2022 Sustainable Travel Research Report: 91% of Indian travellers say that they want to travel more sustainably over the coming 12 months
The most extensive sustainable travel research from Booking.com to date highlights an increasing desire to make more mindful and conscious choices across the entire travel experience
- 94% of Indian travellers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them, with 68% saying that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices
- 91% of Indian travellers say that they want to travel more sustainably over the coming 12 months
- 80% of Indian travellers said they have actually stayed in a sustainable accommodation over the past year
- More than 100,000 properties globally are now being recognized for their sustainability efforts with a Travel Sustainable badge on Booking.com
Mumbai, India, 18 April 2022 - Today Booking.com released its 2022 Sustainable Travel Research Report with insights gathered from more than 30,000 travellers across 32 countries and territories, highlighting that the impact of their trips remains top of mind, with 91% of Indian travellers saying that they want to travel more sustainably over the coming 12 months - a 3% increase over the company’s 2021 data. With 94% of Indian travellers confirming that sustainable travel is important to them, 68% cited that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices. To that end, 64% of Indian travellers say that the sustainability efforts of accommodations and transport providers play a strong role in their property and transport decisions respectively. In fact, 88% of Indian 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
Awareness and visibility of more sustainable stays continues, with 68% of Indian travellers confirming they have seen a sustainable accommodation on an online travel site over the past year and 69% indicating that they actively look for information on the sustainability efforts of a property before they book. Even more encouraging are the 80% of Indian travellers who say they have actually stayed in a sustainable accommodation over the past year.
While 97% of Indian travellers intend to stay in a sustainable property at least once in the coming year, there is still more to do to make more sustainable stay options easier to find 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 51% from 2021, indicating that awareness is growing, nearly 37% said they still didn’t know how to find them. 28% 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.
Alternative destinations and timing
There is consensus amongst travellers on wanting to avoid busy and over-visited destinations. When thinking about future trips 42% of Indian travellers said they’d be willing to exclusively travel outside of peak season to avoid overcrowding, and 64% revealed that they would avoid popular tourist destinations and attractions to ensure a more even dispersal of the impact and benefits of their visit. 42% would even be willing to choose an alternative to their preferred destination to help avoid overcrowding.
On the flip side, 55% of Indian travellers struggle to find appealing destinations that are less crowded and 44% 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 to highlight more sustainable options, as well as to help consumers discover alternate times and places to take their trips, without sacrificing on experience.
Connection to culture and local communities
A regenerative philosophy is influencing decision-making, with 56% of Indian travellers saying they want to leave the places they visit better than when they arrived and 69% Indian travellers wanting to have experiences that are representative of the local culture. In fact, 35% say they have actively familiarized themselves with the local cultural values and traditions at their travel destination in advance of their trips and 39% would be willing to pay more for travel activities to ensure they are giving back to local communities.
Tipping point for transportation
Indian travellers are mindful of how far they travel, how they get there, and how they get around once they’re there. 31% Indian travellers say they chose to travel to a destination closer to home to reduce their carbon footprint and 31% indicated that they researched public transport and/or options to rent a bicycle in their chosen destination. 39% also chose to travel by train instead of the car for longer distances and 43% say they feel ashamed to fly because of its impact on the environment. When it comes to booking transportation for their trips, 73% actively look for sustainability information.
Continuing the journey to more sustainable travel for everyone
With more than 100,000 properties globally now being recognized for their sustainability efforts with a Travel Sustainable badge on Booking.com, the company has also further expanded the number of third-party certifications and labels that automatically qualify accommodations to receive it.
Booking.com remained carbon-neutral in its operations in 2021 and transitioned to 100% renewable electricity towards the end of 2021, an important step as part of the company’s contribution to Booking Holdings’ recently released Climate Action Plan. The first of its kind for any global online travel company, its Climate Action Plan functions as a strategic framework for how Booking Holdings intends to make its operations, services and the travel industry more sustainable. In line with the definitions and measurements established by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the Climate Action Plan includes ambitious targets that aim to help the company achieve a 95% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by the end of 2030, 50% reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2040.
“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.” said Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking.com. “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. 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.”
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 30,314 respondents across 32 countries and territories (1,000 from USA, 958 from Canada, 1,009 from Mexico, 1,001 from Colombia, 1,003 from Brazil, 1,017 from Argentina, 1,000 from Australia, 486 from New Zealand, 998 from Spain, 1,003 from Italy, 996 from France, 495 from Switzerland, 980 from the UK, 998 from Germany, 1,014 from the Netherlands, 991 from Belgium, 985 from Denmark, 984 from Sweden, 964 from Croatia, 976 from Russia, 1,008 from Israel, 1,002 from India, 1,004 from China, 925 from Hong Kong, 1,006 from Thailand, 988 from Singapore, 1,002 from Taiwan, 1,004 from Vietnam, 1,004 from South Korea, 1,003 from Japan, 1,006 from South Africa and 504 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 2022, 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 February 2022.
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