Sue Hurdle comments exclusively for TravelMole Vision on Sustainable Tourism readers
In just a few weeks our Make Holidays Greener campaign kicks off and, this year, will run for the whole month of July. Writes Sue Hurdle
And I"m hoping that 2012 will be the best year yet in terms of getting our message out to everyone heading away on their summer break this year - whether they"re mums, dads, kids, teenagers, grandmas or grandpas.
It"s certainly not about preaching - but it is about inspiring. I think the words of one of our new Make Holidays Greener posters really sums up our message to holidaymakers: "Don"t just see the world, taste it, smell it, experience it and look after it."
At a time of crisis for the eurozone, this campaign has never mattered more.
We all have a responsibility to the destinations we send our customers to year after year and which, in these times of austerity, badly need our help.
The travel industry is the livelihood of so many people around the world. A healthy and thriving local economy which creates a diverse range of entertainment, shopping and sightseeing is what makes a holiday fun and memorable for so many of us.
But without the support of the travel industry and its customers alike the life and soul is in danger of disappearing from mainstream holiday resorts.
We want to urge holidaymakers heading off on their summer break to get more out of their holiday this year. And be aware that simple things do make a difference to both local people and their own experience.
We hope they"ll be inspired not to spend their whole holiday lying by the pool but get out and see more of the country they"re visiting, shop for locally-made souvenirs, enjoy traditional suppers in local restaurants and revel in the warm welcome offered by local people.
Make Holidays Greener is not about expensive eco-holidays for a committed few, it's about mainstream package holidays for everyone - and, crucially, it's about having a better time whilst we"re away.
Travel agents have a huge part to play in getting this message out. We"ve made our communications tools bolder and brighter this year to help them
At http://www.makeholidaysgreener.org.uk there are posters, children"s activity sheets and customer tips, as well as a free to enter customer competition to win a family trip to Gozo..
So, why not get involved in Make Holidays Greener this year? It"s free, it"s fun, it can help your business - and it will certainly be benefiting the long-term future of the people and places we love to visit on holiday, and keep customers coming back for more.
Chief Executive - The Travel Foundation
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