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Friday,  May 24, 2024 2:09 AM 

More Canadians taking sustainability into account when booking travel: Virtuoso

  • Buzz
  •   11-29-2023  4:52 am
  •   Pax Global Media

More Canadians taking sustainability into account when booking travel: Virtuoso
Pax Global Media

Virtuoso recently conducted its 2024 Luxe Report, a survey of over 2,000 industry-leading travel advisors from more than 50 countries.

The impact of climate change on travel planning was among the most compelling findings, a press release says, revealing that the majority of Canadian travel advisors – 54 per cent – report their clients are increasingly taking climate change into account when planning their upcoming trips.

With extreme weather on the rise, Virtuoso advisors say their clients are travelling differently or changing travel plans to offset the effects of climate change seen across the globe.

Specifically, 86 per cent of advisors say Canadians are visiting destinations during off-peak times when weather conditions are typically better, 74 per cent said they are selecting destinations where weather conditions are less extreme and 32 per cent said they are travelling more sustainably to reduce their carbon footprint. 

“With a goal of making sustainability a greater factor in consumer choice, it’s inspiring to see more clients taking it into account, thanks in large part to our travel advisors who are creating a dialogue on selecting destinations, hotels, cruise lines, tour operators and other partners that share the same commitment,” noted Virtuoso’s Vice President, Sustainability Javier Arredondo, in a statement.

Protecting environment 

Virtuoso's partner efforts have included protecting and preserving the environment and/or promoting sustainable practices in local communities or around the world.

Fairmont Royal York

As of Nov. 15, Fairmont Royal York became the first heritage hotel in North America to earn a Zero Carbon Building – Performance Standard certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

The large-scale retrofit was achieved by converting heating and domestic hot water from steam to electric heat pumps that use heat recovery from Enwave’s district energy network, and by converting cooling from electrical chillers to Enwave’s Deep Lake Water Cooling system.

Fairmont Royal York will eliminate 7,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually and over 165,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2050. An industry leader in environmental stewardship, Fairmont Royal York’s sustainable evolution marks the next century as Toronto’s storied landmark hotel.

Anguilla

Anguilla is a haven for three species of turtles: green, leatherback and hawksbill.

During the nights of the peak nesting season, which runs from July to October, volunteers ensure turtles safely come ashore to nest on Anguilla’s 33 stunning beaches.

With their help in making sure the turtles are undisturbed, the female turtles carefully dig a nest up to one meter deep and lay about 100 eggs.

Although they can lay hundreds of eggs during a nesting season, just one in every 1,000 to 10,000 eggs will survive to reproduce and contribute to the survival of their species.

Windstar Cruises

A collaboration between Windstar Cruises and Coral Gardeners, a Moorea-based organization determined to revolutionize ocean conservation, will expand the small ship cruise line’s coral reef adoption program for guests, as well as provide new educational shore excursions in Tahiti and an on-board informative speaker series on coral reef preservation.

To date, Windstar and its guests have adopted over 2,400 corals by contributing via the on-board donation program, with the ultimate goal to open a dedicated nursery supporting 6,000 corals in 2025.

Air Canada

Air Canada has announced an investment in electric regional aircraft with a purchase agreement for 30 ES-30 electric-hybrid aircraft under development by Heart Aerospace of Sweden.

The new aircraft will generate zero emissions flying on battery power and is projected to have an all-electric range of up to 800 kilometres.

Honouring cultures

Celebrating and honouring cultures efforts transform communities, the travel industry and/or the world through the expansion of knowledge, beliefs, arts, customs or capabilities, Virtuoso says. 

Costa Rica

Since 2020, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute has developed a series of guides for several cultural hubs throughout the country, including Turrialba-Jiménez, Sarapiquí, Los Santos, Monteverde, Golfito-Jiménez and Osa, in which tourists are encouraged to utilize local guides, companies and artisans.

AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways is currently building two new ships in Colombia and working with local architects, designers and suppliers to properly incorporate and honour the natural resources and culture of the destination.

This partnership aims at enhancing the lives of local residents along the Magdalena River, as many of these communities will be opening up to international visitors for the first time.

Supporting local economies

Supporting local economies, meanwhile, make a positive financial impact on communities, improving conditions, circumstances and livelihoods for local or global populations, Virtuoso says. 

PONANT

PONANT owns the world’s only luxury Polar Class 2 rated exploration ship, Le Commandant Charcot, an icebreaker that can access remote Arctic regions earlier in the season.

The vessel serves as a supply ship for certain Greenlandic communities that are otherwise largely cut off from supplies from October to July.

PONANT has delivered over 60 pallets of food to the communities of Tasiilaq and Ittoqqortoormiit thus far in 2023, helping to lower the cost of goods in comparison to standard deliveries that arrive by air.

Le Commandant Charcot’s environmental impact has been rated “Super Clean” by the Bureau Veritas, a world leader in sustainable maritime business.

Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions supports the first farm-to-table program in the Galápagos Islands.

Working with dozens of family farms to source tons of organic produce for the ships benefits the people in this remote island community, reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and creates a market for locally grown food.


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