The Pandemic Effect: An Increased Desire to Travel More Sustainably
Earth Day 2021 will be a moment of reflection for travelers around the world. Instead of reminiscing about the trips they have taken in the past 12 months, it will be a milestone moment for many to reflect on how their future travels can have a more positive impact, both on the environment and on local communities. We have leveraged our recent research* to unearth an uplifting trend of a heightened desire to travel responsibly, which means we can expect to see travelers having a more eco-conscious mindset throughout 2021, and beyond, as it becomes safe to travel again.
Following the halt that the pandemic has put on travelers' plans, people’s eyes to their own impact on the environment and local communities have no doubt been opened. Over half of global travelers (53%*) admitted that because of Coronavirus they want to travel more sustainably, with travelers in Colombia (74%*), Brazil (71%*) and India (70%*) being especially committed to this.
From having an amped awareness on the need for sustainable travel, travelers have been reevaluating what steps to take, whether small or large, to ensure they are playing their part in helping to protect the planet. 63%* of travelers intend to stay away from crowded tourist attractions, half (51%*) of global travelers will avoid traveling during peak season and a further 48%* of travelers will visit alternative destinations to prevent overcrowding.
But travelers aren’t just carefully considering their destination choices, they are also thinking about how their trips can have a more long-term, regenerative effect and actually help rebuild communities. With new research from Booking.com revealing that over two-thirds (68%**) of travelers want the money they spend when traveling to go back to the local community. Along with a further 43%* of travelers intending to support local communities and economies through more thoughtful travel choices.
This eco-conscious determination is having an impact on travelers’ behaviors even once they arrive at their destination, as global travelers are pledging to continue to act with sustainability in mind. Booking.com’s research shows that 81%** of global travelers are vying to stay in an eco-accommodation at least once. This number increases to 100%** for travelers from Vietnam, 98%** for travelers from Colombia and 98%** for Indian travelers. Meanwhile, 84%** will be on a quest to reduce their waste and recycle plastic when visiting a destination, a number that increases for travelers from Thailand (94%**), Croatia (91%**), Brazil (91%**) and Argentina (90%**).
Whilst it’s likely that travelers can finally get excited about being able to travel safely again in the not so distant future, research shows the pause in globetrotting has inspired 83%** of travelers to make sustainable travel a priority in the future. An optimistic indication that travelers will be more considerate when making decisions about future travel, while keeping in mind that every (sustainable) step they take will help to reduce their footprint on the environment. No matter how small it may be...
To delve deeper into our predictions for the Future of Travel including the Impact Awakening and the rise of responsible travel, please visit: https://www.booking.com/articles/category/future-of-travel.html
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who have traveled for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including from 999 USA, 496 from Canada, 497 from Mexico, 997 from Colombia, 999 from Brazil, 499 from Argentina, 995 from Australia, 499 from New Zealand, 999 from Spain, 996 from Italy, 996 from France, 999 from UK, 996 from Germany, 498 from Netherlands, 499 from Denmark, 499 from Sweden, 498 from Croatia, 1001 from Russia, 498 from Israel, 997 from India, 994 from China, 499 from Hong Kong, 497 from Thailand, 496 from Singapore, 499 from Taiwan, 997 from South Korea, 500 from Vietnam and 995 from Japan). Respondents completed an online survey in July 2020.
** Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of of 29,349 respondents across 30 countries and territories (1,000 from USA, 1,007 from Canada, 1,000 from Mexico, 964 from Colombia, 1,000 from Brazil, 1,000 from Argentina, 999 from Australia, 941 from New Zealand, 1,001 from Spain, 1,000 from Italy, 1,000 from France, 1,000 from UK, 1,000 from Germany, 1,003 from Netherlands, 986 from Denmark, 1,000 from Sweden, 997 from Croatia, 1,005 from Russia, 1,003 from Israel, 1,000 from India, 1,000 from China, 1,005 from Hong Kong, 968 from Thailand, 963 from Singapore, 1,000 from Taiwan, 1,005 from Vietnam, 1,000 from South Korea, 1,000 from Japan, 1,002 from South Africa, 500 from Kenya ). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and must be planning to travel in 2021, and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in March 2021.