NEWTON, MASS.—TripAdvisor announced the results of its eco-friendly travel survey of more than 700 U.S. travelers. The green travel trend is gaining momentum among TripAdvisor members, as 71 percent said they plan to make more eco-friendly choices in the next 12 months compared to 65 percent that did so in the past 12 months.
Fifty-seven percent of travelers said they “often” make eco-friendly travel decisions, such as their choice of hotel, transportation, or food source. Forty-four percent of travelers said they are more environmentally conscious at home than while traveling. Forty-seven percent of travelers said they are equally eco-friendly at home and traveling.
Travelers’ top three eco-friendly practices:
• Turned off lights when not in hotel room—88 percent;
• Participated in hotel’s linen/towel re-use program—80 percent; and
• Used 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.” Forty-one percent would believe a hotel’s claim to be eco-friendly if they experienced or witnessed green practices first hand. Twenty-four percent would be “green believers” if they were able to see a hotel’s environmentally-friendly certification. Sixty percent of travelers said they rarely feel informed about whether hotels are truly eco-friendly, and 13 percent said they never do.
Top Green Practices at Hotels
Hotels’ top three eco-friendly practices, according to travelers:
• 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. Twenty percent of respondents said they would consider an “ecotourism” trip but 17 percent said they are unfamiliar with such trips. Four percent said they have taken an eco-tourism trip. Twenty-four percent have considered a “voluntourism” trip and 3 percent said they’ve taken one. Sixteen percent are unfamiliar with voluntourism trips. Nearly a third of travelers (30 percent) would choose a destination for a trip because it is considered eco-friendly.
Costa Rica is the most popular destination in the world for travelers interested in an eco-friendly trip. The top three perceived eco-friendly U.S. cities, according to travelers, include: 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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