Sustainable travel has been a burgeoning trend since the COVID-19 pandemic halted daily life and showed people around the globe that what we do each day really does impact the world around us.
Booking.com has released its 2021 Sustainable Travel Report, surveying almost 30,000 individuals across thirty different countries about their perspectives on sustainable travel.
The report found that 46 percent of Americans have changed their views on sustainable travel because of the pandemic. Almost that same number cited the pandemic has also changed their daily habits, with recycling and reducing food waste as top concerns at home.
More travelers than ever will actively search out sustainable accommodations; a staggering 81 percent of global respondents said they’d stay in a sustainable accommodation at least once this year as opposed to last year’s 74 percent, the largest year-to-year jump in the past five years. Back in 2016, the number was 62 percent.
However, travelers are finding it difficult to find sustainable accommodations. Around 44 percent don’t know how to search for sustainable hotels, citing a desire to easily access sustainability information and perhaps even accreditation to make their search more fruitful.
There is a desire for more responsible and authentic travel: 74 percent believe increasing cultural understanding and preserving cultural heritage is crucial, while 65 percent will shy away from traditionally popular destinations and attractions to more evenly spread the economic benefits of tourism to less-visited communities.
Furthermore, around three quarters of respondents want to take personal responsibility for their impact while traveling, reducing energy and water consumption, using more environmentally friendly methods of transportation and reducing their carbon footprints and waste.
While it’s incredible that travelers have a desire to make a less negative impact on the world while they travel, hotels and other accommodations are also changing their mindsets. For instance, 32 percent of accommodation providers believe that offering guests the information about their culture, environment and traveler etiquette is an important step towards more responsible travel.
Three in four accommodation providers surveyed have implemented some sort of sustainability practice, but only 31 percent actively communicate their actions to guests, and an even smaller number communicates these actions to potential guests on their website.
Travelers want to know what their accommodations are doing for the environment and the local community; accommodation providers must begin communicating their efforts to travelers, who will in turn feel more comfortable staying there.
To read the full report, please visit Booking.com.