Impact Travel Alliance’s new report – “Bringing Sustainable Tourism to the Masses” – contains 32 tactics looking to integrate sustainability into all types of travel. In the 66-page study, Impact Travel Alliance aims to empower all sides of the travel industry in its goal to mainstream sustainable tourism. The nonprofit developed three core principles, each of which has its own set of actionable ideas, in an effort to outline steps toward making attainable progress.
1) Engage partners at both corporate and grassroots levels through storytelling, community and collaboration
2) Complement traditional business activities with sustainable offers and incentives
3) Embrace technology that has changed the way consumers engage with brands
The study also outlines tactics that can be or have been used in pursuit of each principle. Tactics range from creating more awareness around greenwashing and greenhushing to investigating emerging technologies like blockchain, as well as specific marketing approaches based around transparency, authenticity and a stickiness factor. Travel businesses already employing some tactics are highlighted, such as Kind Traveler’s ambassador program; Royal Caribbean’s Save the Waves program, Booking.com’s Booking Booster program; JetBlue’s report on the ROI of Sustainability and more. Some tactics are framed as direct asks, such as to expand, amplify and invest in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s efforts and to invest in programs that foster innovation.
The tactics addressed are further categorized on a quadrant based on reach and implementation. Tactics with a broad reach and singular capability for implementation are named “Power Play;” those with a broad reach that take a coordinated industry effort are deemed “Mass Evolution.” Tactics that have a more narrow focus and need coordinated industry effort are called “Groundswell;” and those with a narrow focus and singular capability are named “Individual Impact.” The quadrant is meant to be used as a tool for all sides of the industry – from individuals to small businesses and corporations – to be able to identify specific action items relevant to their own organizations.
“We are on the cusp of seeing the impact that sustainable travel can have on a much broader scale,” ITA Executive Director Kelley Louise said. “Our biggest hurdle is in reaching beyond the niche that sustainability currently exists within the travel industry and engaging the average traveler.”
The full thought-leadership study is available online at