On June 2 at 12:00 CET. SAS opens seat reservations for its first-ever commercial electric flight in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. SAS invites travelers to join in writing this next chapter in aviation history with 30 seats available for reservation on each of the three inaugural flights – which are expected to take place during the course of 2028.
SAS’ goal is net-zero emissions by 2050. An important part of achieving this goal is to develop and use technological innovations such as electric aircraft on shorter trips.
“Since its inception in 1946, SAS has been one of the pioneers in the airline industry, being for instance the first commercial airline operator to fly over the North Pole to significantly shorten flight time between continents. A groundbreaking activity for which SAS received the Columbus Prize. The fact that we can now invite our passengers to the next major milestone in the future of aviation is a natural continuation of that pioneering spirit and a significant step on our journey towards more sustainable aviation,” says Anko van der Werff, President & CEO of SAS.
The ticket price for the inaugural flight will be SEK/NOK/DKK 1946 – a tribute to the year when SAS first started flying. A start-up that also marks the beginning of SAS’ innovative nature, with then-founder Wallenberg stating that “moving from the old to the new is the only tradition worth preserving”.
Reservations will be made available on 2 June at 12:00 CET in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark
Price: 1946 kr. incl. fees and taxes to be paid 30 days prior to the date of the flight once communicated – no fees for the reservation
Departure day: To be communicated to travelers by email when decided
Place of departure: To be communicated to travelers by email when decided
Towards a more sustainable aviation
Being a driving force in a more sustainable aviation is our priority, and we are working actively to lower CO₂ emission and reduce climate impact. This includes supporting innovation and partnerships to find new solutions, making investments in new, more fuel-efficient aircraft, increasing production and use of more sustainable aviation fuels and many other enhancements to our inflight offerings and service.
To reduce our emissions and drive our environmental initiatives, we have short- and long-term climate actions and targets.
Significant sustainability milestones include:
2019: a partnership with Airbus to pave the way for large-scale use of low- and zero emission commercial aircraft.
2019: SAS cooperates with Heart Aerospace to drive the development of electric aircraft. Subsequently, in September 2022, we signed a letter of support concerning their new electric ES-30 to our regional fleet.
Future sustainability targets include:
2030: 50% noise reduction compared with 2010
2030: Sustainable aviation fuel equivalent to SAS’ domestic production.
2050: Net-zero carbon emissions in line with IATA’s updated ambition.
SAS, Scandinavia’s leading airline, with main hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, flies to destinations in Europe, USA and Asia. Spurred by a Scandinavian heritage and sustainability values, SAS aims to be the driving force in sustainable aviation and in the transition toward net zero emissions. The airline has a plan to reduce total carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2025, by using more sustainable aviation fuel and our modern fleet with fuel-efficient aircraft. SAS is a founding member of the Star Alliance™, and together with its partner airlines offers a wide network worldwide.
The town of Taos, New Mexico has fewer than 7,000, is a UNESCO heritage site known for its culturally significant Taos pueblos and homes. Taos also has limitless outdoor recreation opportunities for curious and adventure loving families and on Earth Day, is showcasing its eco-friendly and sustainable attractions:
UNESCO world heritage sites and art museums- From the rich Native and Spanish cultures to the characters of the Old Wild West, Taos museums can also take you on a walk-through history. Taos Pueblos are a UNESCO heritage site and a sovereign Pueblo Indian community.
Earthship Tours – See sustainable homes built with bales of straw, old tires, bottles, and cans. An earth ship is an off-the-grid and self-sufficient home that is made from primarily natural and recycled materials like earth-rammed tires, cans, and bottles.
Casa Gallina is committed to being a good steward of the environment and does so through their sustainable practices such as conserving water through drip irrigation and the usage of acequias.
Taos Goji is an eco-lodge that has a strong emphasis on the full cycle of sustainability at their onsite farm. Goji’s fruit and vegetables are pesticide free and organically cultivated. Their water comes from deep wells, fed by mountain aquifers.
Seconds EcoStore is a retail store selling stylish recycled, solar powered and green gifts, featuring lots of local design. This store has seen an unfurling of adventurous recycled redesign and an evolution of new ideas birthed from the waste stream.
Moxie is a store that supports the local economy by purchasing locally and supporting nonprofit organizations.
Taos Acequia Association is committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Taos’s traditional agricultural community by protecting water rights, preserving, and strengthening the acequia system.
Taos Earthships is an off the grid community including more than 300 acres of land using solar and wind power exclusively. Each earthship is a self-sufficient dwelling built with natural and recycled materials with energy conservation in mind and some of the homes can be rented out by the night.
Bespoke travel specialist Audley Travel firmly believes that carefully planned travel creates local jobs, supports conservation projects and shares stories – which all contribute to memorable travel experiences for clients.
