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Buying local will bring about ‘real benefits’, as holidaymakers prepare to spend more



Over a quarter of holidaymakers will spend more on their holidays this year, according to a recent poll commissioned by M&S Bank.

The survey suggested that 26% of British travellers will shell out, on average, £306 per person more than they did last year. Seventy-four per cent predicted that they would spend the same amount or more this year than in previous years.

Paul Stokes, head of travel money at M&S Bank, said, “We look forward to our annual holiday all year and it’s clear that the family holiday is something the nation is not prepared to compromise on.”

However, this predicted increase in expenditure needs to be met with sensible spending choices, according to one sustainable tourism firm.

Click here to read The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2013

“Regardless of how much people are spending, what is crucial is where that money is spent and what it is spent on”, said Manda Brookman of the Cornwall Sustainable Tourism (Coast) Project.

Speaking to Blue & Green Tomorrow, she added that benefits to local communities were achievable through spending at a local level.

“In terms of seeing real benefit to local communities, businesses and destinations, spending lots of money in big accommodation or food chains and supermarkets is not nearly as beneficial as spending on local food, business and community festivals”, she said.

Meanwhile, Graham Miller, professor of sustainable tourism at the University of Surrey, argued that the best value holidays – bought through package deals – often meant a smaller cost on the environment from carbon dioxide emissions.

He said, “The chartered aircraft used for package holidays do not take off until they are full. They have higher load factors and are therefore more carbon efficient. The problem however, is that tourists tend to have less choice in terms of freedom to explore the local communities and therefore do not contribute greatly to the local economies.”

The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), whose members include some of the leaders in sustainable tourism, was featured in Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2013 – where you can find more information on how to travel responsibly.

Further reading:

Sustainable tourism: people, power and destination stewardship

A responsible tourist considers local communities

81% of tour operators and 75% of travellers say yes to more sustainable travel

The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2013