People are more mindful than ever about travelling consciously, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A global survey by IHG Hotels & Resorts revealed that 60 per cent of the 9000 adults surveyed across the US, UK, Germany, Greater China, the UAE and Australia agree that they want to be more environmentally and socially conscious on their travels.
However, this was less important for older travellers in Australia with only 39 per cent of those 55 and over seeking to travel more responsibly, compared with 70 per cent of younger traveller (aged 18 to 24).
Read more: How to be a more responsible traveller
It appears travellers not only intend to do more for the planet and communities around them, they are willing to pay for it too.
The research found that global consumers will spend an average of 31 per cent more on accommodation they know operates responsibly – with 51 per cent happy to fork out more than 20 per cent extra a night.
In Australia, however, older travellers were lagging behind younger travellers in their willingness to pay for green accommodation options. Those Australians aged 55 and over were only willing to pay an extra 13 per cent for this option, while the average you adult was prepared to pay up to 34 per cent more.
With the world travelling more locally – or not at all – right now, it seems the pandemic has made consumers more mindful about preserving and connecting with the communities around them.
Almost six in 10 Aussies say they care more about doing their bit for local communities and the planet while travelling now than they did 10 years ago (57 per cent globally).
In fact, following the pandemic, more than half of Australian adults (55 per cent) are more likely to be mindful of supporting local communities when travelling, and 58 per cent will be more mindful of dining out and supporting local businesses.
Around 86 per cent of Aussies say it is important to get to know the local community when visiting somewhere new – a finding consistent across the globe.
With 80 per cent doing this by supporting local eateries, followed by shopping locally (77 per cent) and speaking with the locals (69 per cent).
The appetite for better, greener travel is ripe. An incredible 86 per cent of Aussie adults say they are committed to taking their everyday sustainable habits with them when they travel – compared to 82 per cent globally – with using the correct waste and recycling disposal for different items taking the top spot as the number one habit (81 per cent).
And it seems sustainability doesn’t need to take a backseat on holidays.
Hotels are a welcome spot to do better: when asked what Aussies have ever done on their travels to be more responsible, walking short distances to explore the local area and reusing towels took the top spot. And, when asked what people would avoid so they could be a more responsible traveller, 60 per cent of respondents said they would avoid leaving the air conditioning on when they leave the room.
What do you do to try to be more environmentally responsible when you travel? Why do you think younger Australians seem more committed to travelling responsibly than older Australians?
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