Audley’s Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Framework (launched in 2021) has guided many of the business’ actions in the past year – and will continue to do so. Audley was delighted to receive the silver World Responsible Tourism Award for Decarbonising Travel & Tourism at the end of 2022, which acknowledged its efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Audley’s ESG Framework
The ESG Framework identifies five key areas (the environment, workplace, communities, market place and governance) in which the business has set 36 goals and annual targets which are either aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals or with Audley’s internal priorities. The targets form a long-term journey where small sustainable steps over extended periods of time continue to deliver change to benefit the communities in Audley’s destinations.
Building on 2021’s achievements, Audley has made strong progress against its 2022 ESG targets with 33 of the 36 met, and the remaining three being a continued focus for 2023. Highlights of the achievements include:
Responsibleproduct – Audley continued to review its offering to identify sustainable product that goes beyond above and beyond to give back to local communities and the environment, with 133 additional accommodation and experiences meeting the operator’s assessment criteria and having a particularly positive impact (taking the total to 158). Audley’s goal is to use this work to offer clients more sustainable choices to make the most of the positive impact they have when they travel.
Employee volunteering – Employees dedicated over 2,296 hours to volunteering in 2022 with 57 per cent of staff donating at least half a day (exceeding the target of 40 per cent).
Insight – As part of its commitment to a goal to support education for all, Audley’s Insight initiative uses the knowledge of employees and suppliers to support young people exploring career opportunities in the travel industry. Two sessions were run in Boston as well as two in London and one in Witney (UK) as reaching 112 students from populations historically shut out of the industry.
Long term carbon strategy – Audley’s long term carbon reduction work continues, with the operator taking on its biggest challenge yet: calculating the carbon footprints of clients’ trips. The bespoke nature of Audley’s trips meant this wasn’t an easy task. Working closely with carbon reduction consultant, ecollective, Audley calculated that 98.4 percent of its total carbon footprint comes from Scope 3 emissions and roughly 90 percent of total emissions come from client travel. With ecollective’s support, Audley has identified ways to reduce emissions with a goal of reducing the carbon footprint of an Audley trip on a per person, per night basis. Audley has also submitted carbon reduction targets to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Heather Magnussen, Responsible Travel & Sustainability Manager at Audley Travel, says: “Responsible travel has always been part of Audley’s DNA and we remain committed to preserving and restoring the environments and communities our clients visit. This is a long-term journey for us and we will continue to develop and build on the progress made so far throughout this next year, and beyond.”
WILLIAMS, ARIZONA, April 2022 – It sounds counter-intuitive: a 100-year-old steam engine will chug into Grand Canyon National Park to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, 2023, but it will showcase how ingenuity can thrive for future generations. The Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) may be the last daily standard gauge U.S. railroad to run steam engines in scheduled regular service – a rare sight and sound to behold.
The Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) is using recycled waste vegetable oil as fuel on No. 4960, a steam engine built in 1923. On select days from now through October, this massive steam engine will pull the daily train running from Williams, AZ to South Rim, Grand Canyon and at no extra cost to the passengers and guests. What saved it from static museum display? Waste vegetable oil (think oil used for French fries and chicken wings and fried shrimp). While such a diet may not be beneficial to the health of most of us, not only does the nearly century old engine run better, but by using recycled fuel (and captured snow melt for water in the boiler where possible) the great machine has a neutral carbon footprint.
As a matter of fact, it is estimated that the Grand Canyon Railway, built and running since 1901, reduces the number of cars in the national park to the tune of around 70,000 per year. Now we’re talking double green vision.
The other ingredient is good old-fashioned ingenuity inspired by the innovation of car mechanics to run vehicles on waste vegetable oil. The Railway strives to utilize biodegradable lubricants on the steam engines wherever possible. GCR is also the first tourism railway in the US to receive ISO 14001 third-party certification of its environmental management system.
For more information about the Grand Canyon Railway, visit thetrain.com or call 1-800-843-8724.
At a time when globetrotters are increasingly choosing eco-friendly trips in an effort to reduce their footprint on earth, Xanterra Travel Collection®, which operates many of the hospitality operations and concessions in and around the national parks, is making inroads to meet this imperative.
These include The Oasis at Death Valley, Glacier National Park Lodges, Cedar Creek Lodge, Grand Canyon National Park Lodges, Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, The Grand Hotel at The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park Lodges, and Zion National Park Lodge. Xanterra also owns and operates upscale biking (VBT Bicycling Vacations), walking (Country Walkers), a railway (Grand Canyon Railway), touring (Holiday Vacations), and cruising (Windstar Cruises) companies with itineraries on six continents.
