Technology is proving to be a key factor in offering sustainable travel options in response to growing customer demand.
At the Arabian Travel Market this week, Booking.com’s vice president and managing director, EMEA, Carlo Olejniczak, said a survey released on May 1 that quizzed 34,000 travellers found that 76 per cent want to travel more sustainably in the next 12 months.
“We need to help them find more sustainable travel,” said Olejniczak, adding that their booking partners want to embrace sustainability, and while some are fully certified, others are not and do not know where to start.
Due to this growth in demand, many travel platforms have upgraded their online search facilities to add elements like the carbon impact of a trip – last year, Travelport started including carbon emission data in its API, which shows up in search results.
“Giving them the options to be able to select the right itinerary is challenging,” noted Tom Kershaw, chief product and technology officer at Travelport. “76 per cent of consumers say they want more sustainable flights and then book the cheapest and shortest flight. How can we turn that desire into an action?”
Andrea Prazakova, senior vice president of Mastercard EMEA, said the credit card issuer recently utilised technology to give customers the option to see what the carbon footprint of their trip is upon payment. This includes flights, accommodation and restaurants.
They then have the option to offset their carbon footprint with Mastercard partners across the world. She added that sustainability goes beyond the environment and includes social elements, and that such information needs to be supplied to travellers to aid their decision.
“Perhaps a consumer wants to stay in a hotel that is run by women – we need to inform them of these elements as well in their search,” she explained, adding that all this can be “achieved through strong collaboration”.