Travel Agent Appreciation

Canadians Want To Travel Sustainably

New research from Booking.com makes it clear that travellers want to travel sustainably.

Booking.com gathered insights from over 30,000 travellers across 32 countries and territories, highlighting that the impact of their trips remains top of mind.

That research found that 62% of Canadian travellers say that they want to travel more sustainably over the coming 12 months; a 15% increase over what the company’s 2021 data found.

With 76% of Canadian travellers confirming that sustainable travel is important to them, 41% of respondents cited that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices.

To that end, a quarter (26%) of Canadian travellers say that the sustainability efforts of accommodations and transport providers play a strong role in their property and transport decisions respectively.

In fact, 65% of Canadian travellers say they would be more likely to choose a sustainable accommodation whether they were looking specifically for one or not.

In search of more sustainable stays

Booking.com’s research also reports that 26% of Canadian travellers have seen a sustainable accommodation on an online travel site over the past year and 28% indicated that they actively look for information on the sustainability efforts of a property before they book.

Even more encouraging are the 39% of Canadian travellers who say they have stayed in a sustainable accommodation over the past year.

Of those who have experienced a more sustainable stay in the past 12 months, the reasons for selecting one vary:

  • 36% said they chose it to help reduce their impact on the environment
  • A third (35%) wanted to have a more locally relevant experience
  • 30% believe sustainable properties treat the community better

While 73% of Canadian travellers intend to stay in a sustainable property at least once in the coming year, there is still work to do to make more sustainable stay options accessible for everyone.

Of those who didn’t stay in a sustainable accommodation over the past year, 29% said they didn’t know they existed. While this is down 5% from 2021, indicating that awareness is growing, a quarter (24%) said they still didn’t know how to find them. 66% admit that they don’t actively look for the sustainability efforts of a property before they book, but if easily accessible, they say they will review it, which further underlines the importance of making this sustainability information transparent and understandable for a broad audience of travellers.

Looking At Alternatives

There is consensus amongst travellers on wanting to avoid busy and over-visited destinations, with a third (31%) saying that they chose to travel outside of peak season and a quarter (24%) choosing to go to a less popular travel destination over the last 12 months to avoid overcrowding.

To that end, when thinking about future trips, 38% said they’d be willing to exclusively travel outside of peak season to avoid overcrowding, and 59% revealed that they would avoid popular tourist destinations and attractions to ensure a more even dispersal of the impact and benefits of their visit. 28% of Canadians would even be willing to choose an alternative to their preferred destination to help avoid overcrowding.

On the flip side, 37% struggle to find appealing destinations that are less crowded and 34% feel like it’s not possible to find sustainable travel options in cities or other popular tourist destinations. This indicates an opportunity for travel platforms to work with accommodation providers in these destinations to help them progress on their sustainability journeys and in turn, highlight more sustainable options, as well as to help consumers discover alternate times and places to take their trips, without sacrificing on experience.

A regenerative philosophy is influencing decision-making, with 54% of travellers saying they want to leave the places they visit better than when they arrived and two-thirds (65%) wanting to have experiences that are representative of the local culture.

In fact, nearly a quarter (22%) say they have actively familiarized themselves with the local cultural values and traditions at their travel destination in advance of their trips and the same percentage would be willing to pay more for travel activities to ensure they are giving back to local communities.

Despite the appetite to give back and connect during their travels, 32% indicate that they don’t know how or where to find activities or tours that ensure they are actually having a positive impact and giving back to the local community.

Transportation Tipping Point

Canadian travellers are mindful about how far they travel, how they get there and how they get around once they’re there. A quarter (26%) say they chose to travel to a destination closer to home to reduce their carbon footprint and over one in five (18%) indicated that they researched public transport and/or options to rent a bicycle in their chosen destination. 12% of respondents also chose to travel by train instead of car for longer distances and over a quarter (27%) say they feel ashamed to fly because of its impact on the environment. When it comes to booking transportation for their trips, 30% actively look for sustainability information. While 64% reveal that they don’t actively look for more sustainable transport options, it still has an impact on booking behavior and customer satisfaction. For example, although 34% say sustainability efforts don’t play a strong role in their transport choices, they report that it can influence their final choice. And for the 27% who say that sustainability efforts play no role in their choice of transportation, knowing that the transport option booked follows sustainability best practices still makes them feel good, opening up a wide range of opportunities to grow consideration for more sustainable options across the entire trip experience.

Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking.com, said that: “With increased pressure on our natural resources and the undeniable impact our way of life is having on the environment, we are 100% committed to leading the industry in charting a more mindful and responsible course for the future of travel.”

Fogel continued: “We have ambitious goals for what we want to achieve, but together with our partners across the industry and the passion of our innovative employees, we can continue to make it easier for everyone to experience the world in a more mindful and responsible way.”

And he concluded: “We believe that travel is and should remain a powerful force for good, bringing enhanced cultural understanding, socio-economic opportunities for countless communities and the potential to help rejuvenate and protect our planet for the long term.”

Go to www.Booking.com or www.bookingholdings.com/sustainability

Posted in Canada, COVID-19, News, Responsible Travel, Trends & Research

 

 

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