British travel agents join forces with other organizations for carbon off-setting scheme
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is joining forces with other travel industry organisations to launch a carbon offsetting scheme. ABTA is working with the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) to develop a scheme to be launched early next year.
ABTA views the scheme as an important and practical way for the industry to deal with carbon emissions - a high profile and complex issue. Keith Richards, Head of Business Development and Consumer Affairs says, "The carbon off-set scheme we will be launching aims to make a clear connection between the money invested and projects in the kind of destinations where people go on holiday. Currently there aren't enough destination-related projects around. It's important that consumers can make that link as it will encourage more to use the scheme. ABTA is already a well established voice for the industry on these issues and with our very high consumer profile, we see it as key to the success of the scheme to ensure we are asking businesses and consumers to invest in relevant projects. It's not the solution, but it's one of the recognised ways to tackle the inevitable impact of current travel pattern. It's just one part of our longer-term strategy on sustainable tourism generally," he says.
ABTA is has also recently met with the Government Office for Climate Change to discuss plans and representatives from the department are attending the ABTA Travel Convention. Richards continued: "We must work with the Government and the environmental organisations to ensure that we have a robust and practical scheme in place which gets the support of all parties."
Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth will be speaking at the ABTA Travel Convention on Wednesday 29th November 2006 on the issues and environmental impact.