Karsten Horne is CEO of Reho Travel, one of the inaugural members of the Link Travel Group and a member of the Link Advisory Panel.
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FOUR years ago, at the Revolution Roadshow, during my presentation “Travel Responsibly or leave the Planet” I challenged the travel industry to change the conversation. I talked about the fact we need to create reasons for our customers to trust us and that we must be ethical in everything we do which automatically gives us credibility and builds trust.
As the world’s only BCorp certified TMC, what have we done since then? We removed all brochures in the office, challenged every airline and hotel representative that came in the door to research the ethical contribution their company made and then present it back to us. We changed our own constitution to include the legal requirement of a commitment to consider the impact of decisions on all stakeholders- employees, customers, suppliers, the community, and the environment. Reho Travel also became a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism and collaborated with 117 leading businesses in an open letter to the Prime Minister encouraging Australia to become a world-leading renewable energy export superpower. We also commissioned a student in The Netherlands to draft a thesis report “Sustainability in Business Travel” and I was a guest panellist on numerous sustainability panels. Inspired by Intrepid and Air New Zealand we also created a Sustainability document and set our SDG30 goals, surprised that 10 years ahead of schedule Reho Travel has already made an impact in every category.
During the presentation in 2018 I controversially asked one of the major groups to add three sustainability focussed questions to their supplier contracts. Although that fell on deaf ears, I am pleased to read that The Duke of Sussex is behind Travalyst, a not-for-profit organisation that is convening a global alliance of leading travel and tourism service providers. The Coalition’s mission is to make it easier for travellers and travel providers to make sustainable choices. https://travalyst.org/ Given the heavy hitters behind this, we can expect their influence to flow through the entire supply chain.
In the corporate space, other than researching difficult to identify, ethical hotels, choosing hybrid vehicles and recording carbon credits, until now, it has been difficult to make both practical and proactive choices. Zeno by Serko has made a big leap with their Mission Zero technology which allows our customers to make proactive ethical choices and immediately direct offsets to a choice of projects. https://www.zeno.com/travel/features/mission-zero
Most of us travel with the right intentions, however it is often difficult to understand how as an individual or as a business you can have a positive impact.
I’m pleased to read that The Flight Centre Foundation https://www.fcfoundation.org.au/ has just launched the Future of Travel Youth Design Challenge in schools and communities empowering our younger generations to consider how they can impact travel, tourism, and cultural experiences.
Please refer your children, young people in your community programs, schools, and friends to apply to join the challenge!!! https://youngchangeagents.com/challenges/future-travel-youth-design-challenge
As domestic and international travel bounces back from the effects of the pandemic, we have the opportunity to rethink the way we travel in 2022 and beyond.