Published on : Friday, March 19, 2021
According to data and analytics company GlobalData, vegan-friendly tours, excursions and digital travel apps will become more and more important for catering to the post-pandemic lifestyle preferences of travelers.
GlobalData’s research at the end of 2020 surveyed 5,700 people worldwide. 76 per cent of respondents said that they were influenced by how ethical, environmentally friendly or socially responsible a product or service is.
In contrast, the company’s 2019 research found that just 46 per cent of respondents wanted to actively buy products that are animal friendly or better for the environment. This shows that there’s a shift in international consumers’ perceptions due to Covid-19, with many people now opting for more responsible choices such as a vegan diet.
Among the tourism industry’s responses to the increase in plant-based living are vegan traveler apps like Air Vegan and Veg Visits. Air Vegan rates how vegan-friendly airports are, sharing the best plant-based dining options in each facility.
Veg Visits is a home sharing platform with vegan hosts across 80 different countries. Consumers can book self-catering accommodation with meat-free kitchens or with a live-in vegan host cooking meals for them or advising them about the best local restaurants for plant-based food.
Hilton, for example, opened its first vegan hotel suite in 2019 at Hilton London Bankside, where everything, right from the room key card to the carpet is made from natural materials, and the entire minibar and room service menu is plant-based. Saorsa 1875 in Scotland became the UK’s first 100 per cent vegan hotel, coming with everything from vegan bedding (no wool or feathers) to vegan minibars.
Tour operators are also capitalizing on this vegan traveler market. For example, Brighton-based Responsible Travel promotes 34 vegan holidays across the world, with destinations including Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Greece and India where “you can be confident you won’t be relegated to the salad menu every time”.
Thus, the travel industry needs to move ahead with the times to help consumers prevail over barriers like dietary requirements.