Did you know that it was the Ancient Romans that invented the term holiday? It’s a common conclusion that holidays are something too look forward too, even if it is travelling around your own country. Ancient Romans often took holidays that could last up to two year, although most of us aren’t as lucky.
National statistics reports show that in 2017 72.8 million of the UKs population took a trip overseas. This means that there was a 3% increase on the year before and confirms that more of us are taking more trips now. According to recent predictions this figure is only going to increase. The survey, which 25,00 people took part in, shows that 11% of the population would like to travel more in the future.
It seems like there has been an increase in alternative holidays due to changing trend sin the travel industry. How are businesses, holidaymakers and local communities effected?
Over the past few months, there has been a large increase in the terms the population are searching. The news trends are things such as “green holidays”, “eco-friendly holidays” and “eco-friendly hotels”. This only suggest that the UK public are becoming more interested in how their holidays are affecting the environment. 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.
Booking.com has released a report which suggest 87% of travelers who fly globally claim they want to be more sustainable with there travel. Which numbers which show a high demand in change, more businesses in the travel and hospitality industry should may attention. 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.
40% wish to reduce the impact they have on the environment is one of the many reasons why people choose this kind of accommodation. 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 a few different variations between the factors that inspire travelers to be more sustainable. Beautiful views from previous travel was the reason behind 60% of holidaymaker’s decision. This can include things such as coral and rainforests. 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.
One of the most important questions is: is it affordable? Package holidays are cheaper now than ever before and the easiest option for the most part. 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 travelers 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.
Customers are now demanding a change in the way that they book holidays. 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 began 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 travelers now, it could keep them ahead of the competition. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year where we see more sustainable trips!
Being able to become more sustainable
Although they’re not on everyone’s radar at the moment, fair trade holidays offer learning experiences like no other. 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.
This kind of experience will outperform your expectations. 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.
These stories will live with you for the rest of your life too, and this kind of experience will probably become the norm for your future holiday trips.