Catalysing A Decade of Climate Action in Global Travel and Tourism
04/11/2021 - 14:30

Catalysing A Decade of Climate Action in Global Travel and Tourism

On the afternoon of 4 November, NECSTouR organised an interactive, virtual tourism event as part of the COP26 Climate Summit, ahead with its members of VisitScotland and Tourism Declares and The Future of Tourism Coalition - partners on our Climate Action Plan.

Video recording


It enabled an interactive forum to capture the opportunities and challenges of achieving net zero in tourism.

Earlier in the day, the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism was launched, an initiative to galvanise the global travel and tourism industry to commit to a decade of climate action.  

This event was designed to build on this and create a dynamic opportunity for leading tourism stakeholders to highlight good practice and innovation on the journey to net zero, while exploring the actions, enablers and barriers to achieving it. None of us individually hold all the answers, but collectively we can share our knowledge and accelerate climate action.

We have demonstrated our own value during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s in the same spirit of adaptation and collaboration that we look forward to catalyse and accelerate our efforts leading to a Net Zero tourism future for our places and our people.

NECSTouR President stated

Participants included delegates from national and regional tourism organisations, industry, as well as tourism networks, institutions and NGOs.

A panel of senior destination representatives shared inspiring examples of activity, demonstrating that tourism can – and must – play a crucial role in achieving net zero targets.

They included the Minister of Tourism from Barbados, the Director of Planning and Place from the Cairngorms National Park Authority, the Deputy CEO of West Sweden Tourist Board, the Deputy Director of Oregon Coast Visitors Association, the Sustainability Strategist for Gothenburg & Co, and the CEO of the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions. Their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead contributed to a practical and lively discussion.

Visit Scotland presented the Destination Net Zero programme, providing support to tourism businesses and destinations as they transition to a greener, more sustainable future.

We extend a huge thank you to our members from Balearic Islands, Île-de-France, Valencia Regin and West Sweden, and everyone else who contributed during the subsequent open forum session. It was fantastic to hear about the actions that are being taken across the globe.

It’s clear from the discussion that there are many challenges and barriers to consider as we work towards net zero – but the overriding and hugely encouraging message is that this also presents a fantastic opportunity for our industry and the destinations, businesses, and communities within.

We video-recorded the event so that everyone can benefit from the useful content on the day. We are currently editing the film for the website and will add shortly. Please check back as it's one not to be missed!

Key takeaways

In addition to demonstrating not just the commitment but the action being taken by our event partners and panellists, this event successfully highlighted good practice across key areas of activity needed to deliver net zero.

The priority areas outlined in the Glasgow Declaration include measurement, decarbonisation, regeneration, collaboration and financing.

Another objective for the event was engaging, inspiring and galvanising NECSTouR members and other attendees to accelerate action on climate change.

Feedback on the event has been strong, as has the appetite for follow-up activity on two fronts:

  • The need for ongoing advice and support for stakeholder action
  • The desire to build on the valuable exchange that the event enabled.

Another benefit is the ongoing insight and good practice that will be shared through these international partnerships.


Working together

COP26 presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the decisive action that the global tourism industry is taking to secure its future prosperity in the face of a growing climate crisis. But we can’t just stop there once the eyes of the world are no longer fixed on Glasgow. We must commit to maintain this momentum and enthusiasm to deliver change.

This event was delivered in partnership with Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, The Future of Tourism Coalition and Visit Scotland.

We will be asking delegates for feedback to gain an understanding about what is needed and where we go from here, so we can both inform and inspire next steps as part of our Climate Action Plan.


Glasgow Declaration

NECSTouR is a launching partner of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. Tourism stakeholders can now become signatories of this global initiative which launched at COP26 with those who sign up committing to cutting tourism emissions at least in half over the next decade and reach net zero as soon as possible before 2050. Take a look at what's involved and become a signatory.


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