The Booking.com Sustainable Travel Survey: What Travellers Know, Feel, and Do

2022 10 21

Eline Metske, a market research and insights specialist at Booking.com, stated during the MRS Sustainability Summit virtual conference that “market research has a huge part to play in making it easier for travellers to book trips that are healthy for the environment.”

Every year, in 32 different countries, Booking.com conducts a study to learn more about what travellers know, how they feel, and what they do in regards to sustainability. According to the findings of the survey, one in three of those polled agreed with the statement “I don’t know how to make my travel more sustainable.”

This demonstrates that the lack of knowledge that customers have makes it more difficult for them to travel in a manner that is more environmentally friendly. In addition, 33 percent of respondents believed that if travel businesses provided them with information on how to be more environmentally friendly, it would encourage consumers to select travel options that are less harmful to the environment.

How Sustainable Travel Can Preserve the Environment and Reduce Waste?

However, the company’s concept of sustainable travel centred on reducing negative effects on the environment, local cultures, and economies. The majority of the respondents who responded to the poll associated sustainable travel to worries about the environment.

The data demonstrates that “preserving the natural environment” and “reducing waste at the vacation destination” are the two most common ways that people understand the term “sustainable” in the context of travel.

This supports the assertion that this is the case. Those who considered the meaning of the term “sustainable travel” did not place a high importance on the reduction of traffic at destinations, despite the fact that it is a significant challenge, particularly in major cities such as Amsterdam and Barcelona.

According to research, the vast majority of people approve of sustainable travel as an idea in general, and 81 percent of individuals who have travelled have stated that it is important to them individually, even though they are unsure how to travel sustainably or what it really means.

In addition, two-thirds of individuals who participated in the survey said that immediate action was required in order to save the globe for future generations. According to Metske, who cited the findings of the study, sustainable travel is the greatest way to have travel experiences that are authentic to the culture of the destination you are visiting.

“Booking.com Poll Finds That Sustainability Is a Top Concern for Travelers”

The findings of the poll conducted by Booking.com confirmed the findings of earlier consumer studies on sustainability. These earlier studies discovered that travellers had difficulty utilising sustainable practises when planning and going on trips, even when they wanted to.

For instance, 46 percent of respondents stated that it was more difficult for them to make decisions that were better for the environment when they were on vacation than when they were at home, and 42 percent of respondents stated that it was difficult to find interesting alternatives that were less crowded.

According to the findings of the research, the primary factors that discouraged people from travelling in a sustainable manner were the perception that there were an insufficient number of sustainable options and the perception that the sustainable options that were available were prohibitively expensive.

Even fewer customers claimed that they made their travel decisions based on sustainable practises (25 percent or less), and those who claimed to do so also claimed that they believed the typical traveller did the same.

When discussing the concept of social norms, Metske emphasised the significance of the aforementioned point. As a result of the fact that I do not believe my closest friends and family members are concerned about the environment when they travel, I do not feel any pressure from them to alter the way that I live. If everyone thinks that assessment is accurate, then no one will want to make an effort to change it.

Booking.com Introduces Sustainable Travel Logo

In addition, customers report that the environmental track record of a hotel is one of the factors that has the least influence on their selection. According to Metske, the mission of the company is to “make it as easy as possible for customers to organise a trip.” “It’s less of a must-have for consumers and more of a nice-to-have,” we’ve been told about this product.

In light of the findings, Booking.com developed a sustainable travel logo with the intention of assisting customers in making more informed decisions. Any location that can demonstrate it satisfies the program’s prerequisites can participate in it. It recognises the efforts of property owners to reduce their impact on the environment and rewards them for doing so.

Customers of Booking.com will now see the label both in the initial preview that is displayed to them as well as in the filtering options for search results for places to stay. Because of this, it is now much simpler to select just hotels that are friendly to the environment.

By reading a list of the actions a property takes to be sustainable, site visitors can gain knowledge about it that goes beyond simply how it affects the surrounding environment.

During the filtering process, you have the option of specifying that you are only interested in finding sut qualities if this is the case. Visitors to the website can peruse a list of facts regarding a building’s sustainability initiatives in order to gain insight into not just the ways in which it has an impact on the natural world, but also the ways in which it assists the community around it and other topics of interest.