Most Aussies approve of sustainable travel, but the rest are over hearing about it, Booking.com report finds

Young woman hiking in the Zhangjiajie National Forest park, makes a heart shape finger frame. Love nature wanderlust sharing concept.
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Booking.com released its findings from a 31,000 traveller strong research project across 34 countries and territories exploring consumer trends on sustainable travel at TTF’s Green Revolution Summit.

    2024 Green Revolution Summit brings travel heavyweights into green fuel discussion

    Highlights of the 2024 event including an insightful panel on the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in Australia featuring; Virgin’s head of fuel and aviation decarbonisation Daniel Dott, IFM Investors executive director Danny Elia and GrainCorp’s chief innovation officer Jesse Scott.

    Venues NSW chief executive Kerrie Mather spoke to the ways in which the states biggest and brightest stadiums and event spaces can best serve the entire population and Taronga Conservation Society Australia’s CEO Cameron Kerr AO who discussed protecting our natural assets for future generations.

    Booking.com reinforced its stance on promoting ‘green’ travel choices with Oceania manager Todd Lacey presenting the information at the event.

    “Whilst many Australian travellers have retained a sense of optimism and a desire to have a more positive impact, there is a critical opportunity for the industry to accelerate efforts to make those choices easier for everyone,” Booking.com Oceania manager Todd Lacey said.

    “Regardless of where they are on their sustainability journey be it booking a hotel, holiday home, rental car, flight or attraction on Booking.com, we want to empower Aussie travellers to explore the world more responsibly by enabling them to make choices that reduce their environmental footprint without compromises.

    “To support this, we have an opportunity to collaboratively accelerate efforts to make those choices easier for all while putting sustainability at the forefront of the way we travel.”

    Margy Osmond speaking at TTF’s Green Revolution Summit 2024

    CEO of the Tourism and Transport Forum, Margy Osmond said, “we’re thrilled to see the majority of Aussie travellers want to travel more sustainably this year, helping reduce their impact on the environment and local communities.

    “As holidaymakers increasingly look for more sustainable travel options, it’s vital the industry continues to work with governments to ensure Australia remains a world-class sustainable travel destination, to remain competitive globally and ensure our tourism sector thrives.”

    Findings in the 2024 report from Booking.com.

    Positive intentions meet new challenges

    The research also reveals a sense of weariness when it comes to sustainable travel. Some travellers don’t recognise the importance of being more mindful of their impact, with one-quarter believing that the damage already done is irreversible while, a quarter of Aussie travellers don’t believe climate change is as severe as people make it out to be.

    30 per cent believe that being more sustainable in a destination that is not implementing sustainability practices itself feels pointless, contributing to the sense of powerlessness. Moreover, some feel their time spent travelling is too precious to put sustainability at the top of their decision-making list 26 per cent, showing that there is work to be done in shifting local mindsets that choosing the more sustainable offer should not come at the cost of enjoyment.

    Sharing responsibility across the travel industry

    The role travellers feel they can play in tackling the negative impacts of travel also highlights their expectations around collaboration. 71 per cent of travellers say they want to leave the places they visit better than when they arrived (up from 68 per cent last year), and this year’s additional research shows 50 per cent think they themselves have the potential to counteract the social impacts of travel.

    On the other hand, 47 per cent think governments hold the most potential for countering the economic effects, and 40 per cent believe travel service providers hold the key to addressing environmental factors.

    Sustainable silver linings

    Despite the emerging frustrations, Australians who make more mindful choices also feel that more sustainable travel experiences add value to their trips.

    Over half of Australians (54 per cent) admit they are the best version of themselves when they travel more sustainably, with another 62 per cent feeling that witnessing sustainable practices when travelling inspires them to be more sustainable in their everyday life.

    Of those who adopted sustainable behaviours on their travels, it was seen as an enhancement for 97 per cent who did tours or activities for authentic, local, and cultural experiences, 92 per cent who shopped at small, independent stores, and 91 per cent who planned their trips so that they could walk, bike, or take public transport.

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