Africa Travel Week

COP26: How the African travel and tourism industry is combatting climate change

The COP26 event, taking place from 31 October – 12 November 2021, strives to unite the world in the fight against climate change, accelerating action towards the relevant goals of both the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention.  

Ultimately, tackling the problems contributing to climate change needs to be a priority for all individuals, companies, and establishments operating in all sectors around the globe – and the travel and tourism sector is certainly no exception. In fact, it’s expected that COP26 will act as a turning point for sustainable tourism, especially considering how the industry is currently in the process of recovery, making it easier to implement change and get more serious about committing to an industry overhaul.  

As travel suppliers start to make the small changes that add up to making a big difference when it comes to preserving our planet for generations to come, there’s a distinct opportunity for the African continent to emerge as a sought-after sustainable destination of the future.  

But what can be done to capitalise on this opportunity?  

Above all else, it’s vital for all travel suppliers to realise that the power for change is within their grasp. Taking action to reduce one’s carbon footprint isn’t reserved for larger establishments with endless capital and resources. It should be a priority on everyone’s list and not seen as an insurmountable challenge. After all, sustainability is a journey, not a destination. It’s about striving to be better tomorrow compared to how we were today. It’s about focusing on what can change now in conjunction with what needs to change in the future.  

According to many experts in the industry, it’s also crucial for travel suppliers to keep the move towards attaining greater levels of sustainability top of mind. They must be open to looking at how their daily services and operations are impacting the local environment and communities. They must be open to making small changes to reduce their carbon footprint, but also to learning more about the prospect of off-setting their impact through community initiatives, investments in environmental-focused projects, and volunteering. Constant and consistent improvement is the only way to reach sustainability-focused goals and for travel suppliers to play their role for the sake of the planet, their customers/guests, and their brand’s reputation.  

The bottom line? ‘Baby steps’ will eventually equate to transformation.  

Sustainability. Combatting climate change. Taking matters into one’s own hands. It’s no longer optional. It’s non-negotiable!  

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.