Affluent Travelers Willing to Pay for Sustainable Experiences: Virtuoso

More than three-quarters of high-end travelers believe it’s important to choose travel companies that have a strong sustainability policy; this comes from luxury travel network Virtuoso’s recent white paper, “Conscious Comeback: Influencing a Sustainable and Regenerative Future for the Travel & Tourism Industry.”

Additional results found that while travel rebounds in new and innovative ways, travelers remain ever conscious of their place and impact in the world, with more than 80 percent of respondents indicating that the pandemic has made them want to travel more responsibly in the future. This figure echoes identical findings from a survey conducted last year, proving that traveling sustainably continues to be a top priority for luxury travelers.

In addition, 70 percent agreed that traveling sustainably enhances their vacation experience, and most respondents said they would be willing to visit a popular destination during off-seasons or opt for an alternative, less-touristed destination to help combat over-tourism.

In Virtuoso’s 2022 sustainability survey, affluent consumers reported that cost is less of a factor when planning to implement sustainable travel practices, but transparency is: 75 percent of travelers are willing to pay more to travel responsibly if they know how the funds are being used. Travelers also expressed a strong desire for deeper knowledge and assistance with making more informed decisions around sustainable travel, with 40 percent of respondents saying they would be encouraged to travel more responsibly if they had guidance from a trusted source, such as a professional travel advisor, who could help them determine where to begin. 

Additional findings from the 2022 sustainability survey are below:

Top 5 Ways Travelers Support Sustainable Tourism

  1. Reduce food and plastic waste by bringing their own water bottle, carrying reusable bags, etc.
  2. Support wildlife conservation
  3. Travel during the off-season or to lesser-known destinations
  4. Contribute to causes that benefit the destination and community they’re visiting
  5. Support travel companies with a strong sustainability policy

Top 5 Trips/Destinations Travelers Associate with or Prioritize for Sustainable Tourism

  1. Cultural tours (land-based)
  2. River cruising
  3. Heritage sites
  4. African safaris and ocean cruising (tie)
  5. Island destinations

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