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Tourists Support Green Travel but Reluctant to Pay More

Tourists Support Green Travel but Reluctant to Pay More

Timerilis.com – Travelers around the world and especially in Europe support greener travel, but they tend to be reluctant with the additional costs, according to a survey of 5,000 people by the motoring association ADAC released this month.

In Germany, the economic powerhouse of the European Union, for example, 24 percent of travelers believe ecological sustainability is an important criterion when booking a package vacation. However, only 5-10 percent are willing to pay additional costs for sustainability purposes.

“The problem is that people don’t want to pay more for sustainability,” said the Head of Research and Product Strategy at travel research firm Phocuswright Charuta Fadnis as reported by Reuters on Tuesday.

That leaves the tourism industry questioning how to become greener as it faces slim margins and the post-pandemic recovery is still hampered by global travel restrictions, such as the slow return of visas available to Chinese tourists.

Carbon offsets have been available in the market for years, with many airlines offering voluntary investment programs. But uptake has been limited and there are questions about how effective offsets are.

Thomas Fowler, Director of Sustainability for Irish airline Ryanair, told Reuters earlier this year that few were willing to pay the few euros to take part in a carbon offset program.

“Less than 3 percent of our customers use it,” he said.

German flagship carrier Lufthansa in February also began offering more expensive “green fares” on some flights, to offset the burden on the climate by 20 percent through the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and 80 percent through financing climate protection projects.

The green fare is integrated into the price, unlike Lufthansa’s existing opt-in fee, but according to the company, passenger response has been very low at 0.1 percent. Trials for the new integrated offer in Scandinavia showed a similarly low but at least better uptake rate of 2 percent.

According to Charuta Fadnis, the younger generation is more committed to sustainability, but without the desire to pay more, businesses have to be more creative.

Some travel operators insist that climate-friendly tourism need not cost the world and can sometimes even be a cheaper option. (Tr/Rd)

Source: ANTARA