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New Virtuoso Report Shows How Sustainable Tourism is Changing

by Holly Riddle

Aug 23, 2022

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Surveys

Sustainable tourism has grown in popularity, but it certainly hasn’t remained the same since this trend first began influencing the travel industry several years ago. A new Virtuoso report shows sustainable tourism continuing to evolve, as travelers take new approaches to trips following the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

First and foremost, the new report found more than 80 percent of travelers look to travel even more responsibly following the pandemic. As a prior Virtuoso study found, this responsible approach, for luxury travelers at least, often means specifically choosing travel providers with clear sustainability policies, visiting destinations in the off seasons to reduce impact and choosing lesser-known destinations versus destinations suffering from over-tourism. Recent demand for travel providers with sustainability policies is so strong the most recent survey respondents said they’d pay more money for a trip if it meant they could be assured travel providers were transparent about how they used their money, as well as their commitment to sustainability.

 

Travelers also take responsibility and practice sustainability while traveling in smaller ways, such as by reducing food and plastic waste by carrying reusable water bottles throughout their trips. They’re also consciously choosing activities they associate with sustainability, such as wildlife conservation activities, cultural tours, river cruises and safaris.

 

The pandemic has led to an interesting phenomenon, taking sustainable travel from afterthought to forethought for travelers who are now searching for more meaning in their lives, their actions and ultimately with their spend,” said Jessica Hall Upchurch, vice chair and sustainability strategist, Virtuoso. Travelers want to know that they, and their money, are making a difference. The pandemic disrupted the industry unlike anything before, but it also shifted priorities, resulting in a renewed commitment from travelers to safeguard the planet and each other. This conscious comeback will continue to transform the way we travel, and it reaffirms our belief that travel can be a force for good.”

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