The Rise Of The Eco Holiday
A fresh take on the traditional holiday
What did the Romans ever do for us? Well, they pioneered the beloved concept of a holiday, which has been embraced by travellers the world over ever since. Sadly, the idea of a two-year holiday (often taken by rich Romans in the days of old) was lost somewhere along the way.
But although our holidays might not last as long as our ancestors’, we are going a lot more frequently. The Office for National Statistics showed that there were 72.8 million overseas trips made by UK residents in 2017, a 3% rise on the previous ear. Plus, a study of 25,000 British travellers showed that 11% were likely to travel more in the future months.
We’re taking more holidays, but along with that, the type of holiday we are seeking is changing. In this article, we are exploring the impact of this change across communities and businesses.
The world is becoming more and more eco-conscious. The search terms ‘eco-friendly holidays’, ‘eco-friendly hotels’ and ‘green holidays’ have shown a positive pattern in the UK over recent months, which has highlighted the interest of sustainable trips abroad among British holidaymakers. Along with veganism, flexitarianism and other lifestyle choices, these types of holidays have captured the public’s attention and will likely become the norm for future generations who will be more environmentally conscious.
The ability to travel green is an important selling point for any holiday. According to the Sustainable Travel Report by Booking.com, 87% of global travellers say that they want to travel sustainably. With such high figures, it’s clear that this is a market more businesses in the hospitality and travel market should be tapping into. You could argue that sustainable travel is subject to a person’s environmental standpoint, and while this is true, the same report also revealed that 46% of people believe sustainable travel is staying in an eco-friendly or green accommodation.
There’re a number of reasons why this type of accommodation is appealing. For example, 40% said that they wanted to reduce their environmental impact. On the other hand, 34% said this was to have a locally relevant experience and a further 33% said they wanted to feel good about where they rested.
There are different reasons for holidaymakers to seek greener alternatives. 60% said that this idea sparked from taking in the natural sights from their previous trips – such as coral and rain forests. Also, 54% said that they had noticed the visible impact tourism had on places that they themselves had visited, while 47% went on to say that their decision was after seeing the positive impact sustainable tourism had on local communities. Furthermore, 32% said they felt guilty about how their holidays impact the environment.
Package holidays are becoming cheaper by the year, but can the same be said for eco-holidays? As these trips tend to require fine planning and research, they could potentially be more costly than your average trip to Spain. However, 67% of travellers in the report said that they were prepared to spend up to 5% more on their travel to ensure it had a low impact on the environment.
Holidaymakers are looking for new ways to book these holidays too. Figures from the same survey found that four in 10 people say that booking sites should offer an eco-friendly filter. Although this doesn’t seem like a step a lot of travel sites are taking, some have begun adding pages to represent these trips and advertise them publicly. As well as this, 32% of people call for an international standard that can identify eco-friendly accommodation.
Appealing to these new customer demands will keep businesses ahead of the competition. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year where we see more sustainable trips!
Fair trade holidays are slowly emerging as a trend for holidaymakers too. Holidaymakers can integrate themselves into the communities who are behind the products we frequently buy — such as fair trade vegan chocolate! The Meet the People Tours allow small groups of people to travel to places like India, Bangladesh, Nepal and more which makes for the perfect opportunity to discover more about sacred cultural traditions and how this differs from the west. Just like the fair-trade products we buy, these trips are organised so that the people living and working in these communities are better off as a result.
These offer truly unique experiences. From visiting development projects and having your ideas of developing countries challenged, you’ll truly feel that you’re making a difference from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave.
A holiday like this will certainly stand out from the norm!