Sustainable travel trending in India

MUMBAI India, 23 April 2020: Indian travellers say they will make more sustainable travel decisions in the future, according to Booking.com research conducted in March.

The findings suggested that when travelling is back on the agenda, it is likely that travellers will want to continue making considerate choices by heading to less-visited destinations and selecting alternative modes of transport to get there.

The research revealed that 96% of Indian travellers interviewed identified sustainable travel as important to them, while nearly seven 76%  said they were more determined to make sustainable choices when looking to travel again in the future. 

Witnessing the impact that tourism has on the environment while on vacation, 73% of travellers say they are now making more eco-friendly choices in their everyday life.

However, while many of the findings are promising, there are still obstacles to overcome. The survey showed 39% of Indian travellers do not know how or where to find sustainable travel options and 54% think there aren’t enough sustainable travel options available.

This indicates that there remains an opportunity for more education around what sustainable travel options are already available. To make it easier for travellers to find and make sustainable travel choices, the Travalyst coalition, a global partnership founded by Britain’s Duke of Sussex together with Booking.com and other leading brands, recently announced the development of new frameworks that will ultimately help surface more sustainable accommodation, aviation and experiences options across the industry.

Sustainable Accommodation Choices

● 97% of Indian travellers said they planned to stay in eco-accommodation in 2020.

● Out of the 74% of travellers who have previously stayed in an eco-accommodation, almost half (46%) did so to help to reduce their impact on the environment.

● To help convince the 3% of travellers who have not yet expressed interest in staying at an ‘eco-friendly’ accommodation, having a universal eco-labelling system could help inspire others to travel sustainably, as 77% of travellers have admitted they would feel reassured about staying in accommodation if it had an ‘Eco-label’.

● Booking.com is making headway for clearer labelling, exploring new ways to highlight sustainable practices at accommodations of all kinds across the globe, including everything from reducing plastics to water and energy-saving measures.

These first steps to highlight property sustainability practices – which can also be verified by customers – are part of the company’s ongoing foundational work with Travalyst to develop an easy-to-understand, industry-wide sustainability label.

The Considerate Traveller

● 44% of Indian travellers admitted they would be more encouraged to make sustainable travel choices if travel companies proposed alternative destinations to reduce overcrowding.

● Travellers are also considering alternative modes of transport to reach their destination, with 47% have opted to travel by train instead of a car for longer distances to reduce their carbon footprint.

● These findings suggest that when travelling is back on the agenda, it is likely that travellers will want to continue making considerate choices by heading to less-visited destinations and selecting alternative modes of transport to get there.

A quest to be plastic-free

● Going plastic-free and encouraging accommodations around the world to introduce measures that clamp down on single-use plastic looks likely to be a key objective for global travellers in the future.

● When it comes to the term ‘sustainable travel and tourism’ nearly one in five (20%) travellers associate the term with reducing waste/recycling plastic.

● 51% of Indian travellers shared that they have brought their own reusable water bottle rather than buying plastic bottles when visiting a destination in the past year, and 64% have said they have been frustrated when accommodation has stopped them from being sustainable in the past.

● In addition to developing resources with tips and information to help properties operate more sustainably overall, Booking.com is also looking to test features that enable properties to highlight their own eco-friendly efforts to potential customers in a more visible way, for example, to reduce their usage of single-use plastics. This includes when they do not use plastic straws, stirrers, crockery or utensils, have removed single-use toiletry bottles and/or when they have eliminated the use of plastic water bottles on site.

Research Methodology                                 

Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 20,432 respondents across 22 markets (Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Israel, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya and South Africa). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in March 2020.

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