The Travel Industry Association and Ypartnership surveyed travellers in 2007 regarding “green travel” – that is, environment friendly travel alternatives to help lower carbon emission and one’s carbon footprint in the world. This is related to ecotourism.
The overall attitude from travellers is that 50% would book an airline that took steps to ensure that their carbon emission was lower. The same attitude stands for travellers look to use a car rental service: 56% of travellers said they would choose a car rental company or car if they offered fuel efficient or hybrid vehicles.
However, those percentages only reflect traveller’s attitudes when price is not concerned. When asked the same questions with appropriate price increases in mind, attitudes seemed to change drastically.
Only 13% of travellers would be willing to pay more for car rentals that helped to lower and offset carbon emissions. In the same way, only 14% of travellers would purchase travel or flights from a company that offered green alternatives, especially if it meant paying more.
Thus, describes Suzanne Cook, the Senior Vice President of Research of the Travel Industry Association, “…awareness of a supplier’s efforts to operate in an environmentally responsible manner may be sufficient to attract additional patronage but not at a significantly higher fare or rate.”
It seems that green travel has its price. However, the question of who pays for going green could significantly affect the way that travel will be perceived and conducted in the next few years – especially in a world trying to go green.