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Sustainable travel rises as more travelers seek to reduce carbon footprint

With summer just around the corner, over half (52%) of all global travellers report that they are likely to choose a destination based on its social or environmental impact in 2015.

Findings from a survey of 32,000 travellers across 16 countries by Booking.com reveal that attitudes towards sustainable travel are evolving, even as we continue to embrace vacation comforts.

While only 10% of respondents took a traditional sustainable trip in 2014 (defined as an eco-tour, a volunteering trip, a farm stay, a camping trip or a trip to learn about new cultures), this year will see the majority of global travellers being influenced by an intention to reduce their environmental impact, or to ensure that their tourism has a positive impact on the local community, when evaluating vacation destinations. Unsurprisingly, this trend is more marked in some countries than others.

● Brazilian respondents were most interested in sustainable travel, with 74% reporting that they would be likely to base a decision on these concerns
● At the other end of the spectrum, only 36% of Danish respondents and 39% of Dutch respondents said their plans would be influenced by their potential social or environmental impact
● Australians (59%) and Americans (53%) were also among the world’s top sustainable travel intenders

Modern Eco Warriors expect accommodations that pamper both them and the environment

While expressing the desire to travel more sustainably, survey respondents were not however prepared to forgo luxury while reducing their carbon footprint. When compared with other respondents, aspiring sustainable travelers were:

● 50% more likely to intend to book more luxury accommodations in 2015 than they did in 2014
● Three times as likely to plan to stay in more ‘green’ accommodations in 2015 than they did in 2014

This combined interest in luxury and green stays creates a unique opportunity for accommodations to woo these travellers by offering high-end comfort paired with an eco sensibility.

Rosie Clarke

Rosie Clarke is managing editor at Multimedia Publishing.

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