A recent survey conducted by Booking.com has revealed how the ‘pandemic effect’ could finally tip sustainable travel intent for Aussies into impactful action. Do you think travellers of the future will be greener and more conscious?
Booking.com has released its 2021 Sustainable Travel Report, revealing insights from more than 29,000 travellers across 30 countries, which indicate the pandemic might have been the tipping point for travellers to finally commit to their own sustainable journey.
The research finds Aussie travellers are more committed than ever to travel in a mindful way, with 61% of travellers reporting they believe people have to act now to save the planet for future generations.
“Our research uncovers how the travel hiatus has opened Australians’ eyes to the impact, both positive and negative, that their trips can have on local ecosystems and communities around the world,” said Tracey Foxall, Regional Manager Oceania at Booking.com.
Tell me more…
Booking.com’s 2021 Sustainable Travel Report reveals that more than three quarters (72%) of Australian travellers think sustainable travel is a vital part of achieving this, with two thirds (51%) stating that the pandemic has influenced them to want to travel more sustainably.
According to the report, the desire to live in a more environmentally conscious way isn’t limited to travel; almost half (46%) admit the pandemic has shifted their attitude to make positive changes in their everyday lives, with recycling (47%) and reducing food waste (37%) being the top priorities at home.
Respect for the local community is also high on the list as almost three quarters (65%) want to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture when they travel, 74% believe increasing cultural understanding and preservation of cultural heritage is crucial and 72% want to ensure the economic impact of the industry is spread equally in all levels of society.
Furthermore, 63% will go as far as avoiding popular destinations and attractions to ensure they aren’t contributing to overcrowding challenges and helping do their part to disperse the positive benefits of travel to less frequently visited destinations and communities.
Breaking down barriers
Many of these sustainable pledges are coming to fruition, with travellers revealing that while on holiday in the past 12 months, 41% made a conscious decision to turn off their air conditioning/heater in their accommodation when they weren’t there, 44% took their own reusable water bottle and 33% did activities to support the local community.
In fact, over half (53%) admit they get annoyed if accommodations stop them from being sustainable, for example not offering recycling facilities.
However, while 72% of travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the upcoming year, 46% still believe that in 2021, there simply aren’t enough sustainable travel options available.
While 3 out of 4** accommodation partners say they have implemented sustainable steps at their property, only one-third (31%**) actively communicate about their efforts proactively to potential guests.
This indicates that significant challenges remain to making sustainability information easy to access for travelers at earlier stages of the booking process.
To help overcome these issues, Booking.com says it’s currently rolling out a program for properties that will support them in taking the next steps to become more sustainable, no matter where they might be on the journey.
How do you think the industry can break down these sustainable travel barriers and head in a more sustainable direction? Let us know – email [email protected]
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*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 29,349 respondents across 30 countries and territories
**Research conducted by Booking.com with a representative sample of 3,390 accommodation providers across 20 countries.
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