TripAdvisor survey: travelers going greener

1 May 12

| Green Travel News |

Green travel is gaining momentum with TripAdvisor members. More than 70 percent said they plan to make more eco-friendly choices over the next 12 months. Sixty-five percent said they made green choices over the past year.

TripAdvisor logoIn TripAdvisor’s survey of 700+ U.S. travelers, 57 percent said they “often” make eco-friendly choices of hotel, transportation or food source. Forty-seven percent said they are equally eco-friendly at home and traveling.

Travelers’ top three eco-friendly practices are:

•    Turning off lights when not in hotel room—88 percent;
•    Participating in hotel’s linen/towel re-use program—80 percent; and
•    Recycling in the hotel—57 percent.

Forty-four percent “mostly” believe hotel claims to be eco-friendly, 32 percent “rarely” do and 20 percent “don’t know.”

Other findings:

•   41 percent would believe a hotel’s claim to be eco-friendly if they experienced or witnessed green practices first hand;
•   24 percent would be “green believers” if they were able to see a hotel’s environmentally friendly certification; and
•   60 percent said they rarely feel informed about whether hotels are truly eco-friendly.

Respondents in the survey named these as the top three eco-friendly practices at hotels:

•    Towel/linen reuse—58 percent;
•    Adjustable thermostat in room—37 percent; and
•    Water-efficient low-flow toilets and showerheads—32 percent.

Half of the travelers surveyed would spend more money to stay at an eco-friendly accommodation. Twenty-three percent would pay up to $25 additional per night to stay at such a property, while 9 percent would be willing to spend $25 to $50 extra. Seventy-five percent said the economic landscape does not affect their interest in eco-friendly travel choices. Nearly a third of travelers (30 percent) would choose a destination for a trip because it is considered eco-friendly.

Costa Rica is the world’s most popular destination for surveyed travelers interested in an eco-friendly trip. The top three perceived eco-friendly U.S. cities are Portland, Ore., San Francisco and Seattle.

“Green initiatives are an increasing priority for hospitality businesses that are trying to reduce their environmental footprint,” said Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel for TripAdvisor. “Our survey shows that TripAdvisor travelers are interested in eco-friendly practices, but hungry for more information about which green plans and policies are actually in place.”

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  • There’s no doubt travelers are becoming increasingly interested in “going green” when they travel, but one of the most frequent complaints we hear about is greenwashing by hotels and resorts who want to sell the idea of going green without actually taking the steps to become green. Like the one on Jekyll Island that was LEED-certified, yet disposed of THOUSANDS of styrofoam plates and cups every morning at breakfast. Or the ecotourism operator whose crew washed towels every day whether they were hung up or not, and used disposable plastic water bottles of every day trip. Hopefully the UN Global Sustainable Tourism Council will find a way to establish standards companies must adhere to in order to call themselves “green” in the future.

  • If you are looking for meaningful, unique, and third party eco-certified travel experience, come check out

  • Jenny Rushmore’s point about accessing the information about hotels actual policies is absolutely spot on.

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