Holidaymakers will soon "reject" the environmental excesses of the travel sector and demand sustainable holidays, Advantage chairman Steven Esom has warned.
Esom, addressing delegates at the consortium’s Vivolution conference in Cadiz on Saturday (18 May), said if agents were to remain relevant, the way in which the holidays they sell are operated would have to change to become more environmentally friendly.
“I was in London when the [Extinction Rebellion] protests were happening,” he said. “Seeing so many people on the streets taking direct action, that’s the next generation, our next generation of customers.
“They feel this is the only way that they can really affect it. And who wants to be on the wrong side of that conversation?”
Esom said despite tangible efforts by the sector, more needed to be done – and quickly.
“If we want to remain relevant, and tap into that new market of 20- to 35-year-olds, we’ve really got to rethink what we’re doing," he said. "I think over time, consumers will just reject that offer.”
The Advantage chairman added there were though things the travel industry could do – even in the lowest price brackets – to make improvements on environmental and sustainability issues, but warned people were starting to see the industry’s failings.
“We have to respond to it,” he said. “It has to be woven into everything we do.”