Travel and the climate crisis: exploring COVID-19 impacts and the power of stories to encourage change

Wright, Daniel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9976-5799 (2021) Travel and the climate crisis: exploring COVID-19 impacts and the power of stories to encourage change. Journal of Tourism Futures . ISSN 2055-5911

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Purpose–The natural environment is facing unprecedented times owing to rising temperatures fromcarbon emissions, which travel-related industries contribute significantly towards. The recent globalCOVID-19 outbreak should be a wake-up call for the industry, as vulnerabilities have been laid bare. Thecurrent challenges should be used as a motivation to change the meaning of travel to support the globalwarming crisis. This paper aims emphasis that, by means of new stories, new values, beliefs andultimately travel behaviours can be rewritten.

Design/methodology/approach/–This study embraces a pragmatic approach to research. To ensureplausibility, credibility and relevance, the research carried out multi-disciplinary analysis of secondarydata, information, knowledge and draws on current developing trends.

Findings–The travel community needs to take responsibility and start reducing its carbon footprint andas carbon neutrality is increasingly a global priority. Accordingly, this research considers potential futuretravel-related behaviours that could support more carbon-neutral travel. Significantly, it notes how theCOVID-19 outbreak has offered insights into potential positive changes. To benefit from these changes,new stories for industry providers are necessary to encourage more carbon-neutral travel practices.

Originality/value–This paper offers timely and original discussions on the future of travel as a result ofCOVID-19 impacts. It draws on the power of storytelling as a means of achieving behavioural change inthe travel community to support the challenge of climate change.

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