Sustainable travel – A buzzword for new age travelers

Published on : Tuesday, February 25, 2020

With no trouble, the 2020s could turn out to be ‘the decade of sustainability’. As more and more companies are promising to help combat climate change, travelers are gradually becoming even savvier on who and what is negatively impacting the planet.


Findings of a survey carried by STR’s Tourism Consumer Insights team have disclosed the significance of sustainable tourism along with the effect of climate change on traveler perception.


Done in January, the survey captured the views of more than 1,000 international travelers from STR’s proprietary Traveler Panel, a global community of engaged travellers.


“Sustainable travel continues to be a hot topic in the tourism industry as travellers and travel brands alike increasingly scrutinise their impact on the environment,” said Sean Morgan, STR’s director of research. “Our research examined how ‘eco’ friendly the modern traveller is and evaluated perceptions of the efforts made to implement greener and more sustainable practices in the tourism industry. No doubt, at least in part, influenced by the “Greta effect”, Generation Z and Millennial travellers had the strongest views when it came to ‘greener’ holidays as over 50 per cent stated that an environmentally-friendly holiday was personally important.”


The main findings include:


• About 48 per cent of respondents explained that selecting an environmentally-friendly holiday option was key as 40 per cent chose a neutral position.


• Thirty-five per cent of travelers explained that they won’t visit a country that is not keen to fight climate change, while 32 per cent indicated that they would not be deterred and 33 per cent were undecided.


• Around 70 per cent considered there is little or no effort to be sustainable among tourism providers in general. Nevertheless, hotels/accommodation providers were inadequately perceived when compared with other key travel and tourism sectors.


“Highlighting significant scope and potential for the industry to reinvent itself, the vast majority of travellers (92 per cent) were concerned about climate change,” Morgan said. “However, there is a sense that the tourism industry lags behind the expectations of travellers as the majority considered accommodation providers and transport operators, such as airlines and train companies, to be making little or no effort to become more sustainable.”


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