Sara Thopson - Apr 14, 2024
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According to a sustainable tourism barometer study, eight out of ten French travelers do not prioritize considering more responsible holidays to align with the climate emergency. The survey, conducted by Madeinvote via social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, was conducted between February 9 and February 26, 2024, on a sample of 1,000 French respondents aged 18 to 65.

Around 35% of French people are unwilling to change their behavior to align with the climate emergency. Last year, only 23% were interested in changing how they spend their holidays. This year, 22% of French travelers plan to travel abroad, most likely by plane. As many as 58% of them plan to travel more than 400 km away from their homes, and half will take their petrol or diesel cars.

The main challenge for sustainable tourism is the high cost, which most French travelers (89%) find too expensive compared to traditional tourist offers. Even more holidaymakers (84%) share this opinion than last year, even though they had to make trade-offs due to the inflationary context in 2023.

Many French travelers are dissatisfied with the cost of train tickets. Specifically, 37% of respondents felt that ticket prices were too high, with an even higher percentage of those under 35 (43%) expressing this view. A report from Greenpeace published last summer asserted that train travel in France is 2.6 times more expensive than air travel, further highlighting this issue.

Train travel in France is costly, and even more so in the UK, where it can be four times the price of a plane ticket. As a result, only 12% of French travelers intend to travel by train for their holidays this year.

Solving the pricing issue in sustainable tourism is difficult, especially in France, as most French travelers (71%) do not clearly understand sustainable tourism. The younger generation (below 35 years) seems to understand better the challenges of eco-friendly holidays (37%).

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