That also brings a responsibility and an obligation to protect the environment while making bucket-list vacations a reality –whether that is riding a mule into the depths of the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch, climbing the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu, taking a small-ship cruise through the islands of French Polynesia, or cycling through the Italian countryside.
Here are some of the most innovative, groundbreaking, and just curious ways Xanterra’s travel properties help minimize their impact on the environment and support a cleaner, greener future.
When One Bad Apple Does Good: When do bad apples help our planet? When they’re fed to the famous mules in the Grand Canyon and come out as manure used by local nurseries and farmers. Since 2013, a mule named Vista along with 147 of its fellow park mules have feasted on 31 tons of shriveled apples and other food scraps such as melon rinds, broccoli stalks, and carrot peelings generated by Grand Canyon National Park Lodges restaurants. Not only does that keep the food waste out of landfills, but those hard-working mules also produce up to 2 million pounds of manure per year. Through Operation Shrively Apples, Xanterra has returned tons of food back to the earth by using their beasts of burden to lighten the load we put on our planet.
All Aboard the “French Fry Express”: Hop on the best — and most eco-friendly — way to arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park and help keep 50,000 to 70,000 cars outside of the park each year. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Ariz., on a scenic 65-mile 2.5-hour route across the Colorado Plateau to the edge of the canyon’s South Rim. But this train does more than just replace those polluting cars, thanks to French fry oil. The big steam engine #4960 turns 100 this year and runs on recycled waste vegetable oil collected from the Grand Canyon’s own restaurants, Instead of using coal or diesel fuel, each locomotive uses about 1,200 gallons of vegetable oil per round-trip journey, significantly reducing the C02 emissions compared to using ultra-low sulfur diesel.
In addition, the train harvests rainwater and snowmelt to operate its steam locomotives, taking advantage of a renewable water resource in this water-stressed area. As a result, it has reduced potable water consumption by more than 1 million gallons to date.
Old Presidents Under Bright Lights: Who better to preside over efforts to reduce greenhouse gases than great visionaries like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln? Just a few years ago, Xanterra built a 975-panel solar carport at Mount Rushmore under the watchful eyes of these past presidents. This structure now generates nearly half the electricity used by the restaurant and gift shop, while 54% comes from a nearby wind farm. Along with buying carbon offsets for the remaining emissions, Mount Rushmore is now a carbon neutral operation.
Sun and Water: The Oasis at Death Valley, a beautiful eco-resort in the middle of the 3.4 million-acre Death Valley National Park, has plenty of sun but not much water. So the property harnesses the power of one while carefully conserving the other. It generates reliable solar energy with the hospitality industry’s largest solar photovoltaic system. And because the park is the driest place in North America (averaging less than two inches of rainfall a year), the resort recycles the precious water from its own natural springs to feed two pools, water the golf course and gardens (planted with native drought-tolerant species), and eventually return it to nature’s watershed. Plus, it reduces the need to water the world’s lowest-elevation golf course by using natural dye on the dormant Bermuda grass in winter.
Pulling Carbon Out of the Big Sky: Feast on sustainably raised beef at the Yellowstone National Park Lodges restaurants and help support native grasslands in a first-of-its-kind project in the U.S. Xanterra helps four ranches outside the park participate in a 209,000-acre project to improve soil health, provide forage for cattle, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help reduce the effects of climate change. The project also offsets all the emissions from electricity used at the lodges while restoring a damaged ecosystem and improving biodiversity. All from regenerative ranching practices.
Starry, Starry Nights: Xanterra, along with the National Park Service, helps the stars at night shine big and bright in the Grand Canyon National Park. By reducing light pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, Xanterra preserves views of the dazzling night sky and protects nocturnal animals and ecosystems in the park. Because nearly 2,000 light fixtures have been replaced since 2013 — nearly half by Xanterra — the International Dark-Sky Association recognized Grand Canyon as the International Dark Sky Place of the Year in 2019.
Xanterra uses similar outdoor lighting best practices at The Oasis at Death Valley, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (which contains Glacier National Park), and Zion National Park, which helped them all become designated International Dark-Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association.
Purple Pipe Majesties: Xanterra’s many national park operations boast some of the most inspiring scenery on Earth: stunning vistas, deep canyons, and desert peaks. But purple plumbing pipes? Yup, they’re used for reclaimed water, one of the key ways to reuse and conserve this precious resource in Grand Canyon National Park. Quite simply, reclaimed water is wastewater that is treated and reused for a variety of purposes, such as drip irrigation and toilet flushing in the lodges, such Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Lodge. By reusing water rather than pumping it from the nearby springs or aquifer, the Grand Canyon lodges used about 3.6 million gallons of reclaimed water in 2021 and plan to switch another 3.9 million gallons a year from potable to reclaimed within the next two years.
