The report - High Moments, Low Impact: Rethinking Adventure Travel’s Sustainability Efforts - is the first in a series of research reports published by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Switzerland Tourism that discusses how the adventure travel industry can use the current interruption in tourism to reassess their impact on the world around them and put sustainability first.
"There is no future for tourism, especially adventure travel, without sustainability. The pandemic gave us the impetus to rethink and better understand the meaning of sustainability in travel,” added Letizia Elia, Head of Business Development, Switzerland Tourism. “We are happy to share our passion with ATTA and with our community, as these research reports are nourished with some of our Swisstainable best practice examples.
Key topics visited in this report include breaking down the often confusing and complex term “sustainability”, outlining the impact of increasing awareness around the term while challenging the idea that sustainable practices aren’t affordable, and showcasing three best-in-class “Swisstainable” case studies highlighting the Swiss Alpine Club, Rancho Cacachiles and the Swiss Youth Hostel Industry.
The goal of this two-year sustainability series is to support the travel community with case studies, lessons learned, and best practices from Switzerland and abroad, with an aim to inspire and guide the adventure travel community forward toward a more sustainable future. Over the next two years, ATTA and Switzerland Tourism will release four more reports, focused on a wide range of sustainable tourism efforts, guided by Switzerland Tourism’s ambitious “Swisstainable” strategy mindset.
Even though the world is still grappling with high COVID-19 rates and continued disrupted travel, understanding and executing tangible sustainable tourism practices today is critical. According to a study by Booking.com, 83 percent of global travelers think sustainable travel is vital, with 61 percent saying the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future. The desire for more sustainable travel options is even reflected in search engines. Research conducted by the data firm Equator Analytics highlighted an increase in interest in sustainable travel, even amidst a pandemic. Despite the closure of borders around the world, the search term ‘sustainable travel’ was twice as popular in 2020 than in 2015.
This report series is a component of ATTA and Switzerland Tourism’s recently announced partnership, in which both will partner on knowledge gathering and sharing, education, market activation, and awareness campaigns across ATTA trade and consumer channels. These will provide more tools and insights for the industry overall and will amplify tourism opportunities and sustainability success stories from Switzerland. Additionally, as ATTA’s Global Exclusive Sustainability Destination Partner, Switzerland Tourism will support the ATTA’s event emissions measurement efforts and carbon offsetting that supports nature-based solutions through Neutral Together and carbon removal via direct air capture and permanent storage through Tomorrow’s Air.
“Sustainable tourism is essential to travel’s survival. Not only for the sake of the natural world, but also its people. This means we must immediately take actions based on a comprehensive view of sustainability as it relates to the environment, societies, and economies,” said Christina Beckmann, Vice President of Global Strategy at ATTA. “We hope this report will inspire and guide the adventure travel community in our efforts forward toward a more sustainable future.”