Travel and natural environment: an embryonic relationship to preserve!

Timmy Kandhari, Founder & Managing Director of Sapphire Professional Services Pvt Ltd, highlights the importance of preserving nature through all stakeholders of the travel industry.

Travel and Hospitality have had a rough period over the last 12 months across the world and in India. Some parts of the world specially the developed world still is in the midst of worst pandemic we have seen in some time and it is anybody’s guess as to how long it will take to be normal again. With the vaccines now in the mix, the latter half of 2021 should see a decent comeback in activity in terms of transportation and resurgence of hospitality requirement both for business as well as pleasure, though not perhaps to the pre-COVID-19 levels. Man’s love for travel has never been in doubt and the resurgence could be V shaped should the vaccines prove to be effective deterrents. However, I want to start the series, not to speak about the way the resurgence will unfold for which I am very hopeful, or the ability of science to pull us out of this rough patch that the industry finds itself, but rather to delve into a more serious issue where the change must be more of attitude and a change which is becoming non-negotiable. Travel in all its forms has had an embryonic relationship with our natural environment. Both are sort of conjoined at the hip and time has come for both to stand together if we as travellers, industry or as a human community want to continue to experience the joy travel brings to our lives.

Let us spend a little time to remind ourselves on why travel draws its intrinsic appeal from the natural environment. Human quest for knowledge, new environments, adventure is insatiable. Beautiful tapestries of our natural assets like mountains, oceans, rivers, deserts are virtual backgrounds where history of evolution has taken place in the past and will take place in the future. Travel as a habit and as a trade is built on the assumption that human beings will never tire of discovering this heritage and truth. Whatever part you play in that chain, whether you are in transportation, in hospitality, in services or as a government or state looking to enhance profile or enhance employment, you are inextricably linked to the preservation of the environment. We have continued to take from bounties that have been given to us by the almighty with a firm belief that it never will be taken from us or that it will always be there for us. In the name of development, connectivity, progress, we have and continue to ingress into the boundaries of nature which we should have guarded. Well, what happened...?? We know that too... deforestation, floods, earthquakes, climate change and now... a pandemic!

I certainly do not want to suggest that the travel industry is responsible for what is happening with the environment. However, it is an endeavour to point out Travel and Hospitality though it may not bear the entire blame for endangering the environment, but it will certainly bear the effects of that degradation as travel depends on those beautiful tapestries. Therefore, while we may not be capable or have the resources to set this right by ourselves, we need to stand with the right thought as well as action plans that want to pursue this goal. We as the travel industry are purveyors of beauty and that beauty needs to be preserved.

Tough job but right now is the right time! I am never that serious but it’s a new year and it’s good to start with a serious discussion at the outset!


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