Eat Your Greens While Going Green: When you eat at Xanterra’s 56 restaurants, you can expect food that not only tastes good but does good. That’s because the eateries strive for 70% of food and beverages to be sourced locally (within 500 miles) and sustainably, while reducing chemical additives, saving water, reducing transportation, protecting local ecosystems, treating animals humanely, and reducing waste. Locations such as Zion National Park and Mount Rushmore have even created on-site gardens to provide hyper-local produce and compost waste to enrich the soil and avoid synthetic fertilizers. In fact, in 2021 Xanterra composted 23.5% of its total food waste in five national parks, preventing 90% of it from heading to landfills in Zion alone. Meanwhile, at Glacier National Park, composted food waste nourishes the flower beds at Lake McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Hotel — a lovely example of beautifying the environment by preserving it.
What’s more, only 23 (out of 650) Certified Green Restaurants in North America hold the coveted, highest 4-star certification. And three of them are Xanterra-operated restaurants in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Mount Rushmore (whose Carvers Café is the second greenest restaurant in North America according to the Green Restaurant Association) — thanks to on-site gardens, compostable tableware, water reduction, solar power, recycling, and more.
Using Suds for Suds: Instead of simply recycling empty beer bottles into pulverized glass, the Yellowstone National Park Lodges partner with Bayern Brewery in nearby Missoula, Mont., which washes, sanitizes, refills, re-labels, and puts them back into the supply chain. To date, the park has kept about 140,000 bottles in circulation. That’s about 30 tons of glass kept out of the landfill or recycling stream, which saves resources and energy — all by using sudsy water to refill bottles with suds.
The Big Stretch: In a case of bigger is better, three of Windstar’s small cruise ships were audaciously lengthened and re-powered to improve their environmental performance on the high seas. Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride were each cut in two to insert a new middle section, which features more-efficient and less-polluting propulsion and generator engines along with new cabins and restaurants. This increased the capacity on each ship from 212 to 312 passengers, reducing fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 20% per-passenger nautical mile. The ventilation systems on the three ships were also upgraded to include HEPA filters and UV-C disinfecting lights to purify the air. Plus, onboard incinerators were removed to eliminate their air emissions. It was a stretch, but it was worth it.
Xanterra Travel Collection®, one of the oldest legacy travel companies in the US, tracing its roots back to the Fred Harvey Company founded in 1875, has long been committed to the preservation and protection of the environment by providing legendary hospitality with a softer footprint. From reducing pollution and conserving water to transitioning to renewable energy and fighting climate change, it has been honored with 42 green awards or certifications.
Culture capitals, wellness retreats, saying “no” to normal and travel experiences aligned with personal values such as sustainability, inclusivity and accessibility are among the top trending choices for travelers for 2023, according to data from Expedia Group’s brands.
For the first time, Expedia Group unveiled a comprehensive view of traveler trends across Expedia®, Hotels.com and Vrbo and the broader travel industry in 2023. Sourced from the company’s first-party data, and from custom research of thousands of travelers and industry professionals across 17 countries, these top travel trends prove there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to travel in 2023.i Instead, these trends point to a year defined by the “no-normal.”
“When we look at Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo data together, we see a detailed and robust picture of travel into 2023,” said Jon Gieselman, president, Expedia Brands. “We’re seeing a surge in trips to culture capitals, a new wave of interest in wellness retreats and a spike in demand for outdoor destinations beyond just beaches and mountains — not a new normal but people branching out to unexpected trends in what we’re calling the ‘no normal’.”
Unexpected Travel Trends in 2023
Booking a trip after binging a popular new series will become serious business in 2023. Expedia research confirms that streamed movies and TV shows are now the top sources of travel inspiration (40%), outpacing the influence of social media (31%). Furthermore, the small screen is now considered on par with recommendations from friends and family when it comes to travel inspiration.
In the US, more than two-thirds (68%) of travelers considered visiting a destination after seeing it in a show or movie on a streaming platform, and a whopping 61% booked a trip.
The top set-jetter destinations include New Zealand, with its landscapes featured in one of this year’s most epic series, followed by the UK, Paris, New York and the stunning beach resorts of Hawaii.
