A study on sustainable travel conducted among Indian travellers by Booking.com in March 2020 has revealed positive trends.
A vast majority (96%) of Indian travellers said sustainable travel was important to them, while nearly seven in 10 (76%) said they were more determined to make sustainable choices when looking to travel again in the future.
Witnessing the impact tourism had on the environment while on vacation has also motivated 73% of travellers to make more eco-friendly choices in their everyday life.
However, while many of the findings are promising, there are still obstacles to overcome. 39% of Indian travellers do not know how or where to find sustainable travel options and more than half (54%) think there are insufficient travel options available. As such, there remains an opportunity to educate travellers on available sustainable travel options.
To make it easier for travellers to find and make sustainable travel choices, the Travalyst coalition – a global partnership founded by The Duke of Sussex together with Booking.com and other travel companies – recently announced the development of new frameworks that will help sift out more sustainable accommodation, aviation and experience options across the industry.
Sustainable accommodation choices
Some 97% of Indian travellers said they planned to stay in eco-friendly accommodation in 2020, while out of the 74% of travellers who have previously stayed in eco-friendly accommodation, nearly half (46%) did so to help to reduce their impact on the environment.
To help convince the 3% of travellers who did not express interest in staying at an eco-friendly accommodation, a universal eco-labelling system could be put in place. 77% of travellers surveyed expressed that they would feel reassured about staying in an accommodation if it has an eco-label.
Booking.com is making headway for clearer labeling and exploring new ways to highlight sustainable practices at accommodation of all kinds across the globe. These first steps to highlight sustainability practices at a property — which can also be verified by customers — are part of the company’s ongoing work with Travalyst to develop an industry-wide sustainability label.
The considerate traveller
Some 44% Indian travellers admitted they would be more encouraged to make sustainable travel decisions if travel companies proposed alternative destinations to reduce overcrowding.
Travellers were also considering alternative modes of transport to reach their destination, with 47% having opted to travel by train instead of car for longer distances to reduce their carbon footprint.
These findings suggest that when travelling is back on the agenda, travellers will likely want to continue making considerate choices by heading to less-visited destinations and selecting alternative modes of transport to get there.
The research, commissioned by Booking.com and conducted by an independent party, are sought to understand 21 other markets, including Brazil, Mexico, the US, Canada and Australia.