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The rise of the sustainable traveller

July 14, 2022

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Josh Papachristidis

Even ostriches with their heads in the sand are aware of the increased consumer demand for sustainable options, and the tourism and hospitality industry is no different.

The rise of the sustainable traveller

A study by Expedia and Wakefield showed that 90% of consumers look for sustainable options when travelling.

83% of travellers surveyed by the World Travel & Tourism Council and will make sustainable travel a priority in the future.

71% of travellers, according to’s Sustainable Travel Report 2022, want to make more effort in the coming year to travel more sustainably, an increase of 10% from the 2021 report.

Where does the responsibility lie?

According to a 2021 Skyscanner and YouGov report, the most important social and environmental issue of those surveyed was Increasing Sustainability. With 58% of respondents stating they are “more convinced than ever that it is everyone’s role to give back to society and take care of our planet” and agreeing that making travel more sustainable is the travel industry’s responsibility.

In essence, all of us in the tourism industry need to make an effort to be more sustainable and take responsibility for our actions. We cannot wait around for someone to do it for us.

We need to make it easy for consumers to make the right choice

A 2022 global survey by the Kind Traveller found that 48% of respondents’ greatest challenge was choosing accommodations that are sustainable and socially conscious.   

There are tools such as the Sustainable Travel Badge, the Google Green Label and the Tripadvisor Green Leaders programme to name a few, that businesses can apply for to promote themselves to guests. The sustainable travel report by found that 54% of travellers want to filter their search options for those with a sustainable certification. So, these tools have already become, and will continue to be, useful for attracting the sustainable traveller.

However, the issue with some of them is that hotels can gain access to the tools without any verification.

So, how should you showcase your sustainable actions?

57% of respondents from’s survey would feel better about staying in an accommodation that has a sustainable certification. It does not hurt to showcase the fruits of your labour this way, as long as the certification is internationally accredited.

Two-thirds of consumers would like to see more sustainability information from lodging and transportation providers. However, keep in mind to inform the public about your sustainability efforts without making any outlandish claims. Messages should be concise and factual, but persuasive, for two reasons:

Firstly, to ensure your company is not guilty of greenwashing (please see our previous blog on this).

And secondly, because 70% of consumers find starting the process to become a more sustainable traveller overwhelming according to Expedia’s survey. Your customers need concise factual information that engages them by pointing out the benefits they gain when you are operating sustainable.

It is not only the legal ramifications that should dissuade you from authentically and truthfully advertising your sustainability initiatives: that same survey by Expedia found that 70% of respondents have avoided a destination or transport option due to scepticism that the commitment to sustainable practices was real.

Actions speak louder than words

In order to successfully and convincingly communicate around sustainability, it should be embedded in all operations throughout your company or destination.  There are plenty of sustainable initiatives that are easy to implement such as engaging with the local community. Implementing simple behavioural changes can make a huge difference in terms of energy consumption and see quick results.  These options can be a great starting point for a truly sustainable journey.

And for those worried about the cost of implementing any sustainability initiatives – half of the respondents in the Expedia Survey would be willing to pay more for sustainable options and on average consumers are willing to pay 38% more to make their travel sustainable – plenty of space to fit your profit margins in!

Do you want more information about the sustainable initiatives your company or destination can undertake? Then Considerate Group can help! Please email to begin your journey towards sustainability.