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  • Writer's pictureRichard Hammond

Electric coaches and Sustainable Spain

Welcome to my latest round up of news, features and comments on green travel. This newsletter is written by me, Richard Hammond, the founder of Green Traveller. If you'd like to receive the newsletter by email, please subscribe here.

This newsletter is now part of a series of publications produced by Green Traveller. Our media production website is at and our consumer-facing website is at Our free bi-monthly online Green Traveller magazine ties in with related features across all our channels that aim to shine a light on lower carbon travel ('less carbon, more fun!') as well as positive impact adventures further afield. The Green Traveller magazine is produced and distributed by Charitable Travel – The April/May issue is now out

Climate Smart Holidays in West Sweden

The Guardian newspaper has this weekend published a lovely article by travel writer Sarah Baxter about our overland trip by train from the UK to Gothenburg to experience 'Climate Smart Holidays' in West Sweden.

It has been a great pleasure for Green Traveller Productions to facilitate this trip. Working in a collaboration with West Sweden Tourist Board, we have produced a suite of outputs:

an online guide to Climate Smart Holidays in West Sweden, including two feature articles, reviews of each of the businesses, a collection of photos and video clips that I filmed on location in West Sweden (I took a small drone, iPhone 15, a lightweight micro-four thirds camera and a few lenses). The campaign has now had over 100k views on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube (see the video trailer below). The collaboration has extended to working with the tour operator Sustainable Journeys, through which customers can book these innovative Climate Smart Holidays.

Green Travel News

Electric coach travel is here

Coach operator Flixbus has launched its first 100% electric long-distance coach service in England and Wales. The zero emissions electric vehicle will be trialled for three months on FlixBus’ long-distance coach network with operator partner Newport Transport, so travellers will be able to try out the electric vehicle on the operator’s route between London, Bristol and Newport (South Wales) until June.

“This is a huge step forward for the UK coach sector, transforming the already low-carbon mode of transport to zero-emission at the tailpipe through innovative technology,” said Andreas Schorling, managing director of FlixBus UK.

Ticket prices start from just £2.99, and the 46-seat vehicle includes a toilet, USB charging points and free Wi-Fi for all customers (as is standard on FlixBus services). The coaches are also PSVAR compliant, supporting travel for passengers in wheelchairs. Flixbus says the vehicle “will save 352kg of carbon emissions per day driven on this route compared to the average diesel-fuelled coach, as well as improve air quality”.

Vive L'électricité!

The famous red and white boats of Lake Annecy in the Annecy Mountains are going ‘all electric’. The emblematic Libellule has already been converted, while The Cygne is currently in dry dock for an all-electric release planned for mid-July 2024.

Croisiere sur Le Savoie-C Max-2421

Inhabit London gains B Corp

Inhabit, the wellness hotel in Queen’s Gardens, London, has been certified by B Corp – the certification system that verifies companies who meet high standards in social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, balancing people, planet and profit. The hotel joins its sister site, Inhabit, Southwick Street, in gaining the robust certification.

Both ‘zero waste to landfill’ hotels, Inhabit works with Globechain, a British marketplace that redistributes unwanted items by connecting corporations to charities and families and thereby diverting items from landfill. Inhabit also works closely with social enterprises, fellow B Corp businesses and small, socially-conscious suppliers with refill systems, those without plastic packaging and those using net-zero transportation. Suite mini bars are stocked by Social Supermarket, whose snacks and drinks are all ethically made by social enterprises, and its furniture and furnishings are made by brands including London furniture makers Goldfinger and ethical homewares label Kalinko.

Breakfast at the plant-based Yeotown Restaurant at Inhabit, Queen's Gardens, London. Photo: Richard Hammond

Valencia launches green routes

The Spanish city of Valencia, The European Green Capital 2024, has unveiled a series of routes showcasing the city’s sustainability achievements across three themes: Nature, promoting natural areas such as the Albufera Natural Park, the Valencian orchard and the Turia Gardens; Sustainable mobility, promoting the use of public transport, cycling and walking, and the recovery of Public space, including the Turia Gardens and the Marina de València.

The Spanish city of Valencia is European Green Capital 2024

Hostelworld's staircase to sustainability

The online travel agent for hostelling, Hostelworld, has unveiled a new framework to communicate and elevate sustainability practices in the industry. Working with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, its ‘Staircase to Sustainability’ framework is tailored to hostels, and will provide guests with clear information on their sustainability management practices, as well as their socio-economic, cultural and environmental impact.

New site for campsites with custodians

The Aboriginal-owned and operated campground initiative ‘Campsites with Custodians’ in Western Australia is opening a seventh site, on the beautiful Thomas Bay north of Broome. Visitors will be able to catch a fresh feast of mud crab or take a kayak tour and spend time snorkelling in crystal clear waters abundant with sea life. Set amid some of the Kimberley and the Pilbara’s most remote landscapes, the campgrounds offer a unique opportunity to experience the local way of life. There are currently six locations at Imintji, Mimbi, Violet Valley, Doon Doon Roadhouse and Djarindjin (in the Kimberley) and Peedamulla (in the Pilbara). Each grants access to a host of authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences.

Campfire storytelling at the Aboriginal-owned and operated campground initiative ‘Campsites with Custodians’

The Black Mambas

Travel operator Intrepid is offering the chance for travellers to meet the Black Mambas – South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit. Select trips take visitors on a bushwalk before they’ll retire to camp to swap stories by the fire and find out exactly what it takes to be part of this all-female unit. Based in Balule Nature Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, their approach to policing the area is novel because they’re unarmed and, instead, use nonviolence and embedded community involvement to spread the conservation message. Photographer Diana Jarvis travelled to meet the Black Mambas and has profiled them in her Responsible Photography column in our Green Traveller magazine (pp4–5).

Get the Picture: Diana Jarvis photographs The Black Mambas – South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit

Date for your diary

Wednesday 17th April: Spain Sustainability Day, The Conduit, London

The Spanish Tourist Office (UK) is hosting Spain Sustainability Day on 17 April to address the ongoing challenges of tourism and sustainability and give insight on the future of ethical tourism in Spain and further afield. The event consists of a sustainability conference in the afternoon – where discussions will encompass social, cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability – followed by Sustainable Media Awards in the evening.

There's an excellent line-up of panellists, including representatives from a wide range of high profile organisations in Spain, as well as Nadine Pinto, Global Sustainability Manager, The Travel Corporation; Carol Rose, Senior Sustainability Manager, ABTA; Dylan Walker, Wildlife Heritage Areas; Zina Bencheikh, Managing Director, Intrepid; and Angus Drummond, CEO, Limitless Travel.

I will be moderating two panels on the 'Circular Economy' and 'Biodiversity - Impacts and Interventions', and travel writer Meera Dattani will be moderating a panel on 'Accessibility and Inclusivity'.

Keynote speakers are Nejc Jus, Head of Research at WTTC, and Charlie Cotton, Founder, Ecollective Carbon.


News from Green Traveller

  • Remaking the Med, by Natalie Beckett

  • Get the Picture - The Black Mambas, by Diana Jarvis

  • Make the most of volunteering, by Richard Hammond

  • Menu from Athens, by Clare Hargreaves

  • Food for thought – ethical food and drink, by Richard Hammond

  • Get to know Virginia Beach (sponsored content)

  • Postcard from Frankfurt, by Rebecca Miles

  • Holidays in history, by Richard Hammond

  • Campsites reachable by public transport, by Richard Hammond

  • How to travel overland from the UK to Lucerne, Switzerland

...and much more!



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