Sustainable travelling: Global climate crisis or local culture connect; What is shaping this new travel trend?

Climate change is a real thing and there is enough significant evidence that suggests we are heading towards a global climate crisis. Thus, sustainability is not just a choice but the need of the hour. People now realise that immediate action is required to take control of the situation, and this has recently been established in the 2022 Sustainable Travel Research Report by Booking.com. The report states that 94% of Indian travellers have confirmed that sustainable travelling is important to them and 68% have cited that climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices. So what exactly do these sustainable travellers want? Let’s find out.

Transportation that reduces carbon footprint

Flying leads to CO2 emissions. Keeping that in mind, 31% of Indian travellers said they chose to travel to a destination that is closer to home, only to reduce their carbon footprint. Another 31% indicated that they researched the options for taking public transport including renting a bicycle in their chosen destination. In fact, 39% also chose to travel by train instead of the car for longer distances and 43% say they feel ashamed to fly because of its impact on the environment.

Searching for sustainable stays

Many credible hotels now follow an environmental policy that they are able to share with prospective customers, and many people actually research it beforehand. As per the report, about 69% of people before booking a property for a stay, research its sustainability efforts. What’s good news is that about 80% of Indian travellers have already stayed in a sustainable accommodation over the past year. Those who didn’t stay in a sustainable accommodation over the past year, said they didn’t know that such a stay existed, which makes it all the more important for hotels/accommodations to spread the information about sustainability. While this is down 51% from 2021, indicating that awareness is growing, nearly 37% said they still didn’t know how to find them.

Connecting with locals and their culture

A vacation is not considered complete unless you immerse yourself in the art and culture of the people living there. 69% Indian travellers want to have experiences that are representative of the local culture. In fact, 35% of people said that they actively familiarized themselves with the local cultural values and traditions in advance of their trips. This is the basis of thinking locally and acting globally!

Not too keen on visiting busy destinations

There is a conscious effort among travellers to avoid busy and over-visited destinations. The report suggested that 42% would be willing to choose an alternate destination to their preferred destination to help avoid overcrowding. However, 55% of Indian travellers struggle to find appealing destinations that are less crowded and 44% feel like it’s not possible to find sustainable travel options in cities or other popular tourist destinations. This provides an opportunity for such platforms to work with accommodators in these destinations and help them progress on their sustainability journeys.