Friday, January 16

Responsible tour operators and hotels against Heathrow expansion

When I was asked to participate in a member online survey yesterday about the Heathrow expansion project, I had a hunch this might be the outcome.

MEDIA RELEASE: 15 January 2009

Responsible tour operators and hotels against Heathrow expansion

A survey of over 900 of members - made up of tour operators and accommodations from around the world - has found that 75% are against plans for a third runway at Heathrow.

The green light given by the British Government has been met with disapproval from's member organisations, as well as by the MD of this leading ethical travel company, Justin Francis:

"Whilst most of the members that we work with are dependent on aviation to generate business the majority of them are against the third runway. It's a myth that everyone in the tourism industry backs an expansion. We should be focussing on flying less, and improving the benefits of existing international tourism to local communities and conservation, not on flying more"

Here’s what some members of have said…

“This is typical of the 'Business as Usual' attitude of the government in the middle of a climate and energy (not to mention economic) crisis. They'd be thinking of redecorating the banqueting suite on the Titanic, AFTER someone had shouted 'Iceberg Ahoy'.... .”

“We are all doing enough already to destroy our wonderful planet without making conscious decisions to cause more damage!"

“Effective measures must be taken to combat climate change, and approving an expansion of aircraft capacity sends the wrong message and will have an impact far into the future.”

“Whilst there may be economic benefits which would emanate from the construction, operation and increased traffic resulting from a third runway I am concerned at the impact on not only the environment in the "green" sense but particularly about the infrastructure, both road and rail."

"I'm strongly against the idea of UK airport expansion, and would favour a rapid cessation of all internal flights with a correlating expansion of rail capacity."

Notes to editors

About is the world's leading online ethical travel company, selling over 3,000 holidays from over 270 specialist operators and 550 accommodations. All the holidays meet specific responsible tourism guidelines and aim to create better places for people to live and to visit. Launched in 2001 with backing from Dame Anita Roddick, the website is for travellers who want more real and authentic holidays that also benefit the environment and local people. The organisation - based in Brighton, England - also campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.

Krissy Pentland
07717 348 368