The travel industry will find itself increasingly scrutinized by the public opinion and policy makers. To be honest, the travel industry mostly has itself to blame for that brand new expression ‘vliegschaamte’ (‘flight shame’: feeling embarrassed about your travel by airplane) to take off. Even though airplanes are not the only cause of rising CO2 levels and climate change, it is inevitable that governments and international lawmakers are going to intervene in our industry. Arduous questions and bothersome regulations will come our way. Does that make me feel confined, as a travel entrepreneur? Not in the least. The travel industry has been much too long a prisoner of the untenable notion that our success is defined by the amount of customers and sold vacation packages.
Climate change is forcing the travel industry to look past quantity.
Not all travel agencies are prepared to do that. Some come up with thinly veiled options like ‘green choices’ and ‘green compensation’ (to make you feel like you are doing something good for our planet, without giving up anything). They are trying to shield the customer from the very real problem of climate change, field of critical questions from the outside and pose as sustainable. They want to keep growing unimpeded and hence slap a green label on their product in the hope the whole climate debate will blow over. This is not helping our planet.
What would be a meaningful way to make that much needed change in the travel industry?
The answer is quite simple. Climate change gives us the opportunity to go back to our original mission: to provide customers with ‘the time of their life’. To really offer that added value with the knowledge that we build over the years of popular and less known destinations. To make the visit to a country, city or National Park be an unforgettable experience that the customer will never stop talking about. Doesn’t it make sense that when you return home full of new impressions and experiences, you’ll want to take some time to process all that beauty? It certainly wouldn’t be your first impulse to turn around and go on another vacation again right away.
That’s why at Doets Travel we aspire to always create the ultimate experience. Like at Moraine Lake in Canada, where we rent out eighty percent of the cabins at this divine lake. This way we give customers that feeling of ‘it won’t get any better than this’.
In short: the more memorable (and less interchangeable) the vacation that you offer is, the greater the odds that the customers will go back to their daily life happy and satisfied. And that they will view vacation as something really special, instead of a bus you can get on every day.
And that mindset is the most planet-friendly.