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11.12.2019

Green Winter Tales – sustainable coach holiday travel

This is a special time of year for telling tales – winter tales, fairy tales and Christmas tales. The RDA also has a very special and potent tale to tell. This is a tale concerning coach tourism, climate change and sustainable environmental protection – a tale we will continue to tell over the coming year. Its core message in a nutshell – recently reinforced at the 68th RDA General Assembly in Augsburg – is that modern EURO VI tour coaches provide the most climate-friendly mode of holiday transport and that this really can help to make a difference.

There are, of course, a number of other additional steps which coach holiday destinations, accommodation providers and service suppliers may consider and undertake in tandem with coach operators in order to make coach holidaymakers’ experiences not only memorable but also more climate-friendly and environmentally sustainable.

A number of suggestions have been outlined by Dr. Patrick Patridge including:

  • Purchasing policy – e.g. paying attention to furniture, fabrics, cloths & fittings, especially in the accommodation and gastronomy sectors
  • Promotional materials – e.g. paper/inks/printing methods employed
  • Sourcing and incorporating organic/regional/seasonal food and beverage products where and when possible – variety is after all the spice of life and dining is a major part of any coach holiday culinary experience
  • Waste management – e.g. avoiding use of plastics (take over 500 years to decompose when dumped) where and when possible, e.g. plastic water bottles – substitution with paper products and glass (e.g. marmalade and jam dispensers at breakfast buffets; reusable glass bottles)
  • Employing green energy when and where possible – e.g. solar, wind, wave, hydro and geothermal sources of energy
  • Water conservation – e.g. in showers, toilets and laundry policy (e.g. towelling, tablecloths and bedclothes)
  • Immediate environment enhancements – e.g. by planting indigenous flowers, native trees and shrubs instead of foreign species – ash, walnut, hazel and elderberry trees in Great Britain and Ireland for example. These support and enrich native fauna, songbirds and bees in particular. Imagine hotel guests awakening to the sound of birds twittering and singing (instead of to the sound of silence) and to the flavours of locally produced and health-giving honey on their breakfast cereals and toast.
  • Tip for accommodation providers: European ISO 14001 environmental audit and hotel certification

Such measures are not only beneficial to the tourism environment but also deliver a major bonus to any destination and/or coach holiday supplier marketing, advertising and public relations initiatives. This should by no means be underestimated in times of demographic change and enhanced market competitiveness.

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