According to new research, most travelers are committed to sustainable living at home, but believe the travel industry could make it easier for them to travel sustainably by providing education about, and access to, sustainable travel products and services. AIG Travel, which offers travel insurance and assistance services, released findings from its 2017 Pulse Poll on sustainable travel garnered from more than 1,300 responses from travelers.
- More than 72 percent of respondents ranked their commitment to sustainable practices at home as “very strong” or “somewhat strong.”
- Furthermore, nearly 66 percent of respondents agreed that anyone can “engage in sustainability during their travels.”
- 78 percent reported that sustainable travel is “very important” or “somewhat important,” compared to 52 percent of respondents with that opinion in 2016.
- However, as in last year’s poll, only about a third of respondents reported that they “frequently” practice sustainability when they travel.
When asked who plays the most important role in helping people travel sustainably, 62 percent of respondents assigned that responsibility to “travelers themselves.” This is a significant increase from 2016, when only 37 percent shared that opinion, coming in second to respondents who felt that it was the responsibility of the travel industry.
However, the percentage of respondents in 2017 who pointed to the travel industry (as playing the most important role in helping people travel sustainably) was, at 19 percent, 17 times higher than the percentage who named the “U.S. government” and nearly triple the percentage who named “local government at the destination.”
When considering five specific ways the travel industry could make it easier for people to travel sustainably, respondents’ most frequent answer was “educate consumers about sustainable travel basics” (36 percent) followed by “incorporate sustainable travel practices into existing products and services” (26 percent).
Additionally, more than 88 percent of respondents reported that when working with businesses that promote sustainable travel — compared with businesses that don’t — they would be more likely to either “buy their products or services again” or “recommend their products or services to family and friends.”