In the last year, the number of consumers expressing interest in
traveling more sustainably is up 10 percentage points, but many also say they don’t know how to
find sustainable accommodations or only review a property’s sustainability
efforts if the information is easily accessible.
The data comes from a survey commissioned by Booking.com in
February of more than 30,000 people from 32 countries and territories who had
traveled at least once in the past 12 months and who plan to travel in 2022. Details are published in the brand's Sustainable Travel Report 2022.
percent of global respondents say they want to travel more sustainably in the
next year, up from 61% in a similar survey Booking.com
conducted in April 2021.
Even more (81%) say sustainable travel is important to them, with half saying recent news
about climate change is prompting them to make more sustainable travel choices.
But one stumbling
block for some travelers is an inability to easily find information about properties
and destinations that are prioritizing sustainability.
More than half (54%) of respondents say they have not stayed in a sustainable accommodation in the
past year, and about a third of those (31%) say they didn’t know those types
of properties existed and 29% say they did not know how to find a sustainable property.
Subscribe to our newsletter below
also emphasize the need for hotels and alternative accommodations to make
sustainability information prominent and easily understandable – more than half
of respondents (56%) admit they don’t actively search for a property’s
sustainability information before they book, but they say if it is easily
accessible they would review it.
In November, Booking.com began awarding its “Travel Sustainable” badge to properties
that have met specified sustainability thresholds developed in partnership with
the Travalyst Coalition and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and properties
that have already received certifications from other organizations, such as
Green Tourism, EU Ecolabel, Green Seal, Fair Trade Tourism, LEED and others.
The label appears
on property pages and in listings on the search results page. A “Travel Sustainable
properties” filter is also on the site to make it easy for users to find these properties,
which now number more than 100,000 globally.
The survey data
also highlights opportunities for destinations to proactively and easily
display sustainability information.
Forty percent of
respondents would be willing to “exclusively travel outside of peak season” to avoid
overcrowding, and two-thirds (64%) say they would avoid popular destinations
and attractions to help disperse the impact and benefits of their visit more
But here again – a lack of information may be hindering travelers’ ability to act on those desires.
of respondents say they struggle to find appealing destinations that are less
crowded, and 34% feel “it’s not possible” to find sustainable travel options in
cities or other popular tourist destinations.
And, despite a majority (66%) expressing a desire to have
experiences that “are representative of local culture” and 25% willing to pay
more for activities that give back to local communities, more than one-third (34%)
say they don’t know how or where to find these types of activities and tours.
When it comes to booking transportation for trips, 40% of respondents
say they actively look for sustainability information.
Nearly a quarter (23%) chose to travel to a destination closer to
home to reduce their carbon footprint and 20% chose to travel by train instead
of car for longer distances. Twenty-two percent of respondents say they
researched public transportation and/or options to rent a bicycle in their
Booking.com itself says it remained carbon-neutral in its operations in 2021
and transitioned to 100% renewable electricity toward the end of year. The
Action Plan, released in March, has targets including a 95% reduction in scope 1 and 2
emissions by the end of 2030, a 50% reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030 and
net-zero emissions by 2040.
“With increased pressure on our natural resources and the
undeniable impact our way of life is having on the environment, we are
100% committed to leading the industry in charting a more mindful and
responsible course for the future of travel,” says Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking.com.
“We have ambitious goals for what we want to achieve, but together
with our partners across the industry and the passion of our innovative
employees, we can continue to make it easier for everyone to experience the
world in a more mindful and responsible way.
"We believe that travel is and
should remain a powerful force for good, bringing enhanced cultural
understanding, socio-economic opportunities for countless communities and the
potential to help rejuvenate and protect our planet for the long term.”