Travel Curious, which operates 450 tours in 85 cities, has said it will measure and remove 150% of its carbon dioxide, and equivalent emissions, and that it has developed the first carbon calculator for private tours.
The company has pledged to offset the carbon emitted during a tour through transportation, attractions visited, food consumed, consumables (such as paper or plastic), and web minutes spent searching, booking and reviewing a tour.
The project is being run by Emma del Balzo, head of impact at Travel Curious.
Del Balzo said in a press release: “At Travel Curious we believe that carbon neutral is no longer enough.
“We elect to remove more carbon than we produce through planting and preserving trees, rewilding, and safeguarding ecologically rich habitats, to ensure that every Travel Curious tour has a positive impact on the environment.”
“Offsetting is Not Enough”
The carbon calculator for private tours, which Travel Curious claims is an industry first, was developed in partnership with TerraVerde. After it has been fully tested, It will be released for other operators to use for free to help calculate their emissions and will be extended to cover group tours.
Operators who wish to use the calculator can contact del Balzo.
The calculator measures the method of transportation and distance traveled, the attractions visited, the food consumed, any consumables used, such as paper or plastic, and a nominal digital allowance for minutes spent searching, booking, and reviewing the tour or activity online.
Carbon calculators work by asking specific questions about consumption, such as what was the mileage and fuel used for a trip. Once all the consumption data has been collected, the calculator will produce a total carbon dioxide output in tons.
Offsetting programs take this information and enable people to invest in projects around the world that will reduce or remove carbon emissions by that amount. These often include the creation of renewable power, increasing industrial efficiency, and tree planting or rewilding, among many others.
Travel Curious will display the amount of emissions it has offset in tons on its website.
“Offsetting is not enough,” Amir Azulay, CEO and co-founder of Travel Curious, said. “The program has to be at least three layers.
“First you have to measure, otherwise you don’t know what to offset. Then if you offset we recommend you offset 50% more to ensure that you are covering all your bases. Thirdly, you also have to reduce.
“Offsetting is clearing your conscience. By reducing you really are helping and so you have to do both. It’s not enough to just offset.”
Arival research shows that Gen Z and Millennials are actively avoiding harmful experiences, preferring to travel sustainably. Gen Z, roughly aged between 9 and 24 years old, recently became the largest consumer cohort but are still entering the workforce.
Azulay said: “I believe that people that implement this will get more bookings because everybody’s passionate about it. Everyone wants to do something. The result will be that you will, as a business, succeed.
“My opinion is that you’re going to be more profitable because more people will want to align with you. As opposed to the next guy who doesn’t want to do this.”
Appoint a Sustainability Partner
Operators who are beginning to implement sustainable measures should appoint a partner that knows what they’re doing, Azulay said.
“You can’t figure all this out yourself. We appointed a company called TerraVerde whose founders are from the travel industry. They think travel and they helped us through the whole thing. You can’t do this as a willy-nilly thing, you need to work with a partner.
“We wanted to do so many things and there are so many great projects. Don’t try and do everything because you can just lose. You won’t be able to see the forest from the trees.”
Sustainable Travel International will run a decarbonization workshop at Arival | Activate as part of the sustainability track
Arival | Activate will be held in Berlin on 29–31 May 2022
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