TO celebrate Earth Day on April 22, Booking.com has released findings from its global Sustainable Travel Report. In a year that the United Nation’s has designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, this new research points to some promising signs when it comes to the eco-considerations weighed by both travellers and accommodations.
Sustainable travel intentions
The number of travellers staying in an eco-friendly or ‘green’ accommodation at least once could double this year with 65 per cent of global travellers expressing this intention versus 34 per cent who stayed in one or more last year. In addition, 68 per cent confirm they are more likely to consider choosing an accommodation knowing that it was eco-friendly, with Chinese (93 per cent), Brazilian (83 per cent) and Spanish (80 per cent) travellers the most likely. For a large 79 per cent, sustainable considerations also impact their mode of transport when travelling, with 43 per cent taking public transport whenever possible, 42 per cent trying to walk, bike or hike as much as possible and nearly one fifth (18 per cent) flying less to reduce their carbon footprint.
When it comes to making luxury adjustments in order to stay somewhere eco-friendly, the vast majority of global travellers would be more than happy to accept these, with 94 per cent willing to stay in a property with energy saving lightbulbs, 89 per cent in one with AC/Heating units that only run while you’re in the room and 80 per cent in one with low flow showerheads. Below is an overview of the luxury adjustments global travellers would be willing to make to stay at an eco-friendly accommodation.
Luxury adjustments travellers would be willing to make to stay somewhere eco-friendly:
Energy saving lightbulbs
94 per cent
AC/Heating units that only run while you are in the room
89 per cent
Low flow showerheads
80 per cent
Recycled toilet paper
79 per cent
Less frequent toiletry replacement
79 per cent
Linen and towel changed less frequently
75 per cent
Higher cost for food because its all locally produced
64 per cent
Sustainable travel goals
The term ‘sustainable travel’ continues to mean many things to many people, but the role of accommodations in helping travellers to achieve their sustainable travel goals is clear. The research shows that over half (56 per cent) consider staying in eco-friendly accommodation as sustainable travel, topping the list of what travellers think when they hear the term. For well over a third, it means conserving water by reusing towels and bed sheets (38 per cent) and conserving the environment by reducing use of amenity goods such as shampoo, soap, toothbrush, shaving razor (35 per cent).
For many, sustainable travel is also synonymous with a more authentic, local experience. 38 per cent perceive the buying of locally-made products and supporting local artisans as sustainable travel, while 36 per cent would choose an eco-friendly accommodation because it provides a more locally-relevant experience. Below is an overview of the top reasons why global travellers choose eco-friendly accommodations.
Top-5 reasons global travellers choose eco-friendly accommodations:
To help reduce environmental impact
52 per cent
They provide a more locally-relevant experience
36 per cent
They treat the local community better
31 per cent
They tend to provide more locally-sourced/organic good
30 per cent
An interest in experiencing new trends in travel accommodations
24 per cent
Sustainable travel considerations
Even though only 5 per cent of global travellers actually believe it is easy to travel sustainably, 46 per cent of global travellers consider themselves a sustainable traveller, with Italy, Germany and China seeing a rise in those identifying this way since last year but in markets like Australia, Brazil, Japan and the US there has been a fall (down 5 per cent, 8 per cent, 4 per cent and 4 per cent respectively). Below is an overview of the top green/eco-friendly practices that global travellers are taking into account when considering a property to stay in.
Top-5 most important green/eco-friendly practices when considering a property to stay in:
67 per cent
Sustainable water system
43 per cent
Low-flow showers/ toilets
36 per cent
Organic restaurants/food options
31 per cent
Recycling baskets in room
29 per cent