Next month, on the 10th November, members of the tourism industry across the world will unite for WTM World Responsible Tourism Day – with the aim of raising awareness and taking action on the global issues that are facing the industry, such as responsible travel, climate travel and sustainable destinations. But here in Britain, has the green voice if travel and tourism been silenced?

This month saw the launch of the Meetings and Events Manifesto for Britain, campaigning for improving economic gain, government relations, growth and infrastructure, but with little focus on the eco-responsibility of the industry.

Equally, the ‘Britain for Events’ report gives little acknowledgement ‘green’ sustainability, instead choosing to detail quality standards, best practice and protocols.

With the success of initiatives like the Green Business Tourism Scheme, Scotland has been claimed to be Britain’s leader in sustainable tourism, leading VisitBritain to suggest that sustainable tourism strategies should include the 8 strategic challenges identified by VisitScotland. Yet there’s been little recognition of these in recent, influential, industry documentation.

Have these been set-aside by the industry as it picks itself up after a tough few years? If so, perhaps we should be questioning our own industry’s real commitment to ‘green issues’.

Locally, if tourism providers sense stagnant support from industry bodies, are they still championing sustainable tourism in their own business activities?

Certain on the ground in Scotland there’s still evidence of an active dedication to the eco-responsibilities of sustaining the country’s tourism industry. But as the global industry steps up to take action on responsible tourism, is the rest of Britain taking a back seat?

Views, comments and sustainable tourism examples welcome!

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