U.S. travelers are more familiar with sustainable travel terminology than they were two years ago but remain unwilling to pay more for eco-friendly travel options according to the July travelhorizons ™, the quarterly consumer survey provided by the U.S. Travel Association and Ypartnership, the Orlando-based marketing and research firm headed up by Peter Yesawich. Items from the July report include the following.
• While he percentage of American travelers who consider themselves 'environmentally conscious' has not changed since 2007 (78 percent) there has been a large increase in the percentage who report familiarity with the term “carbon footprint” (from 12 percent in July 2007 to 54 percent in July 2009).
• Awareness of the term “green travel” also improved from 9 percent in July 2007 to 22 percent in July 2009.
• Despite these increases, only 9 percent of consumers say they are willing to pay more to use travel service suppliers that offer eco-friendly options for travelers, and only three percent have purchased a carbon offset when booking travel.
• While consumers believe travel service suppliers should be good stewards of their environment, over half (54 percent) also believe that individuals themselves have the greatest responsibility for preserving and protecting the environment.
• The majority (51 percent) of consumers will continue to patronize “green” travel service suppliers regardless of an economic downturn. In fact, nearly half (48 percent) of travelers say that continuing to support environmentally-responsible travel service suppliers is a necessity, even in an economic downturn.