Earth Day: Building a More Sustainable Future of Travel

May 26, 2022
Building a More Sustainable Future of Travel

By Erik Hansen, Vice President of Government Relations, U.S. Travel Association

Recently in Iowa, President Biden renewed his call for a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) tax credit, a critical step to creating a more sustainable Future of Travel.

Scaling up the development, production and distribution of SAFs will be essential to minimize aviation’s impact on the environment and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – a goal airlines are committed to reach. In fact, it’s not just a goal for the airlines. It’s a goal for the entire travel industry and it’s one that we all have a stake in achieving.

Here’s why: Travel can’t truly be sustainable unless every sector – including hotels, airlines, rental cars, restaurants, attractions and more – does its part. In other words, it requires a whole-of-industry approach. That’s why hotels, car rental companies and convention centers care just as much about helping airlines achieve their sustainability goals as the airlines. If one sector doesn’t succeed, every sector stands to lose.

We’ve also seen some recent progress in expanding electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and U.S. automakers going all-in on an all-electric future. President Biden’s new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program will make nearly $5 billion available for foundational investments in a national EV charging network that will shape the future of mobility in America.

These types of investments and commitments are core to the future of travel, and thankfully, all sectors of our industry are making strides to address challenges and come forward with solutions. U.S. Travel is working to advance policies that will help the industry achieve its sustainability goals, from providing incentives for SAFs, increasing investments in EV charging infrastructure and protecting environmental attractions.

On Earth Day, we reaffirmed our commitment to working with travel organizations, destinations, industry leaders and elected officials to push these policies forward and meet our environmental goals.

Travel thrives in a more sustainable future, and together we are rebuilding our industry to be stronger and more sustainable than ever.

As vice president of government relations, Erik Hansen leads development of U.S. Travel’s domestic policy agenda, and represents the travel community before the Executive Branch and Congress

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