I just received my latest newsletter from STI (Sustainable Travel International). In the newsletter was a really interesting article about a new global survey by Lonely Planet. The survey shows that travelers world wide are concerned about their travel impacts on the climate and will support neutralizing their travel related emissions through legitimate offset programs. The survey, which polled over 24,500 people worldwide, “showed 84 percent of respondents said they would consider offsetting their emissions in the future, where only 31 percent had done so in the past. Seventy percent of travellers said they had purposefully travelled in a low-impact way in the past, (for example, catching a bus rather than flying) and over 90 percent of people said they would or might do so in the future.”
I think there is a definite advantage for grassroots tourism providers to add value to their products by maintaining a green focus. As the impact of climate change initiatives are felt in the travel marketplace, organizations who do not show a green conscience will be a disadvantage. The ultimate step, of course, will be to add carbon offset directly into the booking process. Ofcourse, the industry is having a hard enough time coming up with standards that will support dynamic packaging, so adding another variable to the equation won’t make things move any faster.
The bottom line is that regardless of whether or not the science is valid, the public perception is that climate change is a very real issue and consumers are beginning to take notice of organizations that make a concerted effort to be environmentally sensitive.
You can read the original posting at Environmental Leader.