Sustainable Travel Survey: Factor Not as Important as Others

Environmental concerns have had an impact on a number of different industries, from food to technology and even housing. And now, some consumers are also starting to consider sustainability when it comes to their travel decisions, according to the World Tourism Organization. So how many consumers are interested in sustainable travel? We asked 1,000 respondents on September 9-10 about their thoughts on travel and sustainability.

sustainable travel

Travel Destinations

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 8% of respondents said that they last traveled within the past week. 15% have traveled in the past month. Another 15% have traveled in the past three months. 19% have traveled in the past year. 7% have traveled in the past two years. 15% said it’s been more than two years since they last traveled. And 21% aren’t travelers at all.

Beach destinations were the most popular among respondents overall, with 70% of travelers saying they’ve visited beach destinations at some point. However, just 21% went to beach destinations for their last vacations. 31% went to metropolitan areas the last time they traveled, making that the most popular type of destination for recent travelers, while 61% said they’ve visited metropolitan areas at some point. Additionally, 49% have visited rural areas. And 56% have visited outdoor or nature destinations.

Sustainable Travel

In general, 56% of respondents said that nature and sustainability factors are at least somewhat important to them when considering travel destinations. 75% said they enjoy being out in nature. 70% said they like being out in nature when they travel. And 69% said they support nature conservancy efforts. Of those who have visited outdoor or nature based travel destinations, 63% said that sustainability is somewhat important to them when considering travel destinations.

More specifically, just 8% of travelers said that they always take the sustainability and environmental practices of travel companies into account when booking transportation or accommodations. 20% said they take those factors into account most of the time. 24% do so about half the time. 30% said they rarely take those factors into account. And 18% never do.

Travel Decisions

Overall, 53% of travelers said they consider cost above all other factors when it comes to making travel decisions. 36% consider the type of travel destination to be most important. 3% consider both amenities and convenience to be most important. 2% care about the culture of the destination. 1% care most about luxury. And another 1% said they care most about sustainability when making travel decisions.

Key Takeaways

Sustainability can be a factor for some travelers when deciding on things like destinations or transportation options. But it’s much less important to consumers than things like price, type of destination, convenience and amenities. So it seems like it could be more important for companies to simply try not to get any negative attention for un-sustainable practices than it is to allocate a lot of resources on publicizing sustainability efforts or practices. However, for some travel companies, especially those that revolve around nature destinations or travels, sustainability could be seen as slightly more important. So focusing on sustainability efforts could be more of a beneficial investment, as long as it doesn’t have a huge impact on other travel factors like cost and amenities.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya by ryan harvey under CC BY-SA 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on September 9-10 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.