High-end travellers willing to pay more for sustainable trips, survey says

A major new report by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Trip.com Group, together with Deloitte, reveals a heightened appetite for sustainable tourism amongst consumers, with 69 per cent of travellers actively seeking sustainable travel options.

In this follow-up report, WTTC joined forces again with global travel service provider, Trip.com Group and its major consumer brands Trip.com, Ctrip and Skyscanner, with additional data sourced from Deloitte, to analyze the trends that shaped the Travel & Tourism sector last year and will continue to do so over 2023.

Rise in sustainable trips

The report, “A World in Motion: Shifting Consumer Travel Trends in 2022 and Beyond,” shows that sustainability is a key element of the travel agenda, with travellers eager to reduce their carbon footprint and support sustainable tourism.

According to a survey included in the report, three-quarters of travellers are considering travelling more sustainably in the future and nearly 60 per cent have chosen more sustainable travel options in the last couple of years.

Luxury travellers willing to spend

Another survey also found that around three-quarters of high-end travellers are willing to pay extra to make their trips more sustainable.

Last year, following more than two years of travel disruption, travellers made clear their wanderlust is very much alive, with a 109 per cent increase of international overnight arrivals, compared to 2021.

According to the report, last year consumers were willing to stretch their budget for their holiday plans, with 86 per cent of travellers planning on spending the same amount or more on international travel than in 2019, with U.S. tourists leading the list as big spenders.

But 2023 is looking even better in terms of travellers’ spend. Despite concerns about inflation and the cost-of-living crisis around the world, nearly a third (31 per cent) of travellers said they intend to spend more on international travel this year than in 2022.

A major comeback

Additionally, according to Deloitte’s ‘Global State of the Consumer Tracker,’ last year more than half (53 per cent) of global consumers surveyed during the summer said they plan to stay in a hotel over the following three months.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The demand for travel is now stronger than ever and our report shows that this year we will see a significant bounce back. 2023 is set to be a very strong year for travel and tourism.

“Sustainability is top of travellers’ agenda, and consumers highlight the value they put on protecting nature and traveling responsibly.”

“The Asia-Pacific Region, with its rapidly growing middle-class and dynamic economies, is well-positioned to capitalize on the growth of the industry and take its place as a leader in the global tourism economy,” added Jane Sun, Trip.com Group CEO. “I’m optimistic about the positive momentum for the global resumption and growth of travel in 2023, primarily driven by mainland Chinese consumers, which will help accelerate worldwide recovery and development.”

Scott Rosenberger, Deloitte Global Transportation, Hospitality & Services Sector Leader, said: “Travel is rebounding from the pandemic while innovating and meeting the demands of more modern alternative travel-types, sustainable travel, luxury travel, and much more.

“Even the rise in inflation-driven financial concerns is not slowing the pace; incredibly travel is being prioritized and flexible/remote work arrangements are creating new opportunities. We are actively engaging with our clients as they embrace these new trends and create memorable experiences for consumers.”

Other findings revealed in the report include:

  • 2022 sun and sea package holiday sales are estimated to be up 75 per cent compared to the previous year
  • Last year during the summer, international arrivals in European sun and beach destinations were just 15 per cent below 2019 levels
  • According to WTTC’s recent ‘Cities Economic Impact Research’, in 2022 visits to major cities are expected to see a 58 per cent year-on-year increase, less than 14 per cent below 2019 levels
  • Luxury holidays will prove particularly popular, with sales of luxury hotels expected to reach $92 billion by 2025 (compared to $76 billion in 2019)
  • In a survey, nearly 60 per cent of travellers said they were either already paying to offset their carbon emissions or considering it if the price was right

To access more information and read the report in full, please click here.

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