Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Environmental impact of flights hits home for travellers

There has always been a hardcore of holidaymakers who refuse to fly due to the severe environmental impact of a rapid increase in air traffic. Yet the trend is no longer confined to dreadlocked eco-warriors; conscientious objectors to air travel are going mainstream.

The recent announcement by Mark Ellingham, founder of the Rough Guide to not only reduce the number of flights he takes himself, but to also include a warning in each new book published about the environmental impact of flying is a sure sign that 2006 is the year of the eco-traveller.

The impact for travel agents could be catastrophic, although it is a situation that the canny can benefit from. In addition to 'offsetting' - a scheme where travellers can make their flight carbon neutral by opting to pay an extra fee to fund a sustainable conservation project, there is obvious money to be made in offering other forms of transport.

Nobody is expecting the environmentally-friendly public to stop going on holiday, they are just being encouraged to find more imaginative ways of getting there. UK-based resorts stand to benefit from renewed interest, as does train travel and even sea-based trips.


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