With 2017 being designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations, it’s fitting that Canadians are changing the way they travel.
The recent Sustainable Travel Report[i] commissioned by Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, found the number of Canadian travellers staying in an eco-friendly accommodation at least once could almost double this year with 61% expressing this intention versus only 36% who stayed in one or more last year.
When it comes to making luxury adjustments in order to stay somewhere eco-friendly, the vast majority of Canadians are more than happy to accept these, with 94% willing to stay in a property with energy saving lightbulbs, 88% in one with AC/Heating units that only run while you’re in the room and 81% in one with low flow showerheads.
In addition, for nearly three quarters (71%) of Canadians, sustainable considerations also impact their mode of transport when travelling, with 32% saying they would take public transport whenever possible, 38% would try to walk, bike or hike as much as possible and nearly one fifth (18%) would even go as far as flying less to reduce their carbon footprint.
Sustainable travel goals
The term ‘sustainable travel’ continues to mean many things to many people, but the role of accommodations in helping travellers to achieve their sustainable travel goals is clear. The research shows that over half (54%) of Canadians consider staying in eco-friendly accommodation as sustainable travel, topping the list of what travellers think when they hear the term. For well over a third, it means conserving water by reusing towels and bed sheets (42%) and conserving the environment by reducing use of amenity goods such as shampoo, soap, toothbrush, shaving razor (33%).
Below is an overview of the top reasons why global travellers choose eco-friendly accommodations:
|Top-5 reasons global travellers choose eco-friendly accommodations:|
|To help reduce environmental impact||52%|
|They provide a more locally-relevant experience||36%|
|They treat the local community better||31%|
|They tend to provide more locally-sourced/organic food||30%|
|An interest in experiencing new trends in travel accommodations||24%|
“At Booking.com we have a mission to empower people to experience the world, a world that should not be taken for granted,” comments Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com. “We are continually exploring improved ways to uncover and share the sustainability efforts of our accommodation partners with those searching and selecting on our site, and as part of our own commitment to improving destinations worldwide, we recently launched Booking.com Booster. Through this accelerator program for start-ups in sustainable tourism, we will help maximize the impact that these different ventures across the globe can have. Ensuring a sustainable future is a collaborative effort, one that means sharing our expertise and working together, whether destinations, accommodations, travel providers or travellers.”
[i] Data was collected across 11 markets, with over 1,000 respondents in each. Respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in 2016 and be planning at least one trip for 2017. All respondents had to be at least part of the decision-making process when planning most of their trips. Data was collected in March 2017 by Booking.com with the assistance of an international panel provider.