Sustainable tourism has emerged as a popular trend among many companies recently. However, a recent sustainability report presented at the Phocuswright conference highlighted a significant mismatch between the sustainable claims and actions of U.S. and European Union travelers. The report reveals that many travelers need to follow through on their green commitments despite claiming to be eco-friendly.
While almost half of the respondents expressed their willingness to choose transportation based on carbon footprint, they did not cite environmental factors as a primary reason when analyzing their recent travel decisions. As usual, ticket prices remained one of the main determinants. Although the report highlights that people claim they would choose hotels for their sustainability credentials rather than price, only a tiny percentage of them considered environmental reasons among their top five considerations when booking.
People tend to stick to what they say because they feel the direct consequences of not doing so. However, in the case of environmental decisions, people care but do not directly feel the consequences of not making sustainable choices.
There is much confusion among sustainable travelers
The survey has revealed that many travelers need help comprehending sustainable travel standards. Surprisingly, those already inclined towards sustainable travel are more likely to be confused. Moreover, some people feel that they do not travel frequently enough to impact the environment significantly.
Regarding sustainability, respondents are divided between governments, travel providers, destinations, plastic waste organizations, and travelers. Most people believe that sustainable travel options are more expensive. The report calls for more opportunities to make sustainable travel more accessible and affordable.
The report also provides practical suggestions for the travel industry to expand sustainable options, highlight green alternatives, demonstrate the accessibility and affordability of sustainability, and educate travelers about its breadth beyond the environment.