Are we ready to pay for sustainable travel?

SINGAPORE, 21 August 2023: Nearly 80% of travellers are willing to pay at least 10% more for sustainable travel features despite the cost of living crisis, according to a Euromonitor International report released last week. 

41% of travellers are also prepared to pay more than 30% extra for adventure and eco-tourism, according to the Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey, mentioned in Euromonitor’s newly released Sustainable Travel Index 2023. 

Europe dominates the Sustainable Travel Index 2023 taking the top 17 places. Sweden continues to top the chart, with Finland second and Austria third. South American destination, Uruguay, has made the top 20 for the first time, moving up 15 places from the previous year. 

Egypt and the Maldives have improved countries the most over the last five years. Egypt has outshone other markets by building resilient tourism, helped by its recovery after travel bans and the pandemic, and driving up average spend per arrival to increase value creation through tourism for the benefit of local communities.  

Melbourne tops sustainable city destination charts 

Melbourne stands at the top of the sustainability pillar for Euromonitor’s Top City Destinations Index, aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2040. It is followed by Spain’s Madrid and Seville, part of the Net Zero Cities initiative in the EU that includes 112 European cities. 

Regarding sustainable tourism demand, Australia, Iceland and New Zealand are the top three destinations. As long-haul destinations, Australia and New Zealand benefit from the long stay. New Zealand also flies the flag for regenerative tourism, going further and deeper than mere sustainability, leaving a positive legacy for generations to come aiming to give back. 

Reflecting on the findings of the report, Euromonitor International head of travel Caroline Bremner said: “Our Sustainable Travel Index uses 56 indicators across seven pillars – Environmental, Social, Economic, Risk, Demand, Transport and Lodgings – determining the comparative performance of sustainable travel and tourism for 99 countries through scores and weightings to produce an overall ranking. 

“There are three main types of indicators. The health of a destination relating to happiness, equality and social justice, then the specific impacts of tourism on the local environment, such as hotel energy use, followed by the general state of tourism, such as quality of infrastructure or dependency on international demand. 

“Looking to the future, the Sustainable Travel Index highlights green technology and digitalising the traveller journey as two sure-fire ways to help achieve the road to net zero. Partnering with new start-ups in the green tech space could help pave the way for a greener and cleaner travel future.”

You can find out more information about the Sustainable Travel Index here

(Source: Euromonitor International)