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New research reveals an increased desire to travel more sustainably

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In celebration of Earth Day, we explore the findings from recent Booking.com research*, which reveals traveler intentions to travel more sustainability in 2021 and beyond 

Sustainability remains one of the biggest topics for the industry, with the pandemic shining an even brighter spotlight on responsible travel. This has opened people’s eyes to their impact on the environment and local communities, inspiring many travelers to be more conscious when making decisions about future travel. 

Recent Booking.com research reveals that travelers have an increased desire to experience the world with a more sustainable mindset. Over half of global travelers (53%) acknowledged that they want to travel more sustainably as a result of the coronavirus, with travelers in Colombia (74%), Brazil (71%), and India (70%) expressing especially strong intentions to be more eco-conscious. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, videos of wildlife exploring empty streets in popular cities where crowds once flocked went viral. For many, this juxtaposition highlighted the need to combat overtourism, prompting travelers to reevaluate the steps they need to take to help protect the planet. Over half (63%) of travelers intend to stay away from crowded tourist attractions, 51% will avoid traveling during peak season, and a further 48% will visit alternative destinations to prevent overcrowding. 

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'The pause on travel has inspired 83% of travellers to make sustainable travel a priority in the future.'

 

Localized travel has also been brought to the forefront, with many travelers indicating they intend to help local communities get back on their feet. According to additional Booking.com research** conducted in March this year, over two-thirds (68%) of travelers want the money they spend when traveling to go back to the local community, while a further 43% intend to support local communities and economies through more thoughtful choices. Hosts can satisfy this guest interest by providing authentic recommendations for local attractions, dining, and providers. 

Travelers’ focus on sustainability extends to accommodations, with 81% of global travelers planning to stay in eco-accommodations at least once. This number increases to 100% for travelers from Vietnam, 98% for those from Colombia, and 98% for Indian travelers. Additionally, 84% of travelers plan to reduce their waste and recycle plastic when visiting a destination, a percentage that increases for travelers from Thailand (94%), Croatia (91%), and Argentina (90%). Reflecting your efforts to reduce plastic and waste consumption in guest communications can help tap into this demand. 

The pause on travel has inspired 83% of travelers to make sustainable travel a priority in the future, and 70% are more likely to choose an accommodation if it has implemented sustainable practices. Revealing traveler motivations post-pandemic and beyond, these stats emphasize the importance of continuing to take steps—no matter how small—to address sustainability at your property. 

*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of 20,934 respondents across 28 countries and territories. Respondents completed an online survey in July 2020. **Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 29,349 respondents across 30 countries and territories. The survey was taken online and took place in March 2021.

 

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Takeaway
  • Recent Booking.com research reveals travelers’ heightened desire to travel responsibly in 2021 and beyond
  • The pause on travel has inspired 83% of travelers to make sustainable travel a priority in the future
  • Interest in green accommodations continues to grow, with 81% of travelers planning to stay in an eco-friendly property at least once
  • Properties can tap into this demand by communicating their sustainability practices to customers via the Extranet