Holidaymakers are now more likely to choose a resort with green energy credentials, a recent survey has shown. Germany-based TUI Group, the largest travel and tourism company in the world, asked its customers if an eco-friendly holiday was available would they book it. 57% said they would.
This eagerness to embrace resorts with an enthusiasm for green energy was echoed by the fact 53% said they have a higher opinion of companies that care about their carbon footprint. It is little wonder that more and more holiday providers are working to increase their provision of sustainable holiday offerings.
Holiday Hypermarket’s Ian Crawford noted how over the last few years there’s been a “a real increase in both interest and demand for eco-friendly travel. Eco-resorts aren’t all cold showers and compost toilets nowadays, they’re everything from wellness resorts in the Algarve to five-star Greek island hotels, which means people book an all-inclusive holiday and still do their bit for the planet in the process.”
Accreditation from the likes of Travelife mean resorts can certify their sustainability efforts through self-assessment. Launched in 2007, the system and its criteria have been developed through a multi-stakeholder consultation process involving a range of relevant parties including tour operators, trade associations, audit firms and academia. It is now recognised as one of the most comprehensive and credible tools highlighting green businesses in the tourism sector.
Crawford said it doesn’t cost extra to enjoy ethical or green leisure. “Three in five Brits have said they’d prefer to travel sustainably if they could, and we’re at a point now where it doesn’t cost any more to book an eco-friendly option. It’s a real misconception that to do the ethical thing you have to spend more money. You can book a four- or five-star, Travelife Gold certified hotel for under £400 per person, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more resorts shouting about their green credentials as time goes on.”
For example, the four-star luxury hotel Robinson Quinta da Ria in Portugal gets all of its electricity from solar panels, uses energy efficient technologies and works with local youth organisations on community projects. At The Whitepod Eco Resort, in the Swiss Alps you can enjoy a winter wonderland in luxurious pods that use minimal water and electricity, drawing energy from renewable sources.
Elsewhere, you can have the URBN hotel in China, the country’s first carbon neutral hotel, and to The Ramada Eco Beach Resort in Australia which boasts self-sustaining solar power and its own bespoke water recycling plant.
Eco-friendly all-inclusive offerings are rightly on the up. With this year’s World Tourism Day centred around Sustainable Tourism, it’s a trend that looks set to continue.