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Why do we need to travel? Listen to The Standard podcast

Ocean health Crete coast (Juliet Kinsman)
Ocean health Crete coast (Juliet Kinsman)

This week, sustainability expert Juliet Kinsman talks to Jon Weeks about how travelling better is significant in delivering economic support to local communities — especially when it comes to the destinations most affected by changing weather patterns.

Travel is also vital to counter myopia; encounters and exchanges with other cultures help improve our relatability to people with perspectives and prospects very different from our own.

A powerful, much-quoted statistic from the WTTC is that one in 10 people (back in 2019) is employed in tourism; we’re almost back at that figure — plus these numbers are set to rise significantly in the next few decades.

This means tourism’s economic resilience is also vital for the socio-economic uplift of millions of people around the world.

But it also means more people travelling, upping a need to reduce negative environmental fall-out of all those travellers on the move.

Tune in to discover which destinations are most reliant on us travelling.

The hosts of this podcast series also ask: how can a chain of resort hotels be sustainable?

When we plan our trips, we might not have thought of choosing accommodation providers with robust decarbonisation strategies or that consider their three scopes of carbon — see The Standard’s article on all the jargon.

Juliet spent time in Mallorca investigating the behind-the-scenes sustainability of Iberostar resorts, the sponsor of this podcast series.

Headquartered in Palma, this group of 100 hotels has beachfront escapes from Aruba to Morocco has a full-time team of 30 dedicated to sustainability, including scientists as well as storytellers.

Discovering that Iberostar is a green hydrogen pioneer and is passionate about destination stewardship inspired Jon and Juliet to speak to its lead scientist.

Iberostar is especially passionate about coastal health and looking after our oceans.

Special guest this episode, global sustainability office director Dr Megan Morikawa, who has a PhD in marine biology from Stanford University, talks about the science behind risk mitigation, and the importance of investing in water management — and how hospitality can make a big difference when it comes to the climate crisis by scaling solutions across a portfolio, in Iberostar’s case, from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean.

A snoop around the group’s back-of-house treated Juliet to the secret to its journey to using more renewable energy and zero waste, too, including learning about how the Winnow AI-powered tech in the kitchens has reduced food waste by 28 per cent.

The Standard’s Sustainable Travel podcasts help listeners better understand the value of sustainable travel — five of the six episodes can be found on Apple, Spotify and wherever you usually stream your podcasts.