With the COP26 Summit now underway in Glasgow, the national tourism agency VisitBritain is taking the opportunity to promote Britain’s sustainable tourism offer across international markets.
VisitBritain’s latest international consumer research showed that more than two-thirds of travellers surveyed across 13 countries are thinking more about sustainability and the environmental impact when planning holidays.
In the run-up to COP26, VisitBritain is building a global sustainable tourism content ‘hub’ for visitors with itineraries, activities and experiences to enjoy a sustainable stay in Britain.
This will be supported by media content partnerships in Europe, Brazil, Canada and the US highlighting Britain’s sustainable tourism offer to inspire future travel. Educational trips have also been underway with digital content creators from the US in partnership with Impact Travel Alliance focusing on slow travel, getting off the beaten track, rail and off-season tourism.
To support the overseas travel trade, VisitBritain is hosting in-market roundtables and webinars to promote sustainable tourism and is highlighting greener modes of transport such as rail related itineraries and products.
VisitBritain Deputy Chief Executive Patricia Yates said:
“The COP26 Summit and the accompanying media exposure gives us a timely and valuable opportunity to highlight how visitors can enjoy a sustainable and responsible stay in Britain, from eco-friendly accommodation to dark sky reserves, from sustainable fashion and locally sourced food and drink to epic train journeys and cycling routes.
“Many businesses and organisations in our sector are already putting sustainability at the heart of what they do and we want to support visitors and our global travel trade partners to find products and experiences that will enrich their stay. And we hope people will then stay longer, travel more widely using low-carbon transport and to explore out of season.”
VisitBritain has set out its priorities to aid the recovery of both domestic and international tourism, including rebuilding a more resilient, sustainable and accessible industry supporting the UK Government’s ambitions set out in the Tourism Recovery Plan. Its recently published Sustainable Tourism discussion paper sets out its approach, from championing regional dispersal and low carbon transport, sharing resources and best practice with businesses to working with the trade on itineraries that support sustainable and responsible tourism.
VisitBritain is also using COP26 to promote major events next year which are set to be significant global tourism draws including HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and ‘UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK’ 2022 – to promote the UK’s creativity and innovation to the world.
Tourism is a critical industry for the UK, usually worth £127 billion a year to the economy and VisitBritain continues to also work with the industry to spread the economic and social benefits of tourism more widely, driving visits right across the year and across the nations and regions, supporting local economies.