This year is a new dawn in conscious travel that can see technologies that allow passengers to experience more environmentally friendly travel, writes Snowfall CEO Stefan Kars
The age of the conscious traveler has come. In June 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency detected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation. 29% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, making it the largest contributor to total GHG emissions in the country. Following last year’s COP26 summit and the issues it raised around emission reductionsIt is clear that society is increasingly thinking about the impact of our way of life – including domestic and international travel – on the environment.
Actions speak louder than words, and people are taking active measures to reduce CO2 emissions while traveling. In November 2021, Google recorded a 70 percent increase in the number of travelers looking for sustainable travel options. In addition, Booking.com ‘found that 81 percent of travelers want to stay in clean rooms.
Thus, 2022 represents a new dawn in conscious travel, when passengers are aware of the impact of their travels on the environment and make more conscious travel choices to compensate for this. And technology can do that by playing an important role in advising passengers which trips are the cleanest and producing the lowest CO2 emissions, as well as making it easier to find and book multimodal travel options – all in one booking. And this is just the beginning.
Outdated modern systems
After two years of disruption, we see that restrictions are being lifted and travel is returning to normal before the pandemic. However, outdated systems in the travel industry are still obsolete, and this leaves large gaps in the consumer travel experience, while other industries – primarily financial services – are seeing improved play in their service platforms.
Today’s technology cannot connect the entire travel ecosystem. The various ways of moving are disabled and cut off and do not give the end customer valid options. This leads to, among other things, making it almost impossible for the end customer to travel consciously and environmentally, regardless of travel within the country or abroad.
However, things are going well. International governments have begun introducing laws and taxes to encourage travelers to take cleaner routes. EU European Joint Undertaking the initiative aims to achieve a high-throughput, flexible rail system that is ultimately more sustainable. Its aim is to pave the way for the digitalisation and greening of the transport sector, and it sets very specific milestones for the European railway sector to achieve in line with other green initiatives.
Railways are growing in Europe. Last year – and coming into force in 2023 – the French government decided that if the train could reach its domestic destination in less than two and a half hours, then flights would no longer be allowed on the same route. Germany seeks to introduce the same policy and encourage rail travel as part of the sustainable development agenda. On the Madrid-Barcelona rail route there are now four companies vying for passengers. Many commentators compare this to the rise of the Eurostar route between Paris and London, which has significantly reduced air traffic between the two cities since the mid-1990s.
And in the U.S., President Biden has pledged to spend $ 66 billion to improve Amtrak service. The U.S. railroad is seen as an environmentally friendly way to move, and infrastructure investment is seen as an important part The White House has promised to halve the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The role of technology
Technology can help make travel more sustainable – among other things – in access to booking travel involving multimodal modes of transport. This includes air and rail transport, but is also common for first / last mile trips to cities and regions. Traditionally you have many different operators that sell through many booking channels, but they are distributed between categories of transport, and customer application becomes messy. In addition, expanding bookings through various add-ons, additional services and support has always been a challenge in the travel industry.
However, these restrictions will change quickly. With modern APIs and software, vast amounts of data can now be processed, harmonized and processed in real time. This can finally allow travelers to book multimodal trips across a single platform, covering different modes of transport in a single continuous transaction. Technology is poised to “connect with points” when it comes to creating travel experiences that can be easily booked by creating door-to-door trips that take into account the most environmentally friendly routes. Technology is ready to ensure that customers can add additional services to make their journey even more sustainable. Why not take part and make up for your own trip?
For example, if someone wanted to fly from New York to Paris and then to Bordeaux – where there will be no domestic flights very soon – there must be a way to provide passengers with a comprehensive experience in one transaction.
In December 2021, Snowfall launched Junction, a cloud-based B2B travel distribution platform that offers travel retailers the opportunity to receive multimodal travel from a single universal API, allowing travel agents and resellers to provide their customers with a new generation of travel-friendly travel channels. .
By making travel easily accessible, travelers will have the opportunity to choose trips with a full understanding of their impact on the environment and with the ability to compensate for it. Thanks to APIs, more information can now be provided to the traveler than ever before. The possibilities are endless.
This is a wonderful new world for the modern conscious traveler, and with the right access to technology, people can now make informed choices about the multimodal door-to-door trips they want to make, all in one transaction – for everyone’s global benefit.
Stefan Kars is the CEO and founder of Snowfall travel software company.