4 Ways Tourism is Becoming More Sustainable

  • May 4, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Environmentally-focused travelers have become more aware of the impact travel has on climate change, as well as on the places that they encounter on their trips. These are travelers who want to leave as light a footprint as possible on the planet while appreciating the cultures that they encounter. 

A growing share of the traveling audience is making sustainability a part of their travel decision-making process. A recent poll by YouGov found that 53% of the global travel audience stated that they intend to search for sustainable travel options in 2023. The same poll revealed that 53% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable vacations. To this end, the tourism industry is evolving to better serve the travel audience’s desire for more mindful vacations by reviewing their impact and finding new ways to address their global footprint. Here are 4 ways the tourism industry is becoming more sustainable for the travel audience. 

  1. Tourism Boards Become Stewards of Destinations

The backbone of the tourist industry, what is commonly called destination marketing organizations (DMOs), has become increasingly focused on not only attracting visitors but also encouraging the travel audience to engage in activities during their trips that will nurture the well-being of the communities that they visit. 

Some tourist organizations are even renaming themselves to ‘destination stewardship organizations, to reflect this shift in purpose. Destinations are guiding their futures in a way that prioritizes sustainable and regenerative tourism. Tourism board websites are starting to offer the travel audience ideas for activities and trip ideas that embrace responsible and sustainable travel options. 

  1. Promoting Trains Over Planes

It’s no secret that train travel is more environmentally friendly than traveling by plane. According to The Company of Biologists, trains emit about six times less GHG emissions than planes. More luxury travel companies are starting to weave train travel into their itineraries over airplanes. 

Train travel offers advantages that planes simply can’t provide, such as no limit on baggage, as well as allowing the travel audience to more fully experience their journeys and enjoy the landscape while en route to their destinations. 

  1. The Industry Pledges to Take Action

The tourism industry finds itself both uniquely vulnerable to the effects of climate change as well as being one of the contributors to greenhouse gas emissions that have helped fuel global warming. Many tourism companies are signing on to initiatives like the Glascow Declaration, which requires a decade-long commitment from travel organizations to tackle tourism climate action. Similar initiatives address operational processes and reevaluating food supply chains. 

  1. Embracing Slow Travel Itineraries 

The relatively new idea of slow travel, meaning staying longer in one destination, has seen an increased emphasis in the tourism industry. When travelers concentrate their explorations in one place for a longer period of time, it benefits both the environment as well as the traveler themselves. Staying in one or two central locations allows the traveler to develop a connection with the local people in a destination, instead of feeling as if they are just passing through. 

Tourism companies are encouraging the traveling audience to visit fewer locations and to take day trips, instead of moving constantly moving around during their vacations. Travelers want to get the most out of the investments they have made for their trips and see as much as possible. But the decreased, more intentional movement also lightens the carbon footprint left behind. 

Read more about the travel industry on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers in the travel audience. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.