Travel firm warns holidays could be restricted by carbon passports

A report by Intrepid Travel claimed drastic measures could be introduced as many popular holiday destinations face ‘extinction’.

Neil Lancefield
Wednesday 04 October 2023 00:01 BST
International holidays could be restricted by carbon passports as global temperatures rise, a travel company has warned (Steve Parsons/PA)
International holidays could be restricted by carbon passports as global temperatures rise, a travel company has warned (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)

International travel could be restricted by carbon passports as global temperatures rise, a holiday company has warned.

A report by Intrepid Travel claimed drastic measures could be introduced as many popular destinations face “extinction”.

It predicted that “personal carbon allowances” may be introduced to reduce emissions.

The report stated: “These allowances will manifest as passports that force people to ration their carbon in line with the global carbon budget, which is 750 billion tonnes until 2050.

“By 2040, we can expect to see limitations imposed on the amount of travel that is permitted each year.”

Tourism must evolve and become regenerative

Darrell Wade, Intrepid Travel

It added that travellers will be “forced to forgo the horizon-expanding experiences so readily embraced by today’s tourists”.

The report, produced in partnership with foresight agency, The Future Laboratory, warned that climate change means destinations such as Greece and Majorca may become too hot for many people to enjoy summer holidays, causing a switch to cooler locations such as Belgium, Slovenia and Poland.

It stated: “At this pivotal moment in climate history, lack of action from the travel industry will see catastrophic and fatal trends continue to develop.”

Thousands of UK holidaymakers were on the Greek island of Rhodes when parts of it were devastated by wildfires in July.

Intrepid Travel predicts that a cohort of people it describes as “travel transformers” will spark the emergence of “regenerative travel”, focusing on the social and environmental impact of holidays.

Darrell Wade, co-founder and chairman of the company, said: “The direct, catastrophic impact of climate change has for too long been viewed as something distant in the future. But this is no longer an impending event; it’s happening now.

Tourism must evolve and become regenerative, as the current model is unsustainable.

“We must recognise that the future needs to be different from business as usual, and that the climate crisis is not a competitive advantage.

“The clock is ticking for our planet and the future of the travel and tourism industry.

“There is limited time left, and immediate collective action and innovation is needed to decarbonise travel together and truly achieve the immense potential for sustainable development within our industry.”

The Future Laboratory’s Martin Raymond said: “A new era is dawning for the travel and tourism industry.

“Transient and transformative travel experiences will revolutionise the notion of leaving no trace.

“We will see hotels will be at the forefront of this extraordinary change. In the next decade we will see more now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t travel experiences popping up across the world.”

A recent survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Advantage Travel Partnership, a network of independent travel agents, indicated that 70% of people aged 18-24 said they are “somewhat or very likely” to adjust the time of year they travel as a result of changing weather patterns, compared to just a quarter (25%) of people aged over 64.

Some 62% of respondents in the younger age range said they are likely to change their holiday destination due to climates becoming warmer in certain countries.

Sebastian Ebel, chief executive of travel company Tui, has predicted that more holidaymakers will opt for cooler destinations and times of the year when the temperature is not at its highest.

He said the company will put more focus on locations such as the Nordics, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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