Sustainable travel: young people leading by example

Sustainable travel: young people leading by example

HomeSustainable travel: young people leading by example
One fifth of Czechs are familiar with the concept of sustainable travel and 9 out of 10 tourists would welcome information on more sustainable travel. Only one in ten travellers have encountered eco-certification in accommodation. This was revealed in a survey conducted by NMS Market Research for CzechTourism. The aim was to find out the awareness of the Czech population about sustainable tourism, identify the main motivators and barriers, and provide evidence for further development and promotion of this area.
Young people in particular are willing to invest in sustainable holidays, consumers would welcome more information

Only one in five Czechs is familiar with the concept of sustainable travel. It is most often associated with eco-friendly travel, using public transport and reducing carbon footprint. A total of 68% of respondents think they do not have enough information about sustainable travel. Most often they try to find it on booking portals. A significant finding is that people see environmental protection as the most important part of sustainable travel. Despite this, the majority of travellers (72%) prefer to relax while on holiday and do not actively seek to address sustainability issues.

“Consumers are the last ones in the travel ecosystem to address sustainability. This must primarily be addressed by the industry as a whole. Once sustainable is the default, cheapest or easiest option, demand will increase. So far in Czechia, this option is set up more as a "niche" and optional option," according to Tereza Kadlecová, who is responsible for sustainable tourism at CzechTourism.

Up to 35% of travellers, especially young people under 24, are willing to pay extra for a more sustainable holiday. On average, they are prepared to add CZK 1,000 to their expenditure, which represents around 12.5% of the average summer holiday spend.

Czechs prefer comfort and relaxation on holiday

The main barriers to sustainable travel include time (58%), lack of infrastructure (57%), convenience, higher prices, health reasons and travelling with children.

"The survey showed that sustainability in travel is particularly addressed by younger generations, but also by seniors. Women are more likely to address this area. Tourists are accustomed to conserve water and sort waste while travelling. However, most travellers go on holiday to relax and are not interested in actively addressing sustainability issues during their holiday. This is because the infrastructure in a given location does not always allow this pattern of behaviour, or alternatively, choosing greener transport could mean longer travel times. And therefore less time to spend on holiday at the destination. Other factors could be financial issues, health reasons or travelling with children, where other considerations come into play. In addition to price, the location of the accommodation, its reviews, the services offered or whether it is suitable for children also play an important role when choosing accommodation," says director of the Czech Tourist Authority – CzechTourism František Reismüller and adding: "How we treat the environment and take into account future generations affects everyone's life. That's why we also try to motivate the public and continuously update our web signposts to sustainability on the portals Kudy z nudy and Visit Czechia. What's great is that they have been increasing in attendance every year, which shows that this is a topic that moves society."

Information, infrastructure and green behaviour as the key to a sustainable future

The research showed that we need to take a truly holistic view of the issue. First and foremost, public awareness needs to be improved. It showed that 60% of respondents did not know where to look for information on sustainable travel. And only 35% of Czechs know the term "slow travel", the opposite of mass tourism, and understand it correctly. Most often they associate it with ecology and walking. Creating and disseminating information about sustainable travel on accessible platforms such as booking portals, social networks and travel agencies can help raise awareness of sustainable travel options and facilitate decision-making when planning a holiday. Another important step is to provide infrastructure that supports sustainable travel in destinations. This includes increasing the availability of public transport and expanding the range of accommodation with eco-certifications. Such investments can have a long-term positive impact on the environment while increasing the attractiveness of destinations for environmentally conscious travellers.

"A typical example of eco-friendly accommodation is where the accommodation provider provides guests with the option of waste segregation, does not change towels every day but leaves the choice to the visitors, reduces situations where food is wasted and replaces buffets with served meals with a choice of a predefined number of options, sources ingredients from local suppliers, uses environmentally friendly cleaning products and, last but not least, uses renewable energy sources, energy-saving appliances or rainwater in the operation of the facility," concludes Tereza Kadlecová.

The research on "Sustainable Travel“, which involved 1 500 people, is available at Tourdata.   
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