Tourism declares a climate emergency

Yup Earthling, you are crew too and need to take some action asap, especially if you live in a developed country in Europe or elsewhere! Even though I am only a one woman responsible tourism band I can make a difference by making certain travel & lifestyle choices and by joining the Tourism Declares Network which:

  • is a collective of travel companies, organisations and industry professionals who believe tourism should declare a climate emergency.
  • who acknowledge the science stating we have one decade to address the climate crisis.
  • and who accept we have a responsibility to tell the truth, act now, and work together to help turn it around.

We don’t always like to hear it but the simple fact is we need to fly less and travel better when we do, creating as many positive impacts in the destinations we love to visit. I work with a lot of long haul destinations in Africa who need us to keep on visiting and we already know we can make responsible tourism choices when we put our trips together to these amazing places. Your holiday can make a difference.

Let’s also get real and admit that flying generally is highly overrated and overland travel is much more fun! We don’t need to do all that city hopping and can certainly do a lot more video conferencing and live streaming of events. We simply do not have a right to cheap flights when most of the world has never flown and probably never will. Carbon offsetting is pointless and, even worse, could be seen as eco-colonialism: compensating your ecological sins in countries where people have a minimal carbon footprint.

I will be honest that sometimes I am torn on how tackle this ugly beast as effectively as possible. Are we not terribly late to the party? What can little old me do? Being Dutch and living in a well-connected country I don’t own a car and never have, but train and bike everywhere (long live the OV fiets!). I have already stopped taking a lot of short haul flights in Europe and take the Eurostar to London and the ICE train to Berlin for example. I am excited about night trains coming back into fashion. I am also keeping my eye on fabulous developments such as the Fair Ferry and sail cargo. So many people and initiatives walking the talk and coming up with great solutions to this carbon dilemma. Let’s get cracking people!

So I declare a Climate Emergency and commit to the following five actions:

1. Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’

2. Share your commitment and progress publicly

3. Cut carbon emissions

4. Work together

5. Advocate for change

My Climate Emergency Plan for 2020:

  • take train instead of plane for journeys under 1000 km within Europe (i.e. ITB Berlin, WTM London)
  • book flights through Fly Green
  • book direct flights for long haul journeys (i.e. WTM Africa in Cape Town)
  • extend work trips overseas with leisure time to maximise flight taken
  • increase use of search engine Ecosia
  • research options for an ethical bank account for Green Heart Tourism (i.e. Triodos, ASN)
  • renew webhosting service with Greenhost
  • reseach and renew Green Heart Tourism business cards with greener option
  • eat less meat, less dairy, eat more organic produce & grow own vegetables & herbs in garden
  • keep ‘planting sustainable tourism seeds’ at home and abroad through Green Heart Tourism consultancy & coaching as well as through social media (in some cases I may do this for free for organisation I believe in like Fair Trade Tourism or for a low rate to make it affordable for tourism SMMEs)

IPD helps European tour operators find sustainable tourism partners in Tunisia, Nepal and Ecuador

Europe is on the move. But tourism is booming on a global scale too. By 2030, it is estimated there will be 1.8 billion tourists every year. In the process, long-distance travel is becoming more and more popular. There is major touristic potential in emerging and developing countries.

A warm climate, a wealth of culture, natural diversity – often still intact – and impressive fauna all make these countries attractive destinations. But it is also important to protect these natural resources. This is why many travellers nowadays call for offers that are attuned to the nature, culture and society of the host country. They want travel that is environmentally friendly and socially sustainable.

Sustainable, responsible tourism is very much in demand, but it is hard to find reliable partners.

Tours to Ecuador, Tunisia, and Nepal

The IPD liaises selected tourism companies for the European tourist industry in the partner countries Ecuador, Tunisia and Nepal.

The local enterprises offer diverse products customised for the European market. In designing their offers, they give attention not only to sustainability, but also particularly to the needs of tourists from Europe. All providers have been carefully examined and have been trained on the requirements of the EU travel market.

Thanks to IPD’s brokerage, European tour operators can expand their portfolio of sustainable products and unusual destinations. In this way, they lower their costs for the selection and quality control of potential partners. At the same time, they make a substantial contribution to the responsible promotion of social and ecological developments in these countries.

Our partners’ travel offers are tailor-made and they are distinct from mass tourism. For example, they organise group tours and individual tours for families, singles, best agers, or travellers with disabilities.

  • Cultural or study tours focussing on the language, cities, cultural highlights of the country of destination, etc.
  • Adventure travel like desert expeditions, wildlife observation, etc.
  • Active / sporting travel such as hiking, trekking, diving, cycling, etc.
  • Health, wellness trips or culinary travel
  • Recreational trips such as sun and beach holiday
  • Special needs travel

In promoting sustainable tourism, the IPD supports its partner countries in developing their infrastructures, creating jobs, and increasing incomes. As a labour-intensive segment, the tourist sector makes an important contribution towards sustainable economic development.

Want to stay up to date as new destinations get added or are you looking for a great sustainable tourism business partner? Then sign up for the IPD newsletter

For further questions and meetings at ITB Berlin 2020 please email me: and check out the IPD Sustainable Tourism brochure.


Sustainable Travel Awards 2020

Jurylid zijn voor de Sustainable Travel Award, dat was een hele eer zo voor het eerst! Veel diversiteit aan inzendingen met verschillende aandachtspunten maar mijn tip blijft voor alle reisbedrijven: denk ver vooruit, anticipeer op hoe de sector zich gaat ontwikkelen (naar een model met veel meer eisen vanuit de bestemming en locals) en neem je personeel en klanten mee in je eigen duurzaamheidsreis (het is namelijk leuk!). Je bedrijf kan er alleen maar mooier van worden. Ben benieuwd wie er gaat winnen van de laatste 3 en hoop op nog veel meer creatieve and impactvolle inzendingen volgend jaar.

Dank ANVR! responsibletourism betterplacestoliveandvisit

Lees hier meer over de 3 genomineerden.