by Seth BUTERA June 20, 2021
Travel is one of the world’s oldest industries. From the caves in France to Roman spas for rest and relaxation, to the first hotels serving merchants journeying in search of trade, the history of the hospitality industry stretches thousands of years.
Given its history, travel has been a driver of entrepreneurship – long before the word ‘entrepreneur’ even existed. Modern “entrepreneurs” have taken hospitality to new heights and travel has become an integral part of modern day living – a symbol of growth and profit.
Social media fueled a change in consumer behavior and started a new race amongst the millennial traveler. From corporate travel to leisure exploration, travel is now a budgeted part of the millennial expenditure.
Incentives and perks are highly sought after as the budgeted travelers look for ideal deals. All interest-based activities formed companies to bring people of similar interests together and provide them with winning experiences.
Bigger, better, more. Growth at all costs
Growth led to challenges both environmental and societal. Governments and not for profits organizations started highlighting the cost of travel and its impact on the environment. We saw the rise of the conscious traveler, uncomfortably aware of the environmental toll of an industry built on moving people from place to place at a maddening pace.
The pandemic brought the travel industry to a screeching halt. The pandemic wiped out over 50 million jobs worldwide, and the progress made in the last 10 years is almost nulled.
To jump-start this interest and possibility again, governments and the industry at large need to rethink not only their sustainability goals but also their vision for sustainability. It’s now time to consider Sustainability 2.0 – and what it means for the next decade of travel.
It’s callous to ignore the impact of travel on our environment and not engage in the conversations around greenhouse gases, preservation of local culture, and conservation of natural resources.
The core concept of Sustainability 1.0 was for travel companies and travelers to behave responsibly but that flew in the face of profit. Sustainability 1.0 focused on: