Why golf tourism must embrace environmental sustainability or face an uncertain future
With tourists increasingly selecting holidays based on sustainability factors – 82% according to Google data last year – golf venues need to show how they are putting the environment front and centre of their plans.
Recent research released from Booking.com suggests the pandemic has been the tipping point for travellers to commit to their own sustainable journey, which in turn is putting added pressure on the golf industry to step up its role in the fight for the planet’s future.
Ian Knox, Head of European Tour Destinations, a network of world-class golf venues spanning 19 countries and three continents, each assessing their own role in climate action, said: “The pressing need for a more sustainable outlook is clearer than ever. We saw this at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland last year, when golf was given a global platform to speak.
“Our destinations have long been committed to putting nature first and implementing measurable actions – initiatives that have become increasingly critical given the growing importance sustainability is now playing when making travel choices, and especially with a reported 41% willing to pay a premium for sustainably sourced products and services.”
European Tour Destinations venues focusing their efforts on exploring pathways to net-zero have been highlighted in a new feature, A sustainable future for golf, and include:
Son Muntaner, Mallorca – dedicated to reducing its water usage and efficiently managing recycled water
Constance Lemuria, Seychelles (pictured above) – committed to tackling plastic pollution with refillable bottles and safeguarding endemic species
Estonian Golf and Country Club, Estonia (pictured below) – demonstrating its sustainability actions via GEO Certification, the international eco-label
The feature also includes insights from the European Tour Group on how it’s monitoring its impact and ultimately taking action in reducing the DP World Tour’s carbon footprint, which is of huge importance to the future of the planet and the golf industry.
“Addressing ESG (environment, social and governance) criteria within corporate strategy is also proving decisive, and something we work closely with our network venues on,” Ian Knox continued.
“With a recent report stating 64% of millennials would turn down a job that didn’t adhere to ESG practices, our support and the sharing of best practices among our venues is proving vital.
“Now, more so than ever, golf needs to demonstrate environmentally sustainable initiatives, golf venues need to validate their credentials and the industry as a whole needs to take action with business strategies focusing on people, planet and profit.”
For more information about European Tour Destinations, visit: www.europeantourdestinations.com