Expedia: Culture Capitals
National parks and rural retreats have had big moments these past two years. Now, it’s time for cities to see a comeback. Based on traveler demand, most of the destinations seeing the largest increases are culture-rich cities where art and culture festivities are getting back to full swing. Check out the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, plan a trip to WorldPride in Sydney or bask in the cherry blossoms in Tokyo. In the Expedia app, culture capitals are calling:1
New York, US
Hotels.com: Three-star Superstars
Travelers are seeking smarter ways to see the world, without compromising on comfort or cool factor. In the US, nearly a third (32%) of travelers are more concerned with value for money than ever before. Hotels.com data shows interest is up more than 20% globally in three-star hotels.2
In 2023, 40% of US travelers plan to stay in 1–3-star hotels and 34% plan to book a vacation with added value inclusions, such as free parking or breakfast. Showing a shift in mindset from the post-pandemic bucket-list mentality and moving towards a more spontaneous approach, one-third of travelers would rather go on more trips in three-star properties than splurge on one big luxury getaway. Fewer stars do not mean lower standards, however. Many properties, such as Una Vida in Mexico or Mama Shelter in Paris, offer excellent amenities, stylish interiors and unique vibes as a standard.
Hotels.com: New Wave Wellness
According to Hotels.com, more than half (53%) of Americans are seeking wellness breaks but cite boredom for traditional retreats and want to experience something more exciting in 2023. Millennials are the top drivers of this, as 60% of 25-34-year-olds are seeking out alternative wellness getaways. Most travelers want to explore new offerings in the US. However, Gen Z has a different view and would prefer to book an adventure to Norway, Turkey, Switzerland, Iceland and Sri Lanka.
To capture this awakened market, hotels such as the Loire Valley Lodge in France and Whitepod in Switzerland are offering advanced rejuvenation programs and hands-on activities that encourage travelers to get up close and personal with nature. The quirkier the activity the better. Sylvotherapy, forest bathing and fruit harvesting are more popular than classic activities like cooking courses, sport holidays and meditation sessions.
Hotels.com: Hot new hotel openings around the world
New hotels that cater to evolving traveler needs are opening around the world. These properties offer far more than a place to sleep, with destination restaurants, co-working spaces, and beautiful interiors as standard. From an art-filled social hub in London to unbridled luxury in Rome, these are the most exciting hotels to have on your radar in the year ahead, according to Hotels.com:
Kitchen credentials are a must, with travelers looking to plate up at their own convenience in a private Vrbo vacation home. Outdoor kitchens, pizza ovens and air fryers are the top three foodie-menities travelers crave. Additionally, nearly half of US travelers (43%) are using cooking to cut down on costs.
Travelers are looking for preferred amenities in their whole home vacation rentals rather than focusing on location. In fact, more than half (57%) of travelers would rather book a unique vacation home to be with their people in a lesser-known destination than a less interesting, less equipped vacation home in a popular area.
Rustic getaways are on the rise, as travelers crave private vacation homes with abundant space and exhilarating views. Cue the cowboy-cation, offering an intimate escape in the rugged wilderness. Demand for Vrbo homes in US western destinations increased by more than 30% from September 2021 to August 2022, as travelers seek to reconnect with nature.3 Plus, 42% of US travelers find inspiration in outdoorsy destinations and mind-blowing landscapes. Think log-lined cabins, flickering fires and sweeping vistas.
Travelers can live out their western fantasies by booking a luxurious lodge, ranch retreat or farmhouse that fits the whole crew. Destinations across Montana, Colorado and other western states spring readily to mind, but the cowboy-cation is not confined to the US. For a home on the range in Europe, travelers are booking converted barns and farmhouses in the countryside of Italy, Spain, France and the UK. Thrill-seekers can also embrace their inner cowboy in Australia, where farmhouses in the outback overlook acres of wineries and wild brush.
Vrbo: Hidden Gems
Travelers are also exploring unassuming locales and new places. Top hidden gems in the US have one thing in common: beautiful lakes, where travelers can take in tranquil views. Demand for Vrbo’s private vacation homes in each of these unconventional destinations has increased by 30% or more since September 2021:4
Greensboro, North Carolina
Irmo, South Carolina
Oneonta, New York
Bristol, Rhode Island
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Travel in 2023 will be about saying “no” to normal, breaking routines and searching for experiences without compromises. Whether it’s flying to those once-in-a-lifetime events or hosting group celebrations at a holiday home, travelers are no longer adapting to the next new normal, but creating their own status quo altogether.
An optimistic industry pushes forward
For the first time, the 2023 travel trends are being released at the same time as insights from industry professionals, from airlines to hotels to vacation rental hosts and and the ways that the pandemic forever changed travel. The research shows the highest levels of optimism in the travel industry since 2020. Most travel professionals expect leisure (71%) and business (70%) travel to return to pre-2020 levels within two years. While travelers looking for a change of scenery kept the industry afloat during the pandemic, all eyes are on the return of international and business travel. In fact, more than half (51%) in the industry say business is their organization’s highest priority in 2023.
Another insight from industry professionals shows travelers are choosing options aligned with their personal values such as sustainability, inclusivity and accessibility. Most travel businesses (60%) made changes in the last year to ensure their services are inclusive and accessible. In fact, sustainability is tied with marketing as the highest area of investment for 2023, with one in five industry professionals saying they plan to invest in sustainability next year.
