Booking.com’s 2021 Sustainable Travel Survey, described the current global situation as a ‘watershed moment’ for both the industry and travellers, and that same Booking.com survey in 2022 revealed that travellers are selecting planet-first options and looking to brands for sustainable choices and more purposeful travel. The pandemic has been the tipping point for many travellers to live and travel more mindfully and finally commit to their personal sustainable journey. The 2022 Booking.com Sustainable Travel Survey of 29,000 travellers from 30 countries revealed that:
81% confirm that sustainable travel is important to them
71% want to make more effort to travel more sustainably in the future
50% say that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices
Managing positive, purposeful change for tourism's sustainable future is complex and multi-faceted. Our collective challenge is to make wise decisions today for future generations. Our actions and choices matter.
Elements of sustainability have to be consciously built into tourism product development, so we can walk a path towards improving our industry not just for visitors, but those who work in tourism and the residents who live in the destinations that travellers visit.
Incorporating sustainable, responsible and/or regenerative practices as part of your visitor experience development is not a 'one and done' effort. It's a purposeful process of continuous improvement with small steps that help you make progress over time.
Here are a few things to think about as you reflect on your operation/destination/experience:
Build awareness for travellers to take responsibility for their impacts
Reduce, reuse and conserve resources
Align with like-minded partners who have similar sustainable, responsible, regenerative goals
Communicate with guests about what you're doing and what they can do
Embrace, preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage, traditions, authenticity, and uniqueness of your community
Celebrate and share what makes your business and destination different and unique
Incorporate ways for visitors to give back to your community in meaningful ways
Create a culture of inclusion
Make an effort to create experiences that are accessible to persons of all physical abilities
Strive to pay a living wage, provide training, ensure working conditions are fair, safe and offered without discrimination
Consider how you can contribute to improved prosperity in your community, keeping revenues and profits within the community
Set your prices such that experiences and services offer value while guaranteeing a quality experience and fair wages