Travel is now the world’s biggest industry. According to a 2016 estimate by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the industry’s collective economic contribution to the world economy totaled more than $7.6 trillion. But this growing financial might can often be a double-edged sword. Travel has the power to change lives, bring attention to pressing world problems, and deliver much-needed monetary support to communities in need. But it can also contribute to growing challenges like overtourism, rising carbon emissions, social inequality, and issues with child protection.
In the face of these conflicting demands, a growing range of travel brands have come to a surprising realization: when they aim to do good, both the company and the world can benefit. This concept of focusing on both purpose and profit, known in some quarters as corporate social responsibility or creating shared value, is gaining growing acceptance in the travel industry. In “Balancing Purpose and Profit: Why Doing Good is a Competitive Advantage in the Travel Industry,” Skift and Intrepid Travel investigate the consumer and corporate shifts encouraging today’s travel brands to design more purpose-driven travel experiences.