The coronavirus may have halted our 2020 travel plans (or any plans full-stop) but it has also given some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations a much-needed moment of rest. The world watched from home as videos were shared online of wildlife returning to city streets where crowds once flocked. This pause in our globetrotting habits has inspired hopeful travellers to become more aware of the wider impact of their trips, with 53% to start looking for more sustainable ways to travel; to reduce their footprint on the environment and local communities.
Unfollowing the crowd
Those planning to travel in 2021 have expressed a wish to avoid other tourists, with a spike in interest in exploring lesser-known destinations in the year ahead. Many travellers will also opt for alternative destinations for a number of other reasons; to avoid travelling during peak season (51%), overcrowding (48%) and overly busy tourist attractions (63%).
Putting a stop to plastic
Since the pandemic struck, travellers are also increasingly thinking twice about their consumption and waste while on holiday. More than half (53%) of global travellers are willing to reduce their waste and recycle their plastic when travelling, once all restrictions are lifted.
Slide 1 - I want to travel more sustainably because the Coronavirus has opened my eyes to humans’ impact on the environment
Slide 2 - I expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable travel options
Global shaded in red
As of this year, global travellers (69%) are looking to the travel industry to help support the growing interest in sustainable travel. And that includes looking specifically for off-season travel packages (46%) and travel suggestions to alternative destinations to help prevent overcrowding (36%).
Supporting local communities
Global travellers are aware of their impact more than ever before, which will pave the way for more sustainable and regenerative travel in the future. Two-thirds (67%) of travellers indicated that they want their travel choices to support the recovery of destinations they visit and more than half (55%) want to see how their spending will go back into supporting the local community.
Can you remember how travellers are becoming more eco and community conscious amidst the pandemic? Take the quiz below.