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04/20/2022

New Global Research from Expedia Group Spotlights Growing Consumer Interest in Sustainable Tourism

Expedia Group Takes Action to Improve Sustainability in the Travel Industry by Joining the Travalyst Coalition and Becoming a Signatory of the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
Michal Christine  Escobar  profile picture

Expedia Group is dedicated to working within the travel industry to make travel more responsible. New research released today by Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, the global travel advertising platform connecting marketers with millions of travelers across Expedia Group’s brands, reveals that although 90% of consumers look for sustainable options when booking, 70% feel overwhelmed with navigating options and making the best choices to be a more sustainable traveler. In parallel to this increase in more mindful travel, Expedia Group is reaffirming its commitment to the planet by joining two initiatives focused on accelerating a more environmentally responsible tourism industry.

Expedia Group has joined the Travalyst Coalition in support of its mission to empower travelers with better information and encourage travel providers to improve the sustainability of their offerings. Additionally, Expedia Group has become a proud signatory of the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism, committing to deliver plans aligned with the pathways to support cutting emissions in half over the next decade and reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050.

“As Expedia Group moves our sustainability strategy forward, we are committed to taking action to address climate change and working across our industry and with a range of partners to shape a more sustainable travel and tourism sector,” said Aditi Mohapatra, Vice President of Global Social Impact and Sustainability, Expedia Group. “Travelers are looking for ways to minimize their environmental footprint while traveling, and to make a positive impact on the destinations and communities they visit. And they are increasingly turning to our platform for inspiration and guidance to inform their decisions. By joining these two critical industry collaborations, the Travalyst Coalition and Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism, Expedia Group is aligning our business towards a Net Zero future.”

Expedia Group is aligned with the Travalyst Coalition’s goal for the industry to educate travelers about greener choices. The Travalyst Coalition is convening some of the world’s largest travel and tourism platforms and service providers, like Expedia Group, to collaboratively tackle one of the greatest challenges the industry faces – how to provide robust yet accessible information on sustainability.

Sally Davey, CEO, Travalyst, says “We are thrilled to welcome Expedia Group to the Travalyst Coalition. Since its inception, Travalyst’s mission has been to transform travel into a wholly positive industry. Driven by data and the core belief that travel is a force for good, Expedia Group’s commitment, platforms and data will enable Travalyst to help more travelers and travel providers make better choices for themselves and the planet.”

By becoming a signatory to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, Expedia Group commits to deliver and begin implementing its climate action plans within 12 months. The Declaration unites travel and tourism behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalyzing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally.

In support, Expedia Group will:

  • Align plans with the five pathways of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonize, Regenerate, Collaborate, Finance) to accelerate and coordinate climate action in tourism
  • Report publicly on an annual basis on progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as on actions being taken, and
  • Work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and disseminate information to encourage additional organizations to become signatories and support one another to reach targets as quickly as possible.

Zurab Pololikasvili, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), says “UNWTO is proud to welcome Expedia Group as a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration. As a major online travel platform, Expedia Group can play a key role in influencing both tourists and tourist service providers to change their behaviour for the better and scale up climate action across tourism."

Expedia Group views collaboration like this as an effective way to have a multiplier effect across the travel industry. To better serve travelers and accelerate the travel industry’s sustainability journey, Expedia Group powers its partners’ commitment to sustainable tourism by sharing insights, leveraging data solutions and forging partnerships, enabling relevant sustainability content across its platform.

An example of how this is brought to life is Expedia Group’s partnership with UNESCO on the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge to promote sustainable travel, community resilience and heritage conservation globally. To date, more than 9,000 properties across over 60 countries have become part of the UNESCO Pledge demonstrating that more and more travel businesses are willing to make concrete and transparent commitments to sustainability as the threat of climate change becomes more real by the day.

Additional insights from the recently released Sustainable Travel study from Expedia Group Media Solutions:

 

The Price of Sustainable Travel

  • Nearly 70% of consumers are willing to sacrifice some element of convenience in order to travel more sustainably.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 travelers would choose a destination, lodging, or transportation option that supports the local community and culture, even if it was more expensive.

 

Opportunities in Sustainable Travel

  • Half of travelers want to see more sustainability information from destinations, tourism boards, or visitor resource groups.
  • Recommendations for locally owned businesses and restaurants ​and transportation options that have lower environmental impact is the leading type of sustainable travel information consumers want to see when planning a trip.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Travel brands should make sustainable travel information easier to understand and show the value and impact of responsible travel choices.
  • Travelers want to know that travel brands are committed to sustainability, not just checking a box.

For additional global insights on traveler attitudes, values, and motivations in making conscientious choices, download the full Sustainable Travel study and stay tuned for additional regional insights.

Research Methodology

Conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research, the study included an online survey of 11,000 representative, general population adults ages 18+ in 11 global markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the UK, and U.S. – fielded between February 11 and March 6, 2022.