Congratulations to studio members Green Traveller, celebrating their 10-year anniversary. Founder Richard Hammond looks back at a decade in sustainable travel and tourism below.
It wasn’t that long ago when going green meant either travelling overseas on an expensive conservation safari to Africa or – for the committed few – a weekend of hedge-laying in Wales. Things have changed hugely since those days of niche eco travel.
Nowadays, the concept of sustainable travel is becoming enshrined across most sectors of the industry, from rural B&Bs, city-centre boutique hotels and luxury hideaways to winter sun package holidays and adventure travel worldwide.
This year Green Traveller celebrates its 10th anniversary of producing videos about sustainable travel and tourism. We specialise in telling inspiring stories about people and initiatives that are moving the agenda on, from the pioneers of low carbon transport to the innovators committed to biodiversity conservation and the organisations that are driving local economic empowerment.
It’s been quite a journey: our first films looked at the local green initiatives of B&Bs in the Brecon Beacons. The interest in this early work (and the realisation that it was possible to produce high-quality content without having to commission high-end Soho production agencies) gave us the inspiration to invest in more kit, software and training to position ourselves as the leading film production company for sustainable tourism in the UK.
Over the last decade, we have filmed for a wide range of organisations in both the public and private sectors, from local tourist boards and transport operators (such as Eurostar) to the European Union and international NGOs. One of our most impactful productions was a series ‘Transforming Our Lives’ for the World Travel and Tourism Council, which profiled the lives of people whose lives had been positively transformed by tourism, including a female Masai safari guide in Kenya, an ecotourism guide in Baja California and a pineapple farmer in Saint Lucia. The series was shown on a 22-metre screen at the WTTC’s annual conference in front of the world leaders of the travel and tourism industry.
One of the things we have loved about our work is that we have got to see so much of the UK. Over the past three years, we have filmed the entire length of England’s coast for an initiative funded by England’s national tourist board, and we have also produced Green Traveller’s Guides to many of the UK’s protected areas – its National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Lady’s Slipper Orchid, one of the rarest wildflowers in England. Photographed for Green Traveller’s Guide to Arnside & Silverdale AONB. Photo: Diana Jarvis/Green Traveller
There have been so many highlights, but in particular it’s been great to visit places that are not well known, such as the stunning Durham coastline in the northeast, the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the northwest, and the understated Mendip Hills right here on our doorstep.
Throughout 2020, we have produced a series of promotional videos about West Sussex, as well as a range of digital content for the Great West Way – a 125-mile touring route between London and Bristol on ancient routes through idyllic English countryside. The work involved researching, writing and designing 26 multi-modal itineraries (including 11 trade and 15 consumer itineraries) and supporting online content for themes such as ‘Walking in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, ‘Fine Food and Drink’, ‘English Gardens’, and ‘Towns Connected by Public Transport’.
The work for the Great West Way was commissioned by Visit Wiltshire using LEADER funding. The aim of the itineraries is to provide an easy-to-follow route in areas that are not heavily signposted, giving people the confidence to travel off the beaten track.
Our most recent campaign, in December 2020, has been with the Spanish Tourist Office to promote sustainable travel in Spain where we produced videos of eco-adventures across 5 regions in Spain.
As for 2021 and beyond, we’re planning to develop our work on interactive films whereby viewers can click on the videos and learn more about the content within the video itself, without having to click out of the video. We think it’s the future for film and so we are planning to invest our time and energy in this evolving technology.
Richard Hammond, Founder, Green Traveller.
Featured image: The Mendip Way. Photo: Rhiannon Batten.