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Skift Forum Europe – what does the future hold for responsible tourism?

April 29, 2019

Stemming from the flagship Global Forum in New York, Skift Forum Europe is a one-day conference where travel industry marketers, strategists, and technologists come together to discuss and define the future of travel. The European Forum distinguishes itself from similar events due to its “laser focus on examining Europe as a bellwether for many of the leading trends in global travel” (Skift).

One month after the UK was due to leave the EU, this year’s conference will be based in London’s Tobacco Docks on 30th April 2019. It will focus on Europe’s unique role in defining and scaling responsible travel practices that are critical to the long-term sustainability of the travel industry; one of the world’s biggest business.

In light of the political upheaval that Europe has faced over the last few years, hearing industry experts give insight into what the future holds becomes even more key when making business decisions in times of uncertainty. One thing that is certain this year is the significance of Skift Forum’s focus on responsible tourism, especially when it comes to tourism’s effects on the environment and the earth’s future.

Rising public interest

Responsible travel has gained public interest in recent years, marked with the removal of elephant riding and other harmful experiences to animals from tour operators’ packages. Over the last two years, an increasing number of travel companies have endeavoured to reduce the presence of single-use plastics on their holidays, in reaction to the British public’s shock at seeing footage of the harm plastic causes to sea life on BBC’s Blue Planet II, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

Only this month, celebrated broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough caused a stir again with the release of another documentary: Climate Change – The Facts. Coming at a time when protesters have gathered in their numbers and children across the world have skipped school to make their governments face up to the climate crisis, it is undeniable that this is a growing concern for the world’s population.

How do the industry experts at Skift Forum Europe plan to protect the travel industry and make tourism more sustainable so that we can continue to see the world in years to come? How can we make tourism have less of a negative effect on the local communities, habitats and species that call these summer destinations home? After Hollywood actress Emma Thompson was criticised for flying to the climate change protests, will ‘generation easyJet’ be put off air travel?

Only time will tell whether the growing concern over the climate will have an effect on consumers’ purchasing habits in the months and years to come, however it is clear that there is a market for more responsible, environmentally-friendly holidays. Hearing the perspectives of expert speakers at Skift Forum Europe will provide attendees with enormous insight into how the travel industry can protect itself and the planet in the years to come.

To find out more about Skift Forum Europe, visit

TAGS: Travel & Tourism

POSTED BY: Philippa Twigg

Philippa Twigg