The future of the travel & tourism industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with environmental, social and governance (ESG) being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on attraction operators companies.
According to GlobalData’s Q3 2021 Consumer Survey, 56% of global respondents stated they ‘somewhat’ or ‘completely’ agree that they are more loyal to brands that support green and environmental matters, and 54% echo this sentiment for brands that are loyal to human and social rights matters. These strong percentages suggest that companies with transparent ESG strategies, which can demonstrate positive work to address environmental and social issues, could win the loyalty of travellers that may be undecided on which company to use for a specific aspect of their trip. Transparency on ESG matters will not only appease consumers; it is now required by several other stakeholders and potential future ones. Investors will often assess a company’s ESG performance when conducting due diligence. Therefore, many company directors are allocating increasing amounts of capital and resources to address ESG aspects and increase attractiveness. According to a GlobalData poll (ended October 19, 2021, with 1,500 responses), 78.7% of respondents stated that their company now monitors ESG performance directly alongside financial performance.
However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.
According to GlobalData’s thematic research report, ESG in Travel & Tourism, leading adopters include: Walt Disney, Comcast, Merlin Entertainments, Miral, Genting Malaysia, Oriental Land, Parques Reunidos, PortAventura and Compagnie des Alpes.
Insights from top ranked companies
Walt Disney owns and operates major theme parks and resorts located across the globe. One of the major environmental objectives Disney is working towards is the addition of two separate solar plants, built-in collaboration with local utility partners at Walt Disney World in Florida. Scheduled to open in the next two years, the facilities will reportedly produce renewable energy equivalent to about 40% of the total power consumption across its four theme parks, resort hotels, and water parks. The company has also set strong targets for 2030. In eight years, Disney is aiming for net-zero emissions in its direct operations, and 100% zero-carbon electricity.
Comcast owns several major theme parks across the globe, mainly under its Universal Parks & Resorts brand. In 2021, Universal Beijing Resort achieved LEED Gold status using the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Cities and Communities rating system. This meant it was the world’s first theme park resort destination to earn this label. The certification comes after years of dedicated planning and work to create a more environmentally friendly and community-driven resort. Universal Beijing Resort partnered with the government to create new public transit offerings for the community around the resort, including a metro station with two lines, and new bus stops with electric shuttle buses for team members. There were also extensive walkways and bike lanes implemented for the use of team members, guests, and community residents. The resort also provides on-site housing built to the highest energy standards for more than 8,000 team members who reside there. Universal Beijing Resort reached partnerships with more than 30 local schools to create specialised tourism industry coursework so local residents can prepare for a career in tourism.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the travel & tourism industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG in Travel & Tourism.
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