Make Holidays Greener is returning for 2017, led by ABTA in partnership with Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations.

This year’s campaign launched on July 1 and will encourage holidaymakers and the travel industry to make sustainable holiday pledges, taking care of the local environment and supporting local communities in holiday destinations.

Travel businesses are being encouraged to join in with the annual campaign which will run until August 31 and aims to raise awareness of more sustainable holidays. Businesses can participate by encouraging customers to make a pledge and also by pledging to organise a clean-up activity in resorts for their staff and customers. Travel companies should contact sustainabletourism@abta.co.uk to sign up.

Holidaymakers taking part will be able to choose one of 15 sustainable holiday pledges which will cover all aspects of a holiday from eating local food to saying no to plastic. Those wishing to support Make Holidays Greener with a beach clean will be able to make this pledge. Last year, more than 700 sustainable holiday pledges were made with recycling water bottles, reusing hotel towels and using local transport amongst the most popular pledges. In addition, almost 2,000 people collected more than 6,000kg of rubbish as part of 125 beach cleans in 23 countries.

As part of its Better Places programme, ABTA works closely with its members to develop sustainability approaches that are right for them. Additionally, the Travelife certification programme for managing sustainability in hotels and other types of accommodation, works with hotels to improve how they manage their environmental and social impacts, such as reducing their energy or water consumption, and ensuring they support local people, businesses and culture.

Nikki White, ABTA's director of destinations and sustainability, said: "We’re delighted to be leading this fantastic initiative and working with the industry to support more sustainable holidays. We know that two-thirds (65%) of people think travel companies should ensure that their holidays help the local people and economy and so Make Holidays Greener is the perfect way for the industry to engage with customers and tell them about all the fantastic work being done in this area. "I would encourage travel businesses to get involved with Make Holidays Greener, whether they’re organising a beach clean or encouraging their customers to make a sustainable holiday pledge.”

The pledges are: Organise a holiday clean up; eat local produce; buy local souvenirs; talk to locals in their languages; respect local customs; reduce, re-use and recycle – leave and recycle any packaging at home before you travel; say no to plastic – avoid plastic straws and bags on holiday; offset your carbon; use local transport; switch off electrical devices in your accommodation when you’re not using them; save water – reuse towels and take shorter showers; protect children – support local community projects and refrain from giving money to begging children or visit orphanages; tell the world – tell the world about my positive holiday experiences and leave an honest travel review; look for the Travelife logo - stay at a hotel that cares for the environment and its staff such as Travelife certified hotels; and free choice – the chance to organise or suggest an activity specific to your holiday.

For more information email sustainabletourism@abta.co.uk

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