WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) has released its latest report: The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2020, a special edition on lessons from COVID-19 for tourism in a changing climate.
This annual meta-analysis comes at an unprecedented time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has highlighted the immense need and value of tourism, while fundamentally changing the way destinations, businesses, and travelers will plan, manage, and experience tourism. At the same time, climate change remains an existential threat that has real consequences for destinations and communities everywhere.
According to CREST, tourism was frankly on a path of self-destruction for decades, valuing profits at the expense of people, planet, and purpose. COVID-19 has proven that simply stopping tourism is not enough to meet the challenges of the climate crisis. Crisis often breeds innovation, and destination communities and businesses must now take the time to reconsider the path forward. As we look to the future of tourism, the same rigor and dedication that is needed to adapt to the pandemic must also be applied to neutralize the threat of climate change.
“Post COVID, there will be a profound shift in the competitive landscape in the travel and tourism sector, with preparation and effective risk management, adaptation and resilience, and decarbonization being fundamental to future competitiveness and relevance,” the report says. “With the compounding threats of climate change and COVID-19, we must share knowledge and case studies that provide genuine lessons learned, and we must take unified action to develop solutions for our planet and its people.”
Prepared in collaboration with more than 30 leading tourism organizations, researchers, and institutions, The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2020 shares key studies on COVID-19 and climate change and what lessons may be applied from the pandemic to meet the challenges of the climate crisis. In addition to general consumer, business, and destination trends in the context of recovery, the report explores the unprecedented opportunity to mitigate two existential threats with one coordinated approach, truly making the world a safer, more equitable, and more resilient place for all.