BOSTON — Optimism is the keyword for the 2023 travel landscape as travelers embrace more distant experiences compared to 2022. Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), the leader in personalized small group and solo travel for Americans ages 50 and older, announced its top 4 travel trends for 2023.
“Travelers are showing a high level enthusiasm for life-changing adventures far from home, often on their own,” said Brian FitzGerald, Chief Executive Officer of O.A.T. “It’s a genuine priority for travelers to connect and engage with people from other cultures, and to find ways to give back to communities they visit.”
O.A.T. Top 4 Travel Themes for 2023:
1. Africa – Travel to Africa is seeing a resurgence. Botswana, Morocco, and Egypt top the list of popular 2023 trips at O.A.T. In 2022, travelers were more focused on Europe.
People who dream of visiting Africa — whether on safari on floating down the Nile — continue to make up for time lost due to the pandemic. These motivated travelers don’t want to put off visiting the continent any longer, and their sights are set on 2023.
2. Solos going strong – Women over 50, in particular, are heading out to see the world on their own. According to O.A.T., the number of solo travelers reserving for 2023 is up 24% compared to 2019. Overall, more than 60% of O.A.T. travelers are solos, and the majority are women.
“As a single traveler, you’re driving everything,” said O.A.T. solo traveler Muriel Forster. “That just gives you a great deal of flexibility. I overheard someone say, ‘a once in a lifetime experience.’ I thought, ‘I don’t want this to be once in a lifetime – I want this to be my lifetime!”
Solo travelers are drawn to trips with no single supplement, which can be hundreds or thousands of dollars. O.A.T. offers free single supplements on 92% of its single spaces in 2023.
3. Personalized travel – Travelers want the benefits of expert-led small group tours, but increasingly crave more than a one-size-fits all experience. 2023 will bring continued traveler demand to tailor trips with one’s individual preferences. For example, many travelers prefer to arrive early at a destination before a tour starts so they feel acclimated.
At O.A.T., 87% of travelers personalize their trips by arriving early, staying later, adding a stopover at a popular international city, or combining trips. By comparison, just 75% requested personalization in 2018.
4. Regenerative travel – The idea that tourism should leave a destination better than it was before is gaining ground globally. In a nutshell, regenerative travel improves local economies while preserving local cultures and biodiversity. It benefits local people and allows destinations to improve, all while providing authentic experiences to travelers.
O.A.T., through its Grand Circle Foundation, supports projects focused on water, conservation, and renewable energy in the areas to which the company travels. The Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (W.A.S.H.) initiative helps improve the well-being of local people. Access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education reduces illness and death, and increases socio-economic development leading to a reduction in poverty. The Foundation supports alternative energy sources to reduce carbon emissions and dependency on fossil fuels. Some schools add solar panels as an alternate source of electricity and to reduce operating expenses. Solar lights from the Foundation replace kerosene, reducing illness from soot and smoke and enabling students to study at night, leading to a better education.
O.A.T. provides travelers over 50 with impactful, intercultural experiences that help change people’s lives. O.A.T. fosters an intimate and accessible experience, with groups limited to 16 travelers (average of 13) by land and 25 (average of 22) by sea.
Established in 1978, Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.) is part of Boston-based Grand Circle Corporation’s family of travel companies, which also include Grand Circle Cruise Line and Grand Circle Travel. In 1992, owners Alan and Harriet Lewis established the nonprofit Grand Circle Foundation to support communities in which Grand Circle works and travels, including some 300 humanitarian, cultural, and educational endeavors worldwide—among them, 100 schools, in 50 countries. The Foundation is an entity of the Alnoba Lewis Family Foundation, which has pledged or donated more than $250 million since 1981.
SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (April 22, 2022)—Sonoma County Tourism (SCT), as part of its continued commitment to fostering sustainable practices within its destination, is unveiling several stewardship initiatives in recognition of Earth Day.
“Commemorating Earth Day through the launch of these initiatives is just another step in building Sonoma County as a sustainable tourism destination,” said Claudia Vecchio, CEO, Sonoma County Tourism. “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Sonoma County Regional Parks and Leave No Trace as well as introduce new programs that help ensure Sonoma County is a pristine destination for generations to come.”
Leave No Trace Partnership Elevated
Sonoma County Tourism and Sonoma County Regional Parks announce today its joint Sonoma County Leave No Trace Coalition Toolkit. The toolkit, developed in collaboration with the national Leave No Trace organization, contains physical and digital assets for land managers and hospitality businesses to promote practices designed to prevent environmental impacts in parks, preserves, and other outdoor recreation locations. Additionally, Sonoma County Tourism and Sonoma County Regional Parks have released its Leave No Trace Five Year Stewardship Action Framework. The framework describes the imperatives of the initiative and outlines the activities required to achieve key priorities, along with a set of outcomes to monitor progress.
