Pandemic Leads Consumers to Travel More Sustainably

Virtuoso released a survey showing how consumers are taking sustainable travel more seriously post-pandemic.

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Global travel agency Virtuoso released a survey highlighting how some of the world's most discerning travelers view sustainable tourism. The survey results reveal that travelers are cognizant of their place and impact in the world, with nearly 70% of consumers agreeing that traveling sustainably enhances the vacation experience. In addition, the majority of respondents even noted that they were willing to visit a destination during the off season or opt for an alternative, less touristic area to lessen over-tourism. 

“This past year has led to travel’s great reset and one of the positive outcomes has been an awakening in terms of our greater responsibility to each other and to the planet," said Jessica Hall Upchurch, vice-chair and sustainability strategist at Virtuoso. "We’ve seen the consumer mindset move from basic awareness and a general sentiment of ‘someone should do something,’ to the notion of ‘I can and should do something.’ This renewed purpose coincides with the recognition of oneness that the pandemic has created, and it’s driving people to make different choices on their future travels than perhaps they did just over a year ago.” 

Related: 3 Sustainability Takeaways Learned During Covid-19

Key Survey Takeaways

  • 82% of respondents agree that the pandemic has made them want to travel more responsibly.
  • 76% said they were willing to visit a popular destination during an off-peak time of year to help with over-tourism.
  • 72% believe in all three sustainability pillars: Travel should support local communities and economies; preserve a destination’s cultural heritage; and protect the planet.
  • 69% said they would be okay with traveling to an alternative, less-touristic destination to help with over-tourism.
  • 50% believe it's important to choose a hotel, cruise line or travel company that has a strong sustainability policy.
  • 13% would pay more to access a popular destination. 
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