Holiday-hungry Brits are shunning environmental advice when choosing holiday destinations, according to a new report.
travelsupermarket.com’s Green Travel Index - a UK study of attitudes to leisure travel and its impact on global warming - found while people are increasingly aware of the impact of travel on the environment, few are prepared to change their travel habits or pay more for their holidays to offset environmental damage.
According to the research, more than half of UK consumers believe increased international travel is damaging the environment, with a third citing cheap flights as a major cause of global warming. However, 93 per cent have never changed where they go on holiday due to environmental concerns with only 16 per cent saying they were likely to change their destination in the future.
Almost half of all UK holidaymakers (46 per cent) do not feel guilty about flying, with the over 55s, who now make up one of the most lucrative and dynamic sectors of the travel market, feeling the least guilty. Twenty-three per cent of women said they did feel guilty compared to 18 per cent of men. Londoners feel the most guilty, at 25 per cent.
When it comes to holidaying more in the UK as a way of doing their bit for the planet, 39 per cent said they don’t holiday in the UK and would never consider it. Twenty seven per cent said they would consider taking more holidays in the UK, but only if the cost could be reduced. Over half (54 per cent) of all respondents want cheaper deals on UK holidays.
A green tax on holiday flights to help reduce environmental impacts was also unpopular, with 39 per cent of people saying they would not be prepared to pay a green tax at all - even on very low cost flights. Roughly a third (31 per cent) said they would be willing to pay a levy of between £1 and £10.
The Green Travel Index asked the people who wouldn’t sacrifice their holiday what they might be willing to give up to save the planet. Four per cent said they would give up their cars to reduce their carbon footprint while 18 per cent said they would become vegetarian.
Bob Atkinson, travel expert from travelsupermarket.com, said: “It’s unrealistic to expect people to give up foreign holidays altogether, but it’s alarming how little people are willing to adapt. If it was made easier for consumers to make more informed decisions about greener flight and holiday options or if UK breaks were made more affordable, people might start to think about the planet before they book.”