Travel is in for a ‘dystopian future’ if action on climate change is not taken now.

That is a conclusion from a new report published by Intrepid Travel in partnership with foresight agency The Future Laboratory.

It looked at what the world of travel could be like in 2040 if no action is taken.

Travel as we know it could be on the brink of extinction, it says.

“One of the problems with tourism at the moment is that it is the opposite of regenerative,” said Darrell Wade, chairman of Intrepid Travel.

“It’s extractive – and this cannot continue for much longer.”

Destinations like Belgium, Slovenia and Poland are being touted as top future holiday destinations as Majorca and Greece become too hot with travellers having to ‘chase the shade.’

Rising temperature will also impact destinations like Lapland which would struggle to maintain its current levels of snow.

A Sustainable Future for Travel report focuses on suggesting solutions to the current crisis:

People-Positive Travel

Regenerative travel will focus on social-led holidays instead of product-led. These consider the environmental and social impact. Inclusivity will also be key, with travel companies focusing on social change. Focusing on local communities will also be key, helping prevent ‘tourism leakage’, when money flows out of the destinations.

Ephemeral Escapes

Pop-up hotels that combine sustainability and local craftmanship to create Ephemeral Escapes. Transient travel experiences, such as Thierry Teyssier’s 700,000 Heures hotel, already have this concept. Intrepid recently invested in this philosophy with CABN, off-grid minimalist escapes in Australia.

Enhanced Eco-Mobility

AI will drive the future of transportation, with planning tools suggesting the most sustainable options and a focusing on reshaping travel hubs. Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is already being trialled and companies like Intrepid are working to eliminate unnecessary flights from itineraries. Train travel will be integral to this regenerative approach.

Real-time Footprints

Carbon tracking will become even more individualised thanks to AI. Intrepid recently introduced carbon labelling on 500 itineraries, giving consumers a ‘nutrition label’ style indicator.

“The direct impact of climate change has long been viewed as something distant in the future. But this is no longer an impending event; it’s happening now,” Wade added.

“Tourism must evolve and become regenerative, as the current model is unsustainable.”

“The clock is ticking for our planet and the future of the travel and tourism industry.”