While travelers increasingly want to travel responsibly, inflation and the energy crisis are holding back their purchasing decisions, says the Booking platform, which unveiled the results of its study on sustainable travel.
Travelers believe they will have to choose this year between cutting back or opting for sustainable travel, says Booking, which unveiled the results of a survey of more than 33,000 travelers in 35 countries and territories.
For 54% of those surveyed, more sustainable travel options are now too expensive (up from 45% in 2022) and therefore will not be considered when making their travel choices. Conversely, 38% of travelers would be willing to pay more for travel options with a sustainable certification.
According to the 2023 edition of Sustainable Travel Report, 59% of travelers believe there are not enough responsible travel options. Despite their good intentions, nearly half of the French travelers (44%) don't know where to turn for more sustainable options.
However, travelers say they are taking action at home and when they travel to help create a more sustainable future: 57% say they turn off the air conditioning in their accommodations when they are not there (up 35% from 2022), 71%, use the same towel multiple times (up 37%), 53% say they use their own reusable water bottle (up 29%), and 79% say they turn off lights and appliances in accommodations when they are not there, and 50% now recycle their waste when they travel.
In terms of transportation, 45% now plan their visits and intend to walk, bike or take public transportation, while 39% travel outside of peak season to avoid crowds; two trends that are up 22 and 14 points, respectively, compared to 2022.
To meet the expectations of increasingly responsible travelers, the travel industry must adapt to accommodate travelers who are constantly looking for brands that encourage sustainable practices.
Travelling sustainably doesn't have to be expensive - however the options that are shown are usually the expensive ones, and there is no or little tangibility behind these offers. If the industry pulled together and focused on real action rather than simply policies and words, we would be able to ensure that every trip is sustainable, whether asked for or not.