18 Oct

Sustainability – an essential not an optional extra

ABTA is calling on its Members to seize the business opportunity that sustainability offers after the ABTA 2010 Consumer Trends Survey revealed that a half of customers [47%] believe that their travel company should ensure that they are helping the local people and economy, with a third [33%] wanting to know how their travel company benefits the destination they are visiting.

As almost 1 in 5 [17%]  say they are actively willing to pay a premium for a sustainable product and as half of consumers believe that this is an important issue, ABTA Members should make a virtue of the actions they are taking and the good work being done by other ABTA Members.

ABTA is already taking a lead on sustainability with the expertise provided through the Destinations and Sustainability team and the Travelife sustainability system. Proactively managing the environmental impacts of tourism means that ABTA Members are helping to create an economically sustainable future for the tourism industry, where destinations thrive and continue to invest in new product.

Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “For too long many in the industry have perceived environmentally concerned customers as an insignificant minority that could be ignored. However, the ABTA 2010 Consumer Survey shows that millions of consumers take their environmental and social responsibilities seriously and expect us to do so too. We think this reflects changing attitudes and behaviour in all aspects of people’s lives. Customers expect the industry to manage these issues responsibly and to be able to communicate that. ABTA is taking the lead on sustainable travel which will not only help the destinations we visit thrive, but is also an essential component of building successful businesses. Caring for the world our industry relies on makes sound economic sense and the number of customers regarding this as important in their holiday choices will only increase. ABTA will ensure that our Members are leading the industry in meeting that demand. ”

Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research.  The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2,028 consumers using an online research methodology.  Fieldwork was conducted in September 2010.