A recent report released by the Travel Industry Association outlines the results of a survey into habits and choices of the green traveler. According to the report, 50 percent say they would be more likely to use an airline if they knew it took the initiative to offset carbon emissions, used newer, more fuel efficient jets, or implemented recycling programs. Almost six out of ten (56 percent) stated the same thing for car rental companies (those offering more fuel efficient and hybrid cars). And fully 54 percent stated they would be more likely to patronize hotels or resorts they knew practiced environmental responsibility.
13 percent of travelers would be willing to pay higher rates or fares to use suppliers who demonstrate environmental responsibility.
According to the survey, consumers would favor properties that actively tried to prevent beach erosion (oceanfront hotels), allowed guests the option to reuse towels and sheets, reduced their energy consumption by using energy efficient lighting/low flow toilets and showers, and supported community environmental causes.
And, not surprisingly, Americans’ sense of environmental responsibility manifests itself in many other ways: eight out of ten (78 percent) U.S. adults consider themselves “environmentally conscious,” according to the survey. In fact, more than half:
• Turn out the lights when they leave a room (85 percent);
• Practice energy efficiency by regulating air conditioning and heating when not at home (67 percent);
• Recycle trash (60 percent);
• Shut off water while brushing teeth or shaving (60 percent);
• Try to use more energy efficient light bulbs (59 percent);
• Keep showers short (53 percent).
Good news – The report validates some of the basic ideas behind our business model. Today’s traveler is getting greener and greener in their purchases.
So what’s the Bad News – Travelers are not necessarily willing to pay much more for environmentally friendly choices.