We wholeheartedly believe that the power of travel can be used to change the world for the better. That’s why we love reporting on the people and businesses inspiring positive change.

This year we were able to bring you so much inspiring news from this space.

The energy of the sustainable travel revolution was at an all-time high in August when our sister brand Travel To Change The World, together with Chimu Adventures, held their first Revolution Roadshows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Travel To Change The World & KARRYON Founder Matt Leedham

Travel To Change The World & KARRYON Founder Matt Leedham

The roadshows featured inspirational speakers and practical workshops on the role travel advisors can play in selling travel to benefit everyone and indeed the planet itself.

Looking at 2018 as a whole, we were pleased to be able to report so many stories about the travel industry going plastic free.

This ranged from airlines such as Virgin Australia, and Delta to cruise lines like Royal Caribbean. On top this, hotels like Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts, Fiji’s Royal Davui Island Resort and Club Med all made plastic-free pledges.

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Meanwhile, single-use plastic bags and bottles were banned from entering Machu Picchu, plastic carry bags were removed from Botswana and Phuket began to phase out plastic and foam.

Looking forward to a greener future, we also saw Virgin Atlantic make aviation history by operating the first commercial flight powered, in part, by biofuel and Hurtigruten take sustainability at sea to the next level by announcing it will be using dead fish and organic waste to partly power its vessels.

The travel industry was conscious of reducing waste this year with Insight Vacations saying no to printed documents, eco-conscious travel advisors removing themselves from brochure distribution lists and some tour operators opting to go brochure free.

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Image: rawpixel/Unsplash

Reducing the impact of overtourism was another point of action with Boracay Island in the Philippines and Maya Bay in Thailand closing down temporarily to give the environment a chance to regenerate.

Animal protection was also in the spotlight. Calls from conservation groups to end the mistreatment of elephants across Southeast Asia were heard by the government in Thailand which no longer supports or promotes organisations that harm elephants.

World Animal Protection called on Australians to boycott ‘wildlife abusement’ parks in Bali, while France opened its first ever elephant sanctuary.

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Canada stood up and banned aquariums from keeping aquatic mammals such as dolphins and whales in tanks AND passed laws to make the grizzly bear a protected species in British Columbia.

When it came to human rights Australia declared orphanage trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery while G Adventures launched a campaign educating people on how to be child safe travellers.

Women continued to be empowered with Julia Gillard delivering an amazing speech at Flight Centres’ Womenwise Conference, G Adventures putting the spotlight on women-led projects, and Intrepid Travel not only launching female only tours but also making a promise to double its number of female tour guides by 2020.

LGBTQI rights were a continued focus with India finally ruling that gay sex was no longer a criminal offence and discrimination based on sexual orientation would be considered a violation of rights.

Amazing generosity was also shown throughout the year with both Helloworld and Travellers Choice raising big bucks for drought-affected farmers while other people within the industry had their precious locks chopped and waxed in the name of cancer research and the protection of orangutans.

Travellers Choice

Glenn Box with the member raffle winners.

Finally, we saw lasting changes made to ensure a better future including Flight Centre’s new ‘Brighter Futures’ program and Intrepid Group becoming the world’s largest travel B Corp.

We hope this recap left you feeling uber positive and inspired about 2018 and kudos to the travel industry for so many positive initiatives.

Are you inspired by what the travel industry achieved this year?