Expedia Group unveils initiatives to boost environmental sustainability in tourism

Tourism currently accounts for approximately 8% of global carbon emissions.

These programmes have been developed in alignment with the company’s social impact and sustainability strategy, which aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 while building a travel ecosystem that is ‘inclusive, accessible and responsible for all’.

Research from Expedia Group Media Solutions found that 90% of travellers seek sustainable options when booking, with half willing to pay more for a trip if it aligns with sustainable practices, indicating economic benefits for destination communities.

The travel giant has partnered with the Travel Foundation, an industry non-profit, to launch the Destination Climate Champions programme. This initiative provides destination management organisations’ (DMO) staff with the knowledge and skills to develop climate-conscious practices within their destinations.

Through an online training course and peer learning network, DMOs will develop destination-specific climate action plans.

The programme is currently undergoing a pilot phase with 30 destinations across Europe, New Zealand and the North-western US, with plans to expand globally later this year.

Expedia Group’s global social impact and sustainability vice president Aditi Mohapatra said: “Responsible, sustainable travel means experiences that support local communities, while also protecting natural environments.

“Many DMOs are eager to take proactive actions on sustainability and social impact but may need initial support to get there.”

A programme to support local communities

Expedia Group has also launched the Destination Giveback Initiative to support destinations and local communities by providing financial support.

Through this initiative, Expedia Group will collaborate with DMO partners to make donations to local causes. Additionally, depending on the level of partnership, selected causes will be eligible receive additional promotion across the brand’s marketing channels.

Last year, Destination Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) received a $100,000 investment from Expedia Group to help boost Indigenous tourism across Canada.

Tourism currently accounts for approximately 8% of global carbon emissions. Projections suggest that by 2025, tourism emissions could escalate to 6.5 billion metric tons, marking a 44% surge from 2013 levels and representing roughly 13% of current global greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions.

Expedia Group Media Solutions’ vice president Rob Torres said: “We understand that for many of our partners, the topic of sustainability is an urgent issue to address, but is often complex, and it can be hard to know how to put words into meaningful action.

“Our partnership with Travel Foundation reflects our shared vision of a travel industry that prioritises both people and the planet.”

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie