Holidays have become an integral part of our culture and were first brought to our attention in Ancient Rome. Whether we’re holidaying across the UK or taking a trip abroad, we always look forward to our short break away from work. However, did you know that a lot of wealthy Romans took holidays that lasted two years?
We’re all looking to be a bit more adventurous with our holidays. So much so, the Office for National Statistics reported that in 2017 there were 72.8 million visits overseas by UK residents, showing a 3% increase on the previous year. This figure is only set to increase even further after a survey of 25,000 British travellers found that 11% of respondents would like to travel more in the future.
But what does that actually mean for holiday-makers, local communities and businesses across the globe? We take a look in the guide.
Are eco-friendly holidays a thing?
Searches for these types of holidays have increased in recent months. 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.
Believe it or not, 87% of travellers around the world want to do so more consciously in the future. 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.
Many areas influence the decision to choose a green space though. 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.
This can be said the same for general sustainable travel too. 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 cheaper than ever before, so do sustainable holidays offer a similar deal? 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.
Travellers want more options when it comes to booking. 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.
If travel companies and hotels acknowledge this growing requirement from travellers now, it could keep them ahead of the competition. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year where we see more sustainable trips!
Sustainable trips away
These trips will be like ones you’ve never been on before. Holidaymakers can integrate themselves into the communities who are behind the products we frequently buy – such as organic chocolate!
From learning about different cultures and traditions to trying new types of food, there’s a lot that can be learnt on one of these trips. Just like the Fairtrade products we buy, these trips are organised so that the people living and working in these communities are better off as a result.
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.