Sustainable travel has seen a spike in importance, according to recent findings by Expedia Group Media Solutions.
Travel Bulletin showed that nowadays, 90% of consumers seek out sustainable practices when they travel. At that, half of them are willing to pay extra for eco-friendly food, activities, accommodation, and transportation options.
Michael Brennan of the Expedia Group presented the findings, originally released online in April, at the Mumbrella Travel Marketing Summit in Sydney. The data came from the company’s global network of travel sites and showed the top areas where travelers were willing to put down more money, especially if sustainability was on the table.
Most Popular Sustainable Categories
When it comes to sustainable travel, the data showed that food took the most popular category with 55% of consumers being willing to shell out some extra cash to dine on sustainable food.
Right on the heels of that came sustainable activities and experiences, with 53% willing to pay more.
Transportation and lodging each took 51% of consumers, with 47% to personal purchases or gifts, and travel agencies and providers took 44%.
On top of that, around half of the consumers were also open to make some sacrifices for sustainable travel. Many opt to walk instead of finding a vehicle transfer, for example. Others are also willing to make compromises on lodging comfort, convenience and travel time.
Around 70% of the consumers have also avoided a destination or travel option because of a lack of credibility toward authentic sustainable commitment.
Those consumers also stated they felt overwhelmed by the process of becoming a sustainable traveler. This offers an opportunity for the travel sector to invest in providing more easily understandable eco-friendly options.
A minor change could see recommendations for locally owned businesses, transportation with lower impact and options for engaging with the local culture.