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Be 10% Better

10% popped up three times in short succession towards the end of 2023 all related to sustainability in the tourism industry. 

- According to TTG, 10% of companies put sustainability in their top 3 priorities for 2024. 

- A recent Just Good Travel webinar reiterated the idea of being 10% braver 

- Euromonitor has found that UK travellers are prepared to pay 10% more for sustainable products

When it comes to creating positive impact tourism, if a lot of people make small changes, the multiplier effect will have a big impact. 

Where better to start your journey to being 10% better than your office and with your staff?

Here are my top tips for making small, meaningful changes at home so that when you start to ask clients and suppliers to make changes, you can give examples of your good practices:

 🌳 Measure your office carbon emissions and aim to reduce them by 10% - swap to a green energy tariff, cluster your staff to one area if many are working from home, and make sure you switch everything off properly each evening (not just standby!)

☕ Reduce single-use items - remove paper cups, provide staff with a reusable coffee cup, buy everyone a refillable fountain pen, and print 10% less.

🍏 Aim to use local suppliers for office supplies - is there a local coffee roastery you can buy from? Local stationery supplier? Do you provide fruit and snacks? Find a local bakery, farm shop or veg box supplier.

🚲 Encourage staff to car share, cycle to work, walk or use the train.

Get 10% of your staff to do a volunteer day with a local conservation charity.

Can you find ways to reduce carbon emissions using the 10% idea?

The tourism industry knows that we have to reduce our carbon emissions. Many tour operators have signed the Glasgow Declaration and are committed to a Net Zero pathway. Start small and make some changes to your client's itineraries.

🚄 Set a target to swap 10% of short-haul flights for trains.

The European trail network means you can easily swap flights to trains to many destinations. An overnight service to Stockholm from Hamburg makes no-fly holidays to Scandinavia possible. Keep an eye on and their expanding network - Prague is the newest destination.

✈ For long-haul operators, aim for 10% of flights to be direct

For some operators, it's simply not possible to get to the destination without a long-haul flight. So where possible use direct flights as there is a big carbon saving for doing so - the take-off and land has the biggest carbon burn.

🛤 Switch 10% of internal fights to land transport

Do a product audit and see where its possible to change internal flights for a land journey. Is there a train? A ferry? This will significantly reduce carbon emissions.

👨‍💻 Offer staff 10% extra annual leave if they travel by train to their destination

The chances are they can work on the train too...check out Climate Perks on how to make this an employee benefit

Can you increase out-of-season travel by 10%?

Travelling out of high season has many benefits, we used to go off every September as schools went back and smugly post ‘back to school’ photos of warm family holidays! Many child-free adults thrive on being able to travel out of season.

🌃 Off-season travel can take the burden off tourism hotspots by evening out visitor numbers. However, there have been studies that host communities endure the busy months as they know the quieter days are coming, so be wary of how extending seasons can impact those who live in the places we visit.

🌄 Mountain and walking trails are much nicer when fewer people are around and huts and campsites have better availability. Quieter trails mean more chance of seeing wildlife, less erosion and ‘trailing’ (where paths get wider as people use the edge to overtake). 

🏜 As temperatures rise, certain areas of Europe are not as pleasant to be in July and August, as we saw in summer 2023 in areas of Greece and Italy. Climate change means that extending a season will give clients an opportunity to travel when it's not too hot, or consider different less touristified destinations (or need to be ready to accept more visitors, but that's a whole other post). 

Increase community tourism experiences by 10%

Do you know how many experiences in your supply chain are community-led? Local entrepreneurs and artisans deliver the experience, ensuring direct benefit to the community. It is hard to measure the benefits of community tourism using a numeral metric; however, knowing how many experiences you have that are genuinely making a difference to host communities is a good place to start. 

Can you start to offer or swap experiences with genuinely community-led ones? Perhaps there is a city tour that can include an afternoon with a local artisan or a restaurant on your routes that a community has established so they can benefit from passing trade. Or look at the accommodation you offer, are there locally owned and managed alternatives?

These are a few hints and tips on making small changes to start your journey on the sustainable pathway. For more information, contact


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