Sonoma County Tourism, which entered its partnership with Sonoma County Regional Parks and Leave No Trace early last year, is extending its license with Leave No Trace to the neighboring counties of Marin and Mendocino. This new three-county group will work with Leave No Trace to address coastal trash and litter – developing shared goals and a uniform message to apply along the Northern California coastline.
Rewards For Rubbish Launched
Sonoma County Tourism announced the launch of a litter collection program in cooperation with the Russian River Confluence. The program, titled “Rewards for Rubbish” incentivizes volunteers to collect litter in exchange for treats and prizes. Participating businesses issue volunteers supplies to collect litter. Volunteers then pick up trash, returning the filled bags to the business in exchange for a small reward. Sonoma County Tourism provides all materials and incentives. Businesses interested in joining the Rewards for Rubbish program are encouraged to email [email protected].
Adopt-A-Road County-wide Adoption
Sonoma County Tourism’s commitment to litter reduction extends to its adoption of five one mile stretches of road throughout Sonoma County. Its three-year agreement with Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works sees SCT hold a minimum of 10 roadside cleanups a year spanning all five supervisorial districts. An Earth Day roadside cleanup will be held at SCT’s adopted road in Penngrove.
Carbon Offset Calculator Now Available
To contribute to the vital work of global climate action, SCT is inviting visitors to help the destination reach carbon neutrality by offsetting carbon emissions from their Sonoma County experience. Sonoma County Tourism has partnered with Sustainable Travel International (STI) to integrate its new carbon calculator on sonomacounty.com. After determining the carbon emissions from their trip, visitors can easily acquire carbon offsets from Sustainable Travel International. Doing so provides visitors with a personalized certificate verifying the amount of CO2 offset, with their dollars going towards meaningful climate projects that meet the most rigorous standards for carbon offsetting.
Sonoma County Tourism’s involvement with Sustainable Travel International extends to an upcoming documentary series in association with Sublime magazine and Zinc Media Group. Filming this spring, Sonoma County will be featured in “Sustainable Travel: Where Next?” an immersive documentary series that investigates the real impact that tourism has on the destinations and communities people visit, showcasing stories of conservation, regeneration, and empowerment. The series will make its debut on World Tourism Day in September 2022.
As previously reported, Sonoma County Tourism recently joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC®). Membership with GSTC® provides Sonoma County Tourism with valuable resources as it moves through its destination master plan. Sonoma County is currently undergoing an extensive assessment from GSTC, the results of which will help Sonoma County on its path to become a certified sustainable destination.
Stewardship and Sustainability remain at the forefront of everything Sonoma County Tourism does. As the nation’s first Destination Stewardship Organization, located in the most sustainable wine region in the world, SCT strives to create and adopt best practices aimed at protecting and preserving our destination for generations to come. To learn more about SCT’s commitment to sustainability, visit sonomacounty.com/sustainable.
NEW YORK — The decades-long effort to protect the Galapagos Islands realized an important milestone on January 14, 2022 when Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso signed a decree to conserve more than 23,000 square miles of ocean around the Galápagos Islands and beyond.
The new Hermandad Marine Reserve expands the current Galapagos Marine Reserve by almost 50 percent and extends northwest to the Costa Rican maritime border. This swath of ocean will safeguard a migratory corridor known as the Cocos-Galápagos Swimway, which is used by sea turtles, sharks, whales, rays, and many other marine species.
Lindblad Expeditions has had an enduring connection to the islands, ever since Lars-Eric Lindblad brought the first citizen explorers to the archipelago and funded the very first Galapagos Park Rangers. Lindblad’s founder and Co-Chair of the Board, Sven Lindblad, who first visited the Galapagos Islands in 1967 as a 17-year-old, was honored to witness this historic moment alongside Gustavo Manrique, Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition; President Ivan Duque of Colombia; former President Bill Clinton; Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and other dignitaries.
Following the ceremony, Sven Lindblad noted, “This is a really valuable and important step for marine protection…And hopefully these extensions will only get larger and larger over time. It’s been a tremendous joy. People have come from all over the world to celebrate what Galapagos has done. These islands are a jewel of our planet.”
See Video of the Signing of the Marine Reserve Decree
New York, N.Y.– April 27, 2021: Insight Vacations, a leader in premium guided journeys, is offering U.S. travelers the chance to book last-minute domestic and international getaways that are open for travel with a special 10-day sale on select tours.
From April 27 to May 6, guests can save up to 20 percent on trips this summer toIceland and the USA departing between May and August.
On all Insight journeys, guests will travel in relaxed style, stay at premium, hand-picked hotels in the best locations, taste delicious, authentic cuisine and explore a variety of cultures with local experiences unavailable to most travelers.
“With travel starting to reopen domestically and internationally, we are excited to get our guests back on the road again,” said Guy Young president of Insight Vacations. “Being part of a family-owned and run business for the past 100 years, the well-being of our guests and team has always been our top priority, and when clients are ready to travel again, we will have implemented various new protocols so they can travel and relax in style.”
Now’s the time to live your stylish life on a remarkable journey, as we venture to some of the most iconic and remarkable destinations. Several Insight journeys include new MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences with our not-for-profit partner,TreadRight, that are designed to uplift local communities and ensure Insight’s travels are used as a force for good while supporting the United Nations’ Global Goas
Insight Vacations has taken enhanced measures to ensure the wellbeing of its guests. These include: Small Group Departures with a maximum of 24 guests and Small Private Groups allowing guests to travel privately on any existing journey with as little as 12 guests; a new Well-being Directorwho will provide assistance during guests’ travels; new well-being protocols and hygiene standards developed with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Health Organization (WHO); and the Peace of Mind Promise, offering guests the assurance they can book with confidence.
You’ll experience a world of natural phenomena, with gushing waterfalls, volcanoes and stunning landscapes at every turn. In Hellisheidi, guests will visit Iceland’s newest geothermal heat and electric power station, Hellisheidavirkjun, the second largest of its kind in the world. A new MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, they’ll learn why Hellisheidavirkjun is a world leader in the utilization of geothermal energy. Guests can explore Reykjavik withInsight Choice, choosing between visiting the mineral-rich waters of the Blue lagoon, or discovering Reykjavik’s top sights on a walking tour with a Local Expert. At Lake Jokulsarlon, clients will see its luminous blue icebergs and the setting for the James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’, and in Skaftafell, they’ll visit the amazing alpine setting of the National Park and experience the might of Vatnajökull – Europe’s largest glacier. Clients will explore many other natural wonders such as Gullfoss’s two-tiered waterfall, the hot springs at Geysir, Snæfellsjökull National Park’s most famous volcano, and the scenic mountain passes of Almannaskard and the Mödrudal Desert.
This remarkable escape to Alaska explores sweeping landscapes, calving glaciers and spectacular national parks. Guests will embark on the world-famous Alaskan Railroad train for an unforgettable journey over swift-rushing streams and through majestic mountains. They’ll explore the iconic Denali National Park, which is abundant in wildlife and breath-taking views. Guests will delight in a special Insight Experience of meeting the champion dog team of four-time Iditarod winner, Martin Buser, learning about the challenges of competing in the 1,049-mile dogsled race and enjoying lunch at his home. In Talkeetna, they’ll enjoy an included Jet Boat Tour up the Chulitna River and visit a Trappers Cabin. While in Anchorage, guests will join Local Experts in an exclusive presentation on making Eskimo ice cream at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. To end the journey on a scenic note, guests will board the 26 Glacier Cruise in Whittier for a 100-mile boat tour of Prince William Sound and into the College Fjord, afterwards enjoying a Deliciously Authentic Dining experience, joining the Captain in the wheelhouse for an included lunch.
This all-American journey introduces you to America’s West in complete style. For a Unique Insight Experience, guests will join Local Expert, Canyon Tim, for an informative talk about the wonders of the Grand Canyon, teaching about the origins of the five-million-year-old canyon, its rock formation and impact now. They’ll journey on through the barren beauty of the desert to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, where they’ll board all-terrain vehicles with open sides to explore the valley with a Navajo guide. They’ll enjoy Deliciously Authentic Dining while mingling over a delightful Welcome Dinner at Hotel Valley Ho’s renowned Zuzu Restaurant in Scottsdale, named for the beloved matriarch of the family that owns the property.
This comprehensive exploration of the American West visits breathtaking natural wonders and captivating landscapes made famous by classic Western movies. Starting with the glamor of Las Vegas, guests will feel like royalty at the renowned Cesar’s Palace enjoying the iconic Las Vegas strip nightlife. For a Unique Insight Experience, guests will explore Monument Valley with a Navajo guide, boarding an all-terrain vehicle for a private tour through the mythical formation of the Navajo Tribal Park. Along the way they’ll discover the majestic Grand Canyon, the ancient pueblo cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, the sandstone cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park’s most scenic canyons in the United States on a private Zion Canyon Shuttle. A hand-picked hotel in the heart of the destination, guests will stay at the historic Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge, offering unrivaled access to breathtaking views, world-class hiking trails, and just steps from the Bryce Amphitheater of ancient rock formations.