+1 647 515 7228




Demand for Sustainable Tourism

There are multiple studies outlining demand for sustainable tourism, however, be aware that most consumers will not ask for more sustainable options – they expect the tourism provider to just do it! Below are just a few highlights from studies. Sustaining Tourism has undertaken a number of studies to determine overall demand on this subject and assess demand for green products.

If you want to try to increase demand you can ask TripAdvisor to do so, check out this idea

    • A 2015 study by Booking.com found:
      • 52% of travellers are likely to choose a destination based on its environmental impact
      • Three times as likely to plan to stay in more ‘green’ accommodations in 2015 than they did in 2014
    • A 2015 study by Expedia found:
      • Almost a third of consumers (29%) would be likely to choose one company over another based on their environmental record, up from one in five (19%) in 2011.
      • There is growing sentiment amongst consumers that it is the travel company’s responsibility to be environmentally responsible.
      • One in four consumers (40%)  believe that holidays should have an environmental and social rating, such as provided by the Travelife scheme, with only 16% disagreeing.
    • The World Travel and Tourism Council declares that:
      • members of the industry have generally improved their carbon efficiency by 20% in the last ten years
    • A 2015 study for the Province of Ontario in Canada found that
      • 61% of respondents were very or extremely interested in businesses or destinations showcasing their sustainability initiatives
      • 73% somewhat or extremely likely to consider sustainability in their travel plans
    • A 2014 study found that more than half of global consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies that show a commitment to social responsibility (Nielson, 2014)
      • The propensity to buy socially responsible brands is strongest in Asia-Pacific (64%), Latin America (63%) and Middle East/Africa (63%).
    • A 2012 report by The Travel Foundation and Forum for the Future found that 75% of consumers want a more responsible holiday
    • A 2012 study done by TripAdvisor stated that 71% of those surveyed said they would make environmentally friendly choices this year
    • A 2011 study done by CondeNast Traveler said 58% of their travellers hotel choice is influenced by the support the hotel gives to the local community
    • A 2011 study by Kuoni found that 22% of respondents said that sustainability is among the top three influencing factors when booking vacations (Kuoni)
    • a 2010 study done by a mass tour operator found that 44% of US and European customers said that if a company offered a sustainable holiday option, they would be interested. 44% also said they have a better image of a company that actively invest in environmental/social initiatives
    • a 2009 study of 400 visitors to Toronto, Canada found that 15% always considered the impacts on a host community when travelling. 48% purchase locally made souvenirs in a destination and 47% choose public transport rather than renting a car in a destination
    • 34% of US respondents in 2009 would visit an environmentally hotel or resort
    • a 2008 study done by Deloitte Consulting found that 90% of business travellers look to ‘green while away’
    • a US study in 2008 said that 48% of respondents were buying as much or more organic food as before the recession
    • a 2007 study found that over half of respondents would be more likely to select an airline, hotel or rental car service that used more environmentally friendly products or processes.


The Millennium Development Goals although not often mentioned in tourism circles are important to tourism and should be examined and understood. 189 United Nations member states made pledges to meet the following eight goals by 2015. The year 2015 is not far away yet many of these goals will not be achieved.

8 Millennium Development Goals:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Ensure environmental sustainability
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Improve maternal health
  5. Reduce child mortality
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Achieve universal primary education
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

How does this affect the tourism industry?

These principles which were outlined at the World Economic Forum in 1999 and although they relate to business and government in a broad sense, they also relate specifically to tourism development as tourism can both hinder and potentially help these goals. As tourism is dependant on both natural and human assets for the promotion of the tourism product, the environment, people, disease and establishing and maintaining global partnerships for development are imperative to achieve and maintain a healthy industry. The implications of the MDG’s should be considered by all players in the tourism industry.


NEW Case studies

New Mitigating climate change and connecting people to the outdoors. ...more

New Committed to cleaning up India's neighbourhoods. ...more

New Solar powered stage, green roofs and dishwashing station at the Hillside music festival ...more

New A treehouse community ...more

Twitter Feed