STR: Sustainable travel important to 48% of travelers

STR surveyed more than 1,000 travelers from the company’s proprietary Traveler Panel about their sustainable travel opinions. Photo credit: STR (STR Sustainability Importance Chart)

Forty-eight percent of respondents to an STR survey described choosing an environmentally friendly holiday option as important, while 40 percent chose a neutral position. Conducted in January 2020, the research captured the views of more than 1,000 travelers from the company’s proprietary Traveler Panel.

Gen Z and millennial travelers reported the strongest views on the subject, with more than half of each group agreeing that choosing an environmentally friendly holiday option was important to them. Thirty-five percent of travelers said they wouldn’t want to visit a country that wasn’t making efforts to fight climate change, while 32 percent said they would not be deterred and 33 percent were undecided.

“Sustainable travel continues to be a hot topic in the tourism industry as travelers and travel brands alike increasingly scrutinize their impact on the environment,” Sean Morgan, STR’s director of research, said in a statement. “Our research examined how ‘eco’ friendly the modern traveler is and evaluated perceptions of the efforts made to implement greener and more sustainable practices in the tourism industry.

Overall, around 70 percent of respondents believed there to be little or no effort to be sustainable among tourism providers. Hotels/accommodation providers were the least poorly perceived when compared to other sectors like train operators, bus tour companies, airlines and cruise companies.

Photo credit: STR

“Highlighting significant scope and potential for the industry to reinvent itself, the vast majority of travelers (92 percent) were concerned about climate change,” Morgan said. “However, there is a sense that the tourism industry lags behind the expectations of travelers as the majority considered accommodation providers and transport operators, such as airlines and train companies, to be making little or no effort to become more sustainable.”