Nearly 80% of travellers will pay at least 10 per cent more for sustainable travel features despite the cost of living crisis, a Euromonitor International report has revealed.
41% of travellers are also prepared to pay more than 30% extra for adventure and eco-tourism, according to the Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey, mentioned in Euromonitor’s newly released Sustainable Travel Index 2023.
Europe dominates the Sustainable Travel Index 2023 taking the top 17 places. Sweden continues to top the chart, with Finland second and Austria in third. South American destination, Uruguay, has made the top 20 for the first time, moving up 15 places from the previous year.
Egypt and the Maldives are the most improved countries over the last five year. Egypt has outshone other markets by building resilient tourism, helped by its recovery after travel bans and the pandemic, and driving up average spend per arrival to increase value creation through tourism for the benefit of local communities.
Sustainable Travel Index – Top 20
Melbourne tops sustainable city destination charts
Melbourne stands at the top of the sustainability pillar for Euromonitor’s Top City Destinations Index with an ambitious target to reach net zero emissions by 2040. It is followed by Spain’s Madrid and Seville, part of the Net Zero Cities initiative in the EU that includes 112 European cities in total.
Melbourne’s sustainability successes are wide-ranging, from retro- fitting buildings to reduce their carbon footprint and transition to renewables, to greening streets, along with hosting carbon neutral events.
In terms of sustainable tourism demand, Australia, Iceland and New Zealand are the top three destinations. As long-haul destinations, Australia and New Zealand benefit from the high length of stay and New Zealand also flies the flag for regenerative tourism, going further and deeper than mere sustainability, leaving a positive legacy for generations to come aiming to give back.
Startups could help pave the way for ‘greener and cleaner travel’
Reflecting on the findings of the report, Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel at Euromonitor International, said: “Our Sustainable Travel Index uses 56 indicators across seven pillars – Environmental, Social, Economic, Risk, Demand, Transport and Lodgings – determining the comparative performance of sustainable travel and tourism for 99 countries through scores and weightings to produce an overall ranking.
“There are three main types of indicators. The health of a destination relating to happiness, equality and social justice, then the specific impacts of tourism on the local environment such as hotel energy use, followed by the general state of tourism such as quality of infrastructure or dependency on international demand.
“Looking to the future, the Sustainable Travel Index highlights green technology and digitalising the traveller journey as two sure-fire ways to help achieve the road to net zero. Partnering with new start-ups in the green tech space could help pave the way for a greener and cleaner travel future.”