Study: Traveler interest in sustainability up, but info lacks

Over the past year, the number of consumers expressing interest in more sustainable travel has increased by 10%, but many also say they don’t know how to find sustainable accommodations or look into the sustainability efforts of ‘a property if the information is easily accessible.

The data comes from a survey commissioned by Booking.com in February of more than 30,000 people from 32 countries and territories who had traveled at least once in the past 12 months and who plan to travel in 2022. Details are published in the brand’s journal 2022 Sustainable Travel Report.

Seventy-one percent of respondents globally say they want to travel more sustainably next year, up from 61% in a similar survey conducted in April 2021.

Even more (81%) say sustainable travel is important to them, with half saying recent news on climate change is prompting them to make more sustainable travel choices.

But a stumbling block for some travelers is the inability to easily find information about properties and destinations that prioritize sustainability.

More than half (54%) of respondents say they have not stayed in durable accommodation in the past year, and around a third of them (31%) say they do not know that this type of accommodation exists and 29% say they know. don’t know how to find a durable property.

The results also underscore the need for hotels and alternative accommodation to highlight and make sustainability information easily understandable – more than half of respondents (56%) admit they do not actively seek out sustainability information. sustainability of a property before booking, but they say if it is easily accessible they would consider it.

In In November, Booking.com began awarding its “Travel Sustainable” badge to properties that have achieved sustainability thresholds specified in partnership with the Travalyst Coalition and the World Sustainable Tourism Council developed and to properties that have already received certifications from other organizations, such as Green Tourism, European Ecolabel, green seal, fair tourism, LEED and others .

The label appears on property pages and in listings on the search results page. A “Travel Sustainable properties” filter is also present on the site to allow users to easily find these properties, which now number more than 100,000 worldwide.

destinations

The survey data also highlights opportunities for destinations to proactively and easily display sustainability information.

Forty percent of respondents would be willing to “travel exclusively outside peak season” to avoid overcrowding, and two-thirds (64%) say they would avoid popular destinations and attractions to better spread the impact and the benefits of their visit.

But again, a lack of information can hamper travelers’ ability to act on those desires.

Forty-two percent of respondents say they struggle to find attractive destinations that are less crowded, and 34% believe it is “not possible” to find sustainable travel options in cities or other tourist destinations popular.

And, despite a majority (66%) expressing a desire to have experiences “representative of local culture” and 25% willing to pay more for activities that give back to local communities, more than a third (34%) say that they don’t know how or where to find these types of activities and tours.

Transportation

When it comes to booking transportation for trips, 40% of respondents say they actively seek out sustainability information.

Almost a quarter (23%) chose to travel to a destination closer to home to reduce their carbon footprint and 20% chose to travel by train rather than car for the longer distances. Twenty-two percent of respondents say they have researched public transport and/or bike rental options in their destination.

Meanwhile, Booking.com itself says it has remained carbon neutral in its operations in 2021 and switched to 100% renewable electricity towards the end of the year. Of the society Climate action planreleased in March, has targets including a 95% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by the end of 2030, a 50% reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2040.

“With increased pressure on our natural resources and the undeniable impact of our way of life on the environment, we are 100% committed to leading the industry in charting a more conscious and responsible path for the future of travel” , says Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking.com.

“We have ambitious goals for what we want to achieve, but with our responsible partners across the industry and the passion of our innovative employees, we can continue to empower everyone to experience the world in a more conscious and more conscious.

“We believe that travel is and should remain a powerful force for good, bringing greater cultural understanding, socio-economic opportunities for countless communities, and the potential to help rejuvenate and protect our planet for the long term. ”