The tell-do gap in travel is one of the reasons you probably won’t read this story

As editor, let me share a little secret. It’s very, very hard to get people to read or click on stories about sustainability.

ell, maybe it’s not so secret.

We all know about climate change, the waste we generate and the fact that we are handing our children a failing planet. We’ve seen the bleached coral reefs and melting ski resorts. But when it comes to getting involved and taking meaningful action in our lives…well, it’s difficult.

Like many others, sustainability is very important to me. I also feel helplessly insignificant as one of eight billion people. I try to recycle, use less stuff and eat local foods. We have obtained offers for the energetic modernization of our house. But I still buy coffee to go, live in a D-rated house, drive a diesel car and earn airline miles. Life gets in the way.

I love travelling. It excites me, makes me feel alive, and I think it helps us understand other cultures and communities in a time of bitter, flaming conflict (I like lying on a lonely beach, too).

Before the pandemic, tourism also supported 250,000 jobs in Ireland. It’s crucial.

However, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism also causes about 8-11 percent of global CO2 emissions. Travel has rebounded since the pandemic (Ryanair alone sold two million seats in a single weekend in January), and some are predicting it will double by 2050, the year when so many “net zero” ambitions depend.

The long term is understandable given the scale of the task, but 2050 also feels like “flying car” territory. You could have a child having a child by then.

Add breaking news questioning the value of carbon offsetting, the cynicism generated by widespread greenwashing and tokenism in travel, and the “green premium” that can make sustainable vacations more expensive, and it’s not hard to understand why we keep turning pages.

“We call it a ‘say-do gap,'” Danielle Bozarth of consulting firm McKinsey & Company told the travel industry news site. skift. “Consumers are talking about how deeply they care about sustainability. Then you ask them to pay for it, and we see virtually no willingness to pay from leisure travelers.”

But there is good news. New planes are more efficient; sustainable fuels are researched; Inflation has given businesses an urgent reason to control energy and waste bills. Communities like the Burren Ecotourism Network or Banff in Canada – which aim to reduce the 9,500 vehicles per day that arrive in peak season, in part by using public transit and by closing popular routes to private cars – are examples of “tourism forever”. .

Can we travel less but better?

Tourism Ireland is shifting its marketing focus to ‘value-added tourists’ who spend more, visit off-peak and consider their impact on the environment. Little Bhutan has gone even further, raising its “Sustainable Development Fee” to $200/€184 per day (yes, per day).

Sustainability is no longer a niche topic – every conversation about tourism development now includes it.

This year I’m trying hard to reset, fight the impulse to skip sustainability, and look for positive stories that can help us rethink the way we travel.

I hope at least some of you will read them! The tell-do gap in travel is one of the reasons you probably won’t read this story

Fry Electronics Team

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