I was doing some initial work on the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into “sustainable tourism, the impacts of tourism and travel on the environment and how these can be reduced”, when I noticed that the closing date for written submissions of 19 September, that I original gave out, was wrong. The correct date is 13 September 2019.
The wording of the call for evidence tends to suggests that the committees interests lean more towards UK outbound and international inbound tourism. (informing the Government’s forthcoming aviation policy is specifically referenced). There is very limited reference to domestic tourism, despite it accounting for c 80% by value and volume of tourism activity within the UK itself and, therefore, having significant environmental impacts that will need to be carefully managed if the sector is to continue to flourish and contribute to reducing the totality of the UK’s tourism environmental impact and carbon footprint.
The introductory notes also highlight the importance of good tourism management in delivering the economic and social benefits of tourism, while minimising the environmental and other negative impact that can accompany mass tourism. Destination management and the increasing issues of undertaking it are of course dear to all our member’s hearts.
Combined these two openings represent an opportunity to raise the role of a successful domestic tourism industry in reducing the UK’s holistic tourism related environmental impact worldwide. It also allows us to articulate the need for strong well supported destination management in the UK to ensure the UK, among other things, achieves the ambitious, sustainable, zero carbon targets that are being considered and which are likely to be set for the industry in the next few years.
Some destination may wish to highlight to the Committee what they are already doing in this respect, or use the inquiry as vehicle to raise awareness around other key concerns. For example, the importance of primarily domestic focused popular UK destinations and the pressures around funding and maintaining appropriate levels of management in local point or larger area destinations. I will look to try to do the same in the British Destinations’ response.
The consultation detail has now moved down to the third item in the “Consultations” drop-down menu, or go direct to the page at: https://britishdestinations.net/consultation-responses/open-consultations/select-committee-inquiry-into-sustainable-tourism-closing-19-september-2019/