Research by IHG Hotels & Resorts into travel in a post-Covid world reveals that young people are particularly concerned about travelling in a socially and environmentally considerate way. Olivia Palamountain reports

A survey by IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) of 9,000 people across the US, UK, Germany, Greater China, the UAE and Australia found that 60 per cent of respondents agree that they want to be more environmentally and socially conscious on their travels.

However, when broken down by generation, it was found that 69 per cent of Gen Z travellers (aged 18 to 24) felt strongly about responsible travel, compared to just 48 per cent of 55s and over.

In total, 86 per cent of people surveyed say it is important to get to know the local community when visiting somewhere new. However, the data showed that Gen Z travellers are nearly three times as likely to get involved in volunteering and restoration projects when visiting another country than the over 55s.

When asked about the impact of the pandemic on people’s attitudes towards responsible travel, 53 per cent of respondents said that the crisis has made them more socially and environmentally conscious, while 57 per cent said they care more about doing their bit for local communities and the planet while travelling than they did ten years ago.

Encouragingly, the data also revealed that consumers are happy to put their money where their mouths are, with 82 per cent saying it is important to choose a hotel brand that operates responsibly, and that they will spend an average of 31 per cent per night more on accommodation that meets this need. 51 per cent are happy to fork out more than 20 per cent extra a night on a responsible hotel.

However, there is work that needs to be done when it comes to the personal responsibility of hotel guests. Apparently, less that half (49 per cent) had re-used towels, while just 47 per cent have avoided leaving the air conditioner on when they’re not in the room and 33 per cent have avoided having their bedding washed daily.

IHG Travel Better surveyAs a company, IHG itself says it is taking responsible travel to the next level following the Covid-19 pandemic with the launch of Journey To Tomorrow, “a series of far-reaching commitments to drive change for people, communities and the planet over the next ten years”.

In an open letter, IHG’s CEO, Keith Barr, said that the global response to Covid-19 has shown what can be achieved when organisations bring together expertise, resources and compassion for the greater good.

He said: “Journey to Tomorrow embodies IHG’s strengthened commitment to make sure we do what’s right, not just what’s needed. We want every IHG stakeholder to see that we’re on a journey to be successful in every sense of the word, and we are determined to contribute towards positive social and economic change, to stand up for key issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion, and human rights, and to make more responsible environmental choices.

“I believe that how we grow as a company and work to be a greater force for good are inextricably linked. So, we are empowering our colleagues, and working together with our hotel owners and our industry to help shape the future of responsible travel. It’s never been more crucial that we do.”

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