One in three holidaymakers believe that holidays should have an environmental rating – much like a star rating, ABTA’s 2011 ABTA Consumer Trends Survey has found. ABTA estimates that this represents over 10 million people taking foreign holidays.
The figure has grown from 29% in 2010 to 33% this year, and is higher amongst women - 38%. Among ‘cosmopolitans’ - a group who take the most number of holidays a year and are early adopters of trends - this rises to nearly half (49%).
The research also suggests companies that invest in making their business better for the environment stand to gain a competitive edge, with 19% (up 2% from 2010) of consumers saying they are prepared to pay more for a holiday with a company that has a better environmental and social record.
The Travelife Sustainability System, a certification scheme for hotels and holiday accommodation is a scheme which not only ranks environmental practices, but considers social practices as equally important. Accommodation providers are able to achieve bronze, silver and gold awards depending on their achievements after a full, independently conducted audit.
Because Travelife is supported by some of the largest tour operators in the world as well as smaller independents, the bronze, silver and gold awards are displayed in accommodation suppliers’ own marketing materials and websites as well as in the tour operator brochures and websites that use them. The awards are also now displayed on the key online selling tool for travel agents - Gazetteers.
Sören Stöber, Travelife’s Business Manager said: “These findings back up research from the same survey that more and more people are expecting holiday companies to be both socially and environmentally responsible. Schemes such as Travelife can now meet the steadily growing demand for sustainably rated holidays. Travelife logos are now being displayed by mainstream travel companies and this is helping consumers to make more informed choices about their holidays.”
Fiona Humphries has recently joined the Travelife team as Travelife Relationship Manager where she will develop the scheme’s sales and marketing offer and manage key stakeholder relationships both with tour operators and destinations.
To date 17,000 properties have registered with Travelife, 1,500 have completed a full third party audit and well over 500 properties have been granted a Travelife award of Bronze, Silver or Gold.