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Sustainability in travel, awareness about climate change on travellers’ minds this year, report finds

A more encouraging trend has been that 80 per cent of travellers said they have actually stayed in a sustainable accommodation over the past year

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
April 26, 2022 9:40:04 pm
sustainable travelling, travelling sustainably, travellers, sustainable travel trends, mindful travelling, conscious travelling, indian express newsIndian travellers struggle to find "appealing destinations" that are less crowded. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Travelling sustainably has become the norm and a very important factor among Indian travellers who want to reduce their carbon footprint. This consciousness has given rise to many travelling trends lately.

Digital travel company Booking.com, in its Sustainable Travel Research Report 2022, finds that 91 per cent of Indian travellers want to travel sustainably in the coming months — a 3 per cent increase over the company’s 2021 data. In addition to that, 94 per cent of travellers have confirmed that sustainable travel is important to them; 68 per cent cited that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make such choices.

Almost 64 per cent said sustainability efforts by accommodation and transport providers play a huge role in shaping their decisions. In fact, 88 per cent say they are likely to choose a sustainable accommodation, whether looking specifically for one or not.

According to the report, 68 per cent of travellers confirmed they have seen a sustainable accommodation on an online travel site over the past year and 69 per cent indicated that they actively look for information on sustainability efforts of a property before booking it.

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A more encouraging trend has been that 80 per cent of travellers said they have actually stayed in a sustainable accommodation over the past year.

A more interesting part of the report has been that 97 per cent of Indian travellers intend to stay in a sustainable property at least once in the coming year, while of those that have not stayed in such an accommodation, 29 per cent said they didn’t know they even existed.

This is down 51 per cent from 2021, indicating awareness; nearly 37 per cent, however, have said they still don’t know how to find them. And 28 per cent admit that they don’t actively look for sustainability efforts of a property before they book, but if “easily accessible”, they may review it still.

Much like the previous, this year, too, travellers are keen on avoiding busy and over-visited destinations. Per the report, 42 per cent of travellers said they’d be willing to exclusively travel outside of peak season, and 64 per cent shared that they would avoid popular tourist destinations. In fact, 42 per cent would even be willing to choose an alternative to their preferred destination to avoid overcrowding.

While 55 per cent of Indian travellers struggle to find “appealing destinations” that are less crowded, 44 per cent feel it’s not possible to find such options in cities and other popular tourist destinations.

With mindful travel as the goal, 31 per cent said they chose to travel to a destination closer to home to reduce their carbon footprint and 31 per cent said they research on public transport and/or options to rent a bicycle; 39 per cent choose to travel by train instead of car, and 43 per cent “feel ashamed to fly” because of its environmental impact.

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