A new report from YouGov confirms what many people suspect: the use of
warm and fuzzy words like ‘eco-friendly ‘, ‘conscious’ and ‘sustainable’
won’t wash with travellers if they suspect that are being hoodwinked
into supporting a particular travel brand.
European Commission has already been on the case, accusing those who
make vague and general statements about their ‘green’ claims of lacking
credibility – ‘greenwashing’ as the practice is now known.
YouGov's Travel & Tourism Practice found that as consumers now
look beyond the window dressing to uncover what a particular travel
brand is doing to protect the environment “the financial risk to
businesses of not following a path to sustainability is now much greater
than the immediate rewards of doing it”.
YouGov says the sustainability trend will only continue to accelerate, and the
will be those who were first “to take their organisations, people,
investments, innovation and customers on the journey to be more environmentally friendly and eco-conscious”.
“The more brands focus on sustainability through both amplification
and action, the more consumers will know, take notice, expect and
demand,” YouGov suggests.
The report stressed the importance of travel and tourism brands in shaping the evolution of sustainable travel.
YouGov data shows that almost half of all consumers across 43
countries (46%) like it when brands get involved in social issues, while
more than two in five consumers worldwide (44%) say they try to buy
only from socially and
environmentally responsible companies.
Actions speak louder than words
An effective sustainability programme signals that an organisation or
destination aspires to more than providing a service or attracting
visitors, but that it wishes to actively make a difference and inspire
travellers to enjoy travel more responsibly, YouGov noted.
Sustainability campaigns and efforts need to be consistent in their
strategies across countries, inclusive of staff and wider groups),
authentic and trustworthy, the report found.
The ‘halo’ effect. Was also important. Partnering with other
sustainable brands can showcase a collaborative affiliation and have a
positive impact on the core brand.
The report is based on the latest data from YouGov’s Global Travel
Profiles – a daily global travel survey. YouGov estimates the market
size of responsible travellers to exceed 300 million people in the 25
Responsible travellers lean toward the following trips: visiting
friends and family (32%), beach (30%), culture and history (28%),
combined relaxing and sightseeing / activity holidays (26%), and city