Just one per cent of Brits consider the environment to be their top priority when booking a holiday, a new survey has revealed.Independent research by YouGov and travel website celticcastles.com highlights that holidaymakers do not consider their carbon footprint to be as important as cost - with 43 per cent saying money talks when it comes to picking a holiday.
Roger Masterson founder of Celtic Castles, which offers unique castle accommodation in 85 exclusive venues across the UK, Ireland and France, is surprised the impact of air travel on the environment is not a bigger issue.
He said: “With climate change never far from the headlines I was taken aback by how unimportant the environment is to those seeking a break. I’m confident, however, that we will start to see a shift towards sustainable tourism, with people thinking more about their environmental impact and reducing carbon emissions by holidaying closer to home.”
The majority of the 2,091 people surveyed did not see looking after the planet as their top priority, with 23 per cent of 18-24 year olds relegating a trip’s carbon footprint to the bottom of their concerns.
The survey did emphasise that cultural attractions are a big draw, with 17 per cent of men and 14 per cent women considering them a top priority. The poll also showed tranquillity and weather are holiday pluses, while more than 1 in 4 people cited a destination’s popularity with fellow Brits as the least important consideration when booking.
Roger added: “There is no doubt that most consider quality, affordability and culture to be important when booking their break. The recent increase in air fares and the hassle of heightened security at airports could also be the catalyst for people deciding that holidaying closer to home makes economic and environmental sense.
“We are undoubtedly starting to see an increase in British bookings. The internet has likewise opened up a lot of destinations in Britain that holidaymakers weren’t previously aware of - it is now as easy to find information online about castles in rural Scotland, as it is about hotels in Spain.”
Regional variations also highlight changing attitudes within the UK. According to the research, Scottish holiday makers are the least concerned about cost when booking a trip, and more likely to pick a destination for its cultural attractions.