Google data shows a majority of global travellers want to travel more sustainably, almost half will pay extra for it, but that only a third know how to make such choices.
The search giant conducted research in the UK, US, France and Germany which it shared at Travel Weekly’s Sustainability Summit, of which it was headline sponsor.
Google found 82% of people say sustainability is more top of mind than before the pandemic, and recorded a 70% rise in the number of travellers seeking sustainable travel options in 2021.
It also found that 46% of flyers are willing to pay more than 2% extra for a carbon neutral flight and that 71% think travel companies should offer more sustainable choices.
The research found 37% of global respondents do not know how to make their travel choices more sustainable.
Google’s industry leader for travel, Finnbar Cornwall noted how Google last month introduced carbon emissions data on its flights in search results.
He said brands taking steps towards sustainability can improve their images, show customers they are innovative, stay ahead of incoming regulations and profit from “financial benefits”.
“One thing that has come up is that consumers are looking to brands to lead the way in how they can make sustainable choices,” he told delegates. “People want sustainability to feel positive, not overwhelming. They want it to be effortless and included, not extra. People want to be rewarded for their progress, not wait for perfection.”
He advised travel businesses to “shift sustainability away from being a big complex topic towards smaller changes” and “pivot to positive” and urged them to “measure impacts” and “understand insights”.
But he stressed “I have yet to see a leader” on sustainability in the travel industry.