Daily Management Review

Survey Finds Travellers Care Deeply About Sustainability But Willingness To Pay More Varies


Survey Finds Travellers Care Deeply About Sustainability But Willingness To Pay More Varies
One of the silver lining outcomes of the Covid-q9 pandemic for the tourism sector is an increased commitment from travellers towards “sustainable” travel, finds a new survey.
However the hopes for a “green” recovery may have been overblown with travel prospects being lifted because of Clovid-19 vaccine roll outs.
With people trying to mitigate the negative effects of tourism by avoiding damaging practices or by offsetting them, there has been a growth in popularity of sustainable travel. And the Covid-19 pandemic has seemingly accelerated that trend.
A recent survey by travel company Virtuoso found that four in five people (82%) conceded that the pandemic has made their intentions more strong to travel responsibly in the near future while almost three-quarters (72%) believed that travel should support local communities and economies as well as preserve the cultural heritage of destinations and conserve the conserve the planet.
It will cost more to travel in a sustainable manner and to reduce carbon footprint.
Sustainable travel was somewhat or very important to them, said a similar majority (83%) of travellers who participated in a separate study by travel site The Vacationer. Despite this, almost half (48%) of the participants would chose to take such sustainable trips only if it did not cause any inconvenience to them.
And convenience is not the only limitation.
The primary consideration for most travellers (62%) was costs of such a tour planning for a holiday, found the study from The Vacationer. On the other hand, the consideration for sustainability and carbon footprint at the time of planning a travel holiday was most important for only 4% of the travellers.
Even though the study found that seven in 10 (71%) of the travellers were willing to pay more to lower their carbon footprint, the extent of money that they would agree to over pay varied greatly.
The study found that slightly more than a quarter (27%) of the respondents would be willing to pay less than $50 to reduce carbon emissions while one-third (33%) were willing to cough up $50 to $250 more for reducing their carbon footprint. Those who were willing to pay more than $500 were only 3% while 29% were unwilling to pay anything extra.
That for the travel industry is the major issue. For example, for a trip from New York to Rome, an individual would have to pay an additional $69 for offseting the carbon emissions for the flight alone.
Therefore, according to Dr. Srikanth Beldona, a professor at the University of Delaware, these types of costs would make mass adoption of sustainable travel on the consumer side unlikely.
“Sustainable travel will have to cost more if it must reduce its carbon footprint, and there are signs that a niche market for this can emerge,” he said, calling instead for a “universal solution” that combines the efforts of businesses and regulators.