green we will see small changes that will contribute to the well-being of our planet. Let’s start re-educating ourselves and start traveling green. 

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