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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

World Environment Day: In pandemic, Indian travellers wish to make sustainable journeys

A majority of travellers have shown interest in sustainable accommodations, in giving back to the local communities, and staying away from crowded places

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
June 5, 2021 3:25:41 pm
World Environment Day, World Environment Day 2021, sustainable travelling, Indian travellers, pandemic travelling, sustainability, indian express newsSome 88 per cent of Indian travellers stated the pandemic has influenced them to travel more sustainably in the future. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

While travelling has once again stopped in India, because of the ongoing second wave of Covid infections, travellers continue to dream about taking trips in the future. Most of these plans revolve around sustainability, because among other things, the pandemic has made Indian travellers more aware of their impact on the environment and the consequences of their escapades.

According to Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report 2021, 88 per cent of Indian travellers stated the pandemic has influenced them to travel more sustainably in the future. Some 56 per cent of travellers said they have made positive changes in their everyday life, with recycling (30 per cent) and reducing food waste (33 per cent) being the top priorities.

According to the report, travellers’ day-to-day sustainable commitments have been consistent with their intentions for future trips, with 83 per cent of them wanting to reduce general waste, 84 per cent wanting to reduce their energy consumption (by turning off the air conditioning and lights when they are not in the room), and 80 per cent wanting to use more environmentally-friendly modes of transportation such as cycling, public transport, walking etc.

Indian travellers also respect local communities, with 74 per cent of them wanting to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture. Some 91 per cent of travellers believe increasing cultural understanding and preservation of heritage is crucial and 89 per cent want to ensure the economic impact of the industry is spread equally in all levels of society.

In addition to that 72 per cent of people will avoid popular destinations and attractions to ensure they aren’t overcrowding, in turn helping spread the benefits of travelling to lesser-known destinations.

The report found Indian travellers revealing that while on a vacation in the past 12 months, 47 per cent made the decision to turn off the air conditioning/heater in their accommodation when they weren’t present in the room; 48 per cent took their own reusable water bottle, and 37 per cent did activities to support the local community.

While 98 per cent of travellers show interest in sustainable accommodations, 26 per cent say they didn’t even know sustainable accommodations existed; 42 per cent mentioned they couldn’t find such options while travelling, and 35 per cent claim they didn’t know how to find them. In fact, 56 per cent still believe that in 2021, there simply aren’t enough sustainable travel options out there.

In its sixth year now, the new research contains insights gathered from more than 29,000 travellers across 30 countries, suggesting the pandemic has been the tipping point for them to finally commit to their own sustainable journey.

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