When it comes to the environmental impact of taking a holiday Australians are most concerned about over-tourism, polluted beaches or waterways, and energy inefficiencies in their accommodation according to Agoda’s Sustainable Travel Trends Survey. The Agoda survey conducted in 14 countries revealed attitudes and perceptions Australian’s have about travel and their ideas to make travel more sustainable.
For starters Australians want to be able to easily identify eco-friendly travel options – something they can’t easily do at the moment. We also want the tourism industry to stop using single-use plastics and we want to reward hotels and accommodation providers who maximise energy efficiencies. And whilst Australians are go for low hanging eco-pledges such turning air con off and managing waste on their travels, we are most likely globally to pledge to shop locally to help make a difference.
Paradoxically destroying sea corals is one of the top five things that concerns Australians most about the impact of travel, but despite having two of the world’s amazing reefs – Great Barrier and Ningaloo – off our shores, pledging to use reef friendly products comes in way down the pledge scale at number 10 (10%). Only the Uk, (6%) Japan (8%) and Singapore (8%) are less interested.
Australian’s Top Ten pledges to travel more sustainably are:
1. Manage my waste during my travel period (e.g., use less single-use plastics)
2. Switch the air conditioner and lights off when I leave my room
3. Shop local/choose independent businesss
4. Do my part to reuse hotel amenities such as towels or bedding
5. Always look for eco-friendly accommodation
6. Pick up litter when I visit the beach
7. Manage my carbon footprint (e.g., journey by bus, train or boat, or paying for a carbon offset)
8. Going to lesser-known destinations
9. Requesting for no toiletries in the room as I can bring my own
10. Use reef-friendly products on beach trips
“The messages of taking simple steps such as switching off lights and air conditioning when leaving your room or reducing waste by minimizing single-use plastics are being embraced by the Australians. What’s also clear from the Agoda’s Sustainable Travel Trends Survey is that people believe Governments need to take the lead on managing sustainable travel. And there is recognition some responsibility lies with traveler’s own behavior,”said John Brown.
“We found most Australian travelers are keen to do their part by actively pledging to choose eco-friendly properties or make smarter environmental choices when travelling. One of the easiest ways to counter concerns about overtourism is to consider traveling to off the beaten track destinations. This past year at Agoda we have seen a shift in travel patterns as people, limited to domestic travel, explore lesser-known areas. This helps support independent hoteliers and accommodation providers and lessen the environmental burden on overcrowded areas.”
How Australia compares globally in the survey:
· Australia, Singapore, Thailand and China are the markets most likely to suggest financial incentives for accommodation providers who maximize energy efficiency
· The UK followed by Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are most likely to support limiting use of single-use plastics in airlines or accommodation
· And Australia, Singapore and the UK are most likely to pledge to reuse hotel amenities such as towels and bedding.
Australians are aligned with global markets in considering Governments, tourism authorities and self as the top three most responsible to make travelling more sustainable.
Credit: Aleksandar Pasaric
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