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  • Writer's pictureRichard Hammond

Sustainable Greece & Intrepid Boss Warns Industry

The Green Traveller Digest

Welcome to my latest round up of news about green travel. This newsletter is written by me, Richard Hammond, the founder of Green Traveller. Please do forward this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested in receiving it or ask them to subscribe via the link below:

Sustainable Tourism Hub for Greece launched A new online hub for sustainable tourism in Greece has been launched, showcasing stories from across the country that demonstrate "how Greece is looking to embrace the challengers of the future through a sustainable transformation of its tourism sector". Managed by the Greece National Tourism Organisation, the new platform,, categorises initiatives into five themes: Sustainable Best Practices, Future Green Projects, Sustainable Initiatives, Sustainable Experiences and Sustainable Holidays. Projects profiled at the launch in London include a slow travel holiday run by Sunvil that includes taking the train from London all the way to Greece's Adriatic Coast; 'Pick the Alien' campaign led by marine conservation organisation iSea, which encourages local seafood markets, restaurants and shops to sell and consume invasive fish; and 'Waves for Change' - a villa alliance in Corfu led by the Ionian Environment Foundation where villas can be awarded up to five 'waves' for making changes that will minimise their environmental impact, from plastic reduction, composting, and waste separation to water conservation and renewable energy.

Travel industry told ‘tackle climate disaster before it’s too late’ James Thornton, chief executive of Intrepid Travel, has called on the travel industry to prove its commitment to sustainability with “rapid decarbonisation” to avoid a climate disaster. Speaking at the Abta travel convention in Morocco, he said that urgent change was required, reports Nazia Parveen in The Guardian

Consensio Chalets reveals guest carbon footprint in 'Net Zero Plan' Ski holiday company, Consensio Chalets, has published the average carbon footprint of its guests (PDF) as part of a Net Zero sustainability plan. Working with Ecollective, it calculated that on average guests produce 171kg CO2e per guest, per night. Based on this, it has set a target of reducing emissions by 7% each year, with the objective of reaching Net Zero by 2035.

Exterior of a chalet covered in snow in winter
Chalet Le Namaste, Courchevel, one of the Consensio Chalets collection

Days Out By Rail campaign launched The Community Rail Network has launched a campaign to "showcase ideas for greener days out and the best UK attractions and hidden gems to visit by train". Launched yesterday (Monday 17th October), the #DaysOutByRail campaign in collaboration with its Scenic Rail Britain website, will run until 6th November, to coordinate with most of the school half-term holidays across England, Scotland and Wales. It will also incorporate Halloween activities and events, as well as other key themes, such as railway-themed free family days out and days out with grandparents.

The UK's oldest public outdoor swimming pool re-opens Cleveland Pools in Bath has re-opened almost 40 years since it was closed. Built in 1815 (in Jane Austen's lifetime), the site first opened as a river-fed pool and was used throughout the Victorian era. The halcyon days of the lido were in the 1970s, but competition from the indoor Bath Sports and Leisure Centre led to the closure of Cleveland Pools in 1984. Thanks to the efforts of three local people, Ann Dunlop, Janice Dreisbach and Roger Houghton, the Cleveland Pools Trust (CPT) was formed in 2004 to rescue the pools from disrepair. The site has now been given a makeover thanks to a grant from the National Heritage Lottery (with support from the local council, Historic England and local people) and the work of lots of dedicated volunteers, ably led by Project Director Anna Baker. I went along to the re-opening and have produced a Photo Tour of Cleveland Pools. Rhiannon Batten also wrote an article in The Guardian that captures the spirit of the re-opening: Today is a magic moment: Bath's 207-year-old lido reopens after four decades of neglect

The changing rooms and pool at the re-opened Cleveland Pools. Photos: Richard Hammond

Bradt publishes new book on slow travel for families Book publishers Bradt has published a new guide book Slow Travel Family Breaks: Perfect Escapes in Britain’s Special Places. The book pulls together months of adventuring around the UK by seasoned travel writers Jane Anderson and Holly Tuppen, discovering the best small-scale, sustainable, and local experiences for families.

Decathlon changes name to 'Nolhtaced' in three Belgian cities Decathlon shops in Evere, Namur and Ghent are to change their name to "Nohltaced" ('Decathlon' written backwards), reports The Brussels Times. The idea is to encourage 'reverse shopping', whereby customers can take old or unused sporting goods to Decathlon so that they can be repaired and resold in the store under warranty.

Rewilding Europe Travel launched A new travel company has launched to promote holidays in rewilding areas in Europe. Rewilding Europe Travel is the partner of Rewilding Europe, which works in nine rewilding landscapes across Europe. Holidays include Walking the Coa and Upper Douro Valleys, bison and wildlife tracking in the Southern Carpathians, and birdwatching in the wild Rhodopes - a hotspot for biodiversity.

Good news for... Natural History Filmakers: BBC Studios Natural History Unit has announced a £1m global talent development initiative to develop and support aspiring natural history filmmakers in the UK and around the world. In places where the NHU is filming, the initiative "will fund opportunities for locally based production talent to access in-country training, offer field experience working with NHU teams on location, and invest in local talent to attend UK-based training courses".

Bad news for... Animals: The earth’s wildlife populations have plunged by an average of 69% in just under 50 years, according to a leading scientific assessment, as humans continue to clear forests, consume beyond the limits of the planet and pollute on an industrial scale, reports The Guardian.

My Tip of the Week Looking for a mountain refuge to stay this autumn? The website lists thousands of mountain huts and refuges across Europe, from simple shelters to serviced cabins. Another good source of information is, which features over 670 mountains huts in central Europe, and gives hut reviews based on the experience of hikers who have stayed there.

In case you missed it

Holiday company Hotelplan encourages staff to choose low carbon travel

Hotelplan UK has launched a new staff Sustainable Travel policy, which covers work and leisure travel for all employees, reports Samantha Mayling in Travel Weekly. The new policy comes hot on the heels of recent research that showed two-thirds of people (67%) would consider more sustainable travel options if they had additional days to do so. The parent of Explore Worldwide, Inntravel, Inghams, Esprit and Santa’s Lapland, Hotelplan is offering paid travel time whenever a member of staff chooses to travel using low carbon travel options, such as by train, public transport or under their own steam (walk, cycle etc) rather than by air or driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. Travelling shorter distances for leisure (between 150-450 miles each way), staff are able to claim an additional half-day travel time when using rail or coach - even if on a weekend break which doesn’t coincide with their normal working hours. For longer distances of over 450 miles, staff can claim an additional full day. Lower carbon travel options include public transport (bus, coach, rail journeys accessible by members of the public), cycling/scooters, walking and electric vehicles.

Green Travel Guides to 'West Macedonia and Thessaloniki' and 'East Macedonia and Thrace' Green Traveller has launched new green travel guides to two areas in Northern Greece. We filmed travel writer Sarah Baxter as she toured these two fascinating regions this summer. Below are the videos and the guides can be read here: West Macedonia and Thessaloniki East Macedonia and Thrace

And finally... I've been thrilled with the media coverage of my book The Green Traveller, from The Big Issue to the FT. Here's a selection of some of the coverage articles since it was launched: Train to tent: 10 brilliant UK campsites you can reach on public transport The Guardian The expert guide to travelling more sustainably in 2022 National Geographic Traveller Aquatic bliss: 10 of Europe’s best holiday sites with natural pools The Guardian Wild and sustainable trips prove Scotland’s global draw The Sunday Times An insider guide to a green weekend in London The Financial Times


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