Hot topics for today’s travellers

EDINBURGH, Scotland, 24 February 2020: Sustainable tourism and the impact of climate change are more on the mind of travellers when they choose a holiday destination, according to a survey conducted by STR’s Tourism Consumer Insights team.

Conducted last January, the survey captured the views of over 1,000 international travellers from STR’s proprietary Traveller Panel.

“Sustainable travel continues to be a hot topic in the tourism industry as travellers and travel brands alike increasingly scrutinise their impact on the environment,” said STR’s director of research Sean Morgan. “Our research examined how ‘eco’ friendly the modern traveller is and evaluated perceptions of the efforts made to implement greener and more sustainable practices in the tourism industry. No doubt, at least in part, influenced by the “Greta effect”, Generation Z and Millennial travellers had the strongest views when it came to ‘greener’ holidays as over 50% stated that an environmentally-friendly holiday was personally important.”

Key findings

48% of respondents said that choosing an environmentally-friendly holiday option was important, while 40% chose a neutral position.

35% of travellers stated they wouldn’t want to visit a country that wasn’t making efforts to fight climate change, while 32% indicated that they would not be deterred and 33% were undecided.

Overall, around 70% believed there is little or no effort to be sustainable among tourism providers. However, hotels/accommodation providers were the least poorly perceived when compared with other essential travel and tourism sectors.

“Highlighting significant scope and potential for the industry to reinvent itself, the vast majority of travellers (92%) were concerned about climate change,” Morgan said. “However, there is a sense that the tourism industry lags behind the expectations of travellers as the majority considered accommodation providers and transport operators, such as airlines and train companies, to be making little or no effort to become more sustainable.”

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