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How leisure travel sellers can create a better ‘green travel’ experience

Gaëlle Desportes

Regional Marketing Manager Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, Amadeus IT Group

According to the UNWTO, ‘ecotourism’ or ‘green travel’ is the fastest-growing market in the tourism industry. A Booking.com survey indicated that 52% of all global travellers are likely to choose a destination based on the social or environmental impact. These trends are too much for the travel industry to ignore and now is the time for players to create experiences that cater to this market segment. But how?

How leisure travel sellers can create a better ‘green travel’ experience

Our Traveller Tribes 2030 research identified a very specific traveller persona that fits into this market segment, which we call ‘Ethical Travellers’. This type of traveller is willing to change their travel behaviours to make a concession to their conscience. They may, for example, avoid particular airlines or travelling by air entirely in order to reduce their carbon footprint. They will want to understand carbon emissions, energy efficiency levels, and where their money is going.

What does all this mean for leisure travel sellers? Here are a few points to help create a better green travel experience:

  • Start by showing that your work place is green
  • Educate and involve your staff around green travel
  • Explain the benefits of sustainable tourism in terms of quality and experience
  • Share your eco-friendly commitments to providers, customers, staff, and media
  • Select products based on sustainability as a key criteria (i.e. Hotels with green certification, carbon offsetting, green excursions)
  • Promote sustainability in offers (i.e. destinations that emphasise conservation)
  • Propose ‘give-back’ offers (i.e. contribute to the construction of a local school)
  • Promote alternative modes of transport with smaller carbon footprints using a comparison tool
  • Provide feedback on customer choices to your providers to influence their product development

Keep in mind that the points above should be carried out with transparency as travellers are alert to ‘greenwashing’ and more likely to interrogate travel companies on their sustainable credentials.

Going green is good for business as well as reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction. It also helps to protect the resources on which your business depends – the destinations you sell every day.