A new global survey by Lonely Planet reveals that travellers are keen to
make significant changes to their behaviour to travel sustainably.
Lonely Planet’s annual Travellers’ Pulse survey, which polled over
24,500 people worldwide, showed 84% of respondents said they would
consider offsetting their emissions in the future, where only 31% had
done so in the past.
One of the strongest changes for the future was in volunteering. A huge
79% of respondents said they would or might volunteer overseas in the
future, with only 25% having done so in the past.
70% of travellers said they had purposefully travelled in a low-impact
way in the past, (for example catching a bus rather than flying) and
over 90% of people said they would or might do so in the future.
Travellers also have good intentions when it comes to protecting the
environment. Although 36% of people had never purposefully considered
the environment in their past travels, 93% of people said they would or
might purposefully partake in environmentally friendly travel in the
Lonely Planet spokesperson Tom Hall said it was encouraging to see
travellers embracing change, “The survey reveals that 73% of respondents
feel that travel is ‘in their blood’, so its fantastic to see that
travellers are consciously considering their impacts, and are willing to
alter their actions to protect the destinations they love. It will be
encouraging to watch whether these intended behaviours follow-through.”
The survey also revealed that the majority of travellers are worried
about carbon emissions from flying, with only 7% saying that they did
not think aircraft carbon emissions were a concern.
In the survey, respondents were given several options and asked to
choose the one that they would primarily support for being most
effective in reducing emissions from flights. While offsetting came out
on top, with a quarter of all votes, surprisingly 43% chose one of the
more radical options: boycotting flying for other less damaging modes of
transport; airlines reducing the number of flights; increasing flying
costs via a carbon tax; or everyone having an annual carbon allowance
into which they must fit their travel.
Activity or interest has been a strong reason for travel in previous
Travellers’ Pulse surveys. This year it was even stronger with 32%
saying activity was their main purpose for travel, highlighting the
growing trend towards exploring niche experiences rather than simply
visiting destinations for sightseeing.
Lonely Planet’s annual Travellers’ Pulse Survey was conducted online at
lonelyplanet.com and via 49 partner websites, and is arguably the
world’s most authoritative independent travel survey. The survey’s
24,500 respondents were from 144 countries.