As Canada reaffirms its commitment to the environment by ending fossil fuel use by the close of the century, it seems Canadian travellers are also making a stronger commitment to the environment this year.
A recent study by Booking.com shows that one in two Canadians are likely to choose a destination based on its social or environmental impact.
This figure represents double the actual trips taken last year, when 24% of Canadian travellers reported taking a traditional sustainable trip (defined as an eco-tour, a volunteering trip, a farm stay, a camping trip or a trip to learn about new cultures).
“We’ve completely embraced eco principles in all aspects of our resort, and we’ve never been busier,” says Vaughan Perret, managing director of Trout Point Lodge, one of Canada’s top eco-friendly accommodations. “Travellers look for vacations that will remain meaningful to them long after they’ve gone home, and becoming one with nature makes that possible.”
The lodge, tucked away in the heart of the Nova Scotia wilderness, is the world’s first certified Starlight hotel, offering a spectacular stargazing experience. Sustainable practices even extend to the kitchen, earning the lodge a three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
This rise in interest in sustainable travel is a trend seen around globe, according to Booking.com’s survey of 32,000 travellers in 16 countries. The study found the majority of global travellers are being influenced by their intention to reduce their environmental impact, or to ensure that their tourism has a positive impact on the local community, when evaluating holiday destinations.
Brazilian respondents were most interested in sustainable travel, with 74% reporting they would be likely to base a decision on these concerns. At the other end of the spectrum, 36% of Danish respondents and 39% of Dutch respondents said their plans would be influenced by their potential social or environmental impact. Also in the top 10, along with Canadians, are Australians (59%) and Americans (53%).
While expressing the desire to travel more sustainably, Canadian survey respondents were not however prepared to forego luxury while reducing their carbon footprint. When compared with other respondents, aspiring sustainable travellers were: 50% say they are more likely to intend to book more luxury accommodations in 2015 than they did in 2014; Three times as likely to plan to stay in more “green” accommodations in 2015 than they did in 2014.
This combined interest in luxury and green stays creates a unique opportunity for accommodations to woo travellers by offering high-end comfort paired with an eco-sensibility.
According to Booking.com, the top five most luxurious eco-friendly accommodations in Canada are: Trout Point Lodge, East Kempville, Nova Scotia; Around The Sea, North Rustico, Prince Edward Island; Hotel- Musee Premieres Nations, Wendake, Quebec; Goldenwood Lodge, Golden, British Columbia; Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, British Columbia.