Monday, November 19

American travellers say price trumps being green

(Originally published in TOURISM)

In a recent TravelMole report, David Wilkening writes that Americans are still not willing to pay higher prices for suppliers showing environmental concerns, according to the Travel Industry Association (TIA) and Y Partnership. However, a recent survey found they are leaning more in that direction.

"More than half of all US adults say they would be more likely to select an airline, rental car or hotel that uses more environmentally friendly products and processes, according to the latest travelhorizons survey. But while more than half of US adults may be advocates of environmental responsibility, only 14% of respondents said their actual selection of a travel service supplier would be influenced by that supplier's efforts to preserve and protect the environment."

The survey found that just 13% would be willing to pay higher rates or fares to use suppliers who demonstrate environmental responsibility, while 56% said they might do so. "The amount of the rate or fare premium appears to be the source of their hesitation," concludes the survey.

"The results of the survey suggest that awareness of a travel service supplier's efforts to operate in an environmentally responsible manner may be sufficient to attract additional patronage, but not at a significantly higher fare or rate," said Suzanne Cook, TIA's senior vice president of research. She added: "The 'value assessment' consumers ascribe to any travel service transaction appears to remain