Booking.com shares new research on Canadian travellers’ interest in and barriers to travelling sustainably

Almost three quarters (70%) of Canadian travellers report being more determined to make sustainable travel choices in 2019 than they were a year ago, but barriers include a lack of knowledge and available or appealing options when trying to put this into p

TORONTO, ON – April 17, 2019 As the world gears up to mark Earth Day on April 22nd, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has released findings from its annual sustainable travel report that reveal how Canadians are striving to be more ecological travellers. This research reveals that almost half (48%) of Canadian travellers believe that people need to act now and make sustainable travel choices to save the planet for future generations.


Consistent with overall intentions to make more sustainable travel choices, sustainable stays are growing in popularity, with almost three quarters (70%) of Canadian travellers intending to stay at least once in an eco-friendly or green accommodation when looking at the year ahead. This is the fourth consecutive year that Booking.com research has seen this figure trend up, from 62% in 2016 to 65% in 2017, and 68% in 2018.** Additionally, 66% of Canadian travellers say they would be more likely to book an accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not.

However, when it comes to recognizing a sustainable place to stay, 82% of Canadian travellers say that they are not aware of the existence of eco-labels for vacation accommodations, while well over a third (38%) have confirmed that an international standard for identifying eco-friendly accommodation would help encourage them to travel more sustainably, and 56% would feel better about staying in an accommodation if they knew it had an eco-label.

Sustainable Struggles

Despite the best intentions, it’s not all smooth sailing for would-be green travellers. The report also exposes the common barriers travellers face when making sustainable travel choices:


% of global respondents who agree

% of respondents from Canada who agree

I do not know how to make my travel more sustainable




Although I do see options to travel more sustainably, other options tend to appeal more



I cannot afford the extra expenditure of sustainable travel



My agenda constrains me in the sustainable choices I can make



Sustainable travel destinations appeal to me less than other destinations



I understand what I can do to travel more sustainably



Travel companies have an important role to play here in the eyes of travellers: 70% of travellers think that travel companies should offer consumers more sustainable travel choices. On the other hand, almost half (49%) of Canadian travellers acknowledge that they find it harder to make sustainable choices while on vacation than in everyday life. Over a third (36%) of Canadian travellers admit their vacation is a special time during which they do not want to think about sustainability.

Aspirations to Actions

Research results also indicated that travellers would be more encouraged to travel sustainably if there were economic incentives offered, such as tax breaks, when choosing eco-friendly options (46%). This is closely followed by online booking sites offering a sustainable or eco-friendly filter option (47%).

When it comes to in-destination experiences, over half (54%) of Canadian travellers say they now alter behaviors to be more sustainable while traveling, such as walking, riding a bike or hiking whenever possible. Plus, 68% would like the money they spend on travel to go back into the local community. Likewise, almost three quarters (72%) of Canadian travellers are seeking authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture, while over two in five (42%) request that travel companies offer tips on how to be more sustainable while traveling and 50% of respondents say that if there was an option to offset the carbon footprint on their vacation accommodation, they would do it.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that Booking.com has commissioned its sustainable travel report and it’s heartening to see the sustainable travel motivations and intentions amongst travellers, though it’s clear that complex challenges continue to exist when it comes to fully realizing these,” says, Nuno Guerreiro, Regional Manager of Booking.com Canada. “As a global travel leader, we are continuously looking at ways we can innovate across our platform, from accommodation to experiences and transport, testing different ways to best surface information and support customers in their sustainable travel choices, as well as providing support and investment to foster innovation in the sustainable tourism space through our Booking Booster, Cares Fund and Cares Lab start-up programs. It’s important that all those in the travel ecosystem, from established companies to start-ups, destinations, accommodation, transport and attraction providers as well as travellers themselves, come together, as it’s only through collaboration that meaningful change will continue to gain momentum.”

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For further information, please contact the Booking.com Canada Press Office;

Annie@punchcanada.com | 416.668.3393


Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 18,077 respondents were surveyed across 18 markets (1000+ from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, UK, USA. In Israel 883 respondents were surveyed). Respondents completed an online survey in February and March 2019.

** Although this year’s survey covers 6 additional markets, the figure is still up to 72% if we only consider the markets from last year’s survey.

About Booking.com:

Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com now employs more than 17,500 employees in 200+ offices in 70 countries worldwide.

With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, we connect travellers with the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&Bs to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos. The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in 43 languages, offer over 28 million total reported listings, including more than 5.7 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, and covers more than 147,000 destinations in 229 countries and territories worldwide.

Each day, more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on our platform. So whether traveling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal place to stay quickly and easily with Booking.com, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Via our customer experience team, customers can reach Booking.com 24/7 for assistance and support in over 43 languages, any time of the day or night.

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