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Sustainable travel has taken off, quite literally. TripAdvisor, an online travel operator, has surveyed 700 U.S. travellers and found that 71 percent of them will choose eco-friendly options within the next 12 months. One year ago that same figure was 65 per cent.
Another 57 percent said green travel is a constant feature of their plans while another 44 per cent said they tended to be greener at home than while they were away. Another 47 percent said they were equally green both at home and away.
The research also surveyed travelers’ perception of green claims by hotels. 44 per cent said they “mostly” believe it when hotels claim to be eco-friendly, while 32 per cent said they rarely do. 41 per cent said they need to see it firsthand to believe it while 24 percent would be convinced if the hotel produced an environmentally friendly certification.
Money is not a problem for half of interviewees, who said they would be happy to spend more money to stay at an environmentally-friendly place. 23 per cent said they wouldn’t mind spending an extra $25 per night to stay in greener accommodation, while 9 per cent said they could spend between $25-$50 extra for that. Also, the financial crisis does not seem to affect green travellers. 75 per cent of them said the economy does not affect their preference for eco-friendly travel choices.
It seems that clearer information wouldn’t go amiss, though. Sixty percent of travelers said they rarely know for sure whether hotels are truly eco-friendly while13 percent said they never do.
Voluntourism is getting bigger and 24 per cent of respondents said they would consider it while 3 per cent had already done it. 16 per cent of respondents were unfamiliar with the term.