From Sustainability to Purpose: Roadmap To Recovery for Travel and Tourism

December 2020

Travel and tourism has been decimated by Coronavirus (COVID-19), leaving communities starved of income and jobs, whilst nature has flourished without crowds or pollution. As travel businesses rebuild, a new purpose and mindset is required to ensure that every stakeholder is considered. Consumers are on board, it is time for travel businesses to redress the balance and ensure that recovery is centred on going beyond sustainability to purpose, and even regeneration.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

If it’s broken, fix it

The old volume-driven business model for travel and tourism was decimated by COVID-19. In recovery, there is a once-in-a-generation chance to rebuild, and adopt a purpose- and value-driven tourism model for regeneration.

Harsh but true

At the heart of travel, there is a harsh dichotomy – an industry that promises wealth, employment and equality, at the same time can inflict enormous damage on local destinations and communities if managed badly.

Consumers onboard

The pandemic has ignited consumer interest in the social pillar of sustainability, building on the growing awareness about the climate emergency pre-COVID-19. Being people-centric and acting with empathy resonate well.

Business hesitancy

Businesses do not appear to be as convinced as consumers of the need to act with purpose. Despite decades of talk, there is still a deficit in action.

Bridging the gap

The disconnect between accelerating consumer interest vs decelerating corporate activity in implementing sustainable strategies and NPD is an area of grave concern. Change leadership needs to start from the top.

No time to waste

The UN is urging countries to declare a climate emergency, which Scotland has already done as host of COP-26. There is no time to delay in aligning with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to meet the 2030 agenda. Better late than never.

Action not words

Acting independently is futile. Solely through collaboration, partnership and sharing best practices can transformative change and progress be made. Signing a declaration is a start, but actions speak louder than words.

Every voice counts

Euromonitor is proud to stand with the Future of Tourism Coalition to promote a sustainable and purpose-driven recovery for travel and tourism.


Scope of the report
Key findings
Defining purpose: people, planet then profit
Rising consumer interest in brands acting with purpose
International travel recovery: but not as we know it
Momentum for travel with minimal impact and purpose
Support local: social pillars in the spotlight
Experiential, immersive travel set to accelerate post-pandemic
Unfortunate divergence in consumer interest and industry response
Travel businesses falling short in SDG engagement
Lack of clear purpose and leadership from the top
Half-hearted sustainability ambitions over the long-term
Regenerative tourism for next gen: going beyond the buzz
Case study: Wanderbus - on the road with B Corp credentials
Case study: LUX* Resorts - making solar energy cool
Case study: Make Your Impact for positive change
Case study: Travel Matters - purpose as a journey
Tracking and transparency critical to the way forward
Key takeaways
Euromonitor International supports the Future of Tourism Coalition


Travel encompasses several categories including tourism flows, lodging, travel modes, in-destination spending and booking.

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