Less than one in ten UK consumers would be willing to change their travel plans to greener alternatives, according to a new Travel Weekly survey.

TNS Travel & Tourism which carried out the research found that just two per cent of respondents were ‘very likely’ to change their travel plans and a further seven per cent would be ‘quite likely’ to do so.

The survey also revealed a very small take up in carbon offsetting, with just four per cent of respondents stating they had made a payment to offset their travel in the last 12 months.

TNS, which polled over 1,000 UK consumers, called on the travel industry to do more to educate the public in a bid to counter consumer apathy and enable them to make better informed decisions.

Amongst those who expressed a willingness to change their travel plans nearly a quarter (22 per cent) said they would choose an airline with a reputation for fuel efficient planes.

One in seven (15 per cent) said they would choose a tour or holiday operator which was involved in a carbon offset scheme or switch from travelling by plane to another form of transport (14 per cent).

TNS’s UK head of travel and tourism Tom Costley said: “It may well be that this reflects a belief amongst travellers that their one or two flights a year will make no real difference – and demonstrates a need for the travel industry to work to counter the apathy amongst consumers.”

Consumers were also unconvinced by individual travel firms’ track records on green issues, with the vast majority of respondents answering ‘don’t know’.

Top of the pile were Virgin Atlantic (18 per cent) and British Airways (12 per cent), with no-frills operators Ryanair and Easyjet topping the list of companies consumers thought were not taking environmental issues seriously, with 30 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

Costley said: “This again calls for the travel industry to make more noise on this subject, and give consumers sufficient information for them to offer an educated opinion on companies’ attitudes to the environment.”