By Natasha Young
The need for a greener earth is no longer just an option but a necessity. People around the globe are consciously making choices that are bringing sustainability to life.
However, sustainable living isn’t limited to using less plastic or avoiding activities at home that could harm the planet. It’s also about travelling lighter. Way has assembled some interesting stats for those curious about sustainable travel.
Sustainable travel, often called eco-tourism or responsible travel, focuses on reducing the misuse of natural resources, local economies and local communities while fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.
In face of drastic climate change, eco-friendly vacations are trending. Travellers can contribute to preserving the planet’s natural and cultural integrity for future generations by choosing sustainable travel. It can promote local commodities, which can also help the economy.
Why is sustainable travelling not yet at its peak?
Sustainable travelling looks good on paper, but it’s not perceived as a more convenient and practical option. People want to travel more sustainably, but they give in to the barriers to doing so. Despite the availability of eco-friendly travel options, half of all travellers find them insufficient or prohibitively expensive.
Many also believe these options are difficult to find or not credible enough. While travellers recognize the importance of climate change, a gap remains between impact and action.
Based on Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report 2023, 80 per cent of travellers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them. And 70 per cent accept that it’s high time to take sustainable travel seriously.
Impact of news and social media
News is one way to reach people and increase awareness of sustainable travel. But the news and social media often fail to communicate its necessity; stuck in the cobweb of marketing and politics, such sensitive topics are often pushed to the back burner.
Only 53 per cent of the survey acknowledged that news had influenced their decisions to adapt to eco-friendly traveling. At the same time, almost 43 per cent are unaware of it despite the exposure to news and social media.
Impact of economy
The economy also makes it difficult to be more conscious about when, where and how they travel. Sixty-four per cent believe cost of living will worsen in the next six months. At the same time, 49 per cent have almost given up on the thought that the planet can even be saved at this time.
The travelling crowd is a mix. Forty-nine per cent believe sustainable travel options are too expensive, while 43 per cent are willing to spend for it. And 47 per cent are willing to get more tips on it so that they can save the planet while staying within their budget. Forty-two to 49 per cent from different demographics prefer discounts and economic incentives to opt for eco-friendly options.
Gaps of sustainable travel
To travel sustainably, people must practice the same at home, and there should be enough platforms for support. Seventy-four per cent want travel companies to offer more eco-friendly travel options; 51 per cent believe there are not enough options available and 44 per cent of travellers don’t know how to find more options. Only 16 per cent in the U.S. practice sustainability at home.
At the same time, 65 per cent would choose to stay in a specific hotel if they knew it had a sustainable accreditation or label, and 59 per cent want to filter their options for those with a sustainable certification the next time they book and 69 per cent are interested in learning more about why specific options are perceived as more sustainable.
Forty-four per cent like it when brands offer products or services that are more sustainable, but it doesn’t always influence their decision; 39 per cent don’t trust that the sustainable travel options labeled are truly more sustainable. Meanwhile, 11 per cent only buy products and services from brands that promote sustainability and 30 per cent are always on the lookout for brands that promote sustainability.
Sustainable travel is an ongoing trend in the tourist sector that promotes environmentally responsible travel habits to reduce environmental harm, help local communities and preserve cultural and natural resources. Travellers can lower their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future by using eco-friendly transportation, staying in eco-conscious hotels and participating in responsible visitor activities.
Sustainable travel benefits the environment and local people and gives travellers a more real and meaningful travel experience, helping ensure that tourism continues to be a good force for cultural exchange and economic development while not jeopardizing the planet’s well-being.
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