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Editor’s Blog: Why our travel content in 2018 will focus on sustainability

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Every year since 2015, The National Student has published a list of places that we believe students should visit – from treasures right on our doorstep (hello, Wales) to further-flung destinations that are opening up to visitors and unveiling wonders along the way (looking at you, Iran.)  

Our list is complied as a result of hours of research, multiple conversations, and lots of wistful sighing over azure-dappled travel editorials. Think of it as a Lonely Planet list for those with a little bit less disposable cash than your average travel book reader.

They might be skint, but students have always travelled – they just swap private hotel rooms for 12-person dorms and restaurant meals for street food delicacies washed down with the local happy hour tipple. It’s easy, when you know how.

And this year, all our travel conversations have pointed to one thing: sustainable travel. From a campaign to utilise citizens to save the Great Barrier Reef to a Scottish island that is celebrating 20 years of self-sufficiency, current conversations always circle back round to the same themes.

We’ve noticed this in our writers, too – more than ever, we are receiving pitches on subjects covering the breadth of sustainability, from an attempt to log all the single use plastic used in a month to conservation of wild animals in South Africa.  

We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t respond accordingly to this – which is why our Top Destinations 2018 will have a sustainability focus running throughout.

Inspired by Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley’s quest to mobilise the whole world in conservation of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland is the first confirmed inclusion in our Top Destinations 2018 list. We’ll be covering the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef from its launch in November throughout next year (and probably beyond, too) and keeping our readers up to date with efforts to preserve this most fragile of natural wonders.

I don’t need to tell you that looking after the planet has never been more important. This year we’ve interviewed Al Gore, who is hopeful – but is under no illusion about the amount of work there is to do (you can watch that interview here.) Andy Ridley agrees. We can only hope that, by tapping into this highly important subject and using our platform for good, we can spread the message amongst UK students and urge them to consider their own part in preserving the planet we live on.

So, how can you get involved?

Ahead of World Travel Market London 2017, we are still finalising the destinations that we’ll be including in our selection for next year. Ideally, every destination we feature will have one of the following characteristics:

-          - Has previously been dangerous but isn’t anymore

-          - Is facing huge conservation issues

-          - Is facing misconceptions from travellers

-          - Has a little-known story that we can share with our readers

If you represent a destination and want to talk to us about it, we’re waiting for your call – you can find our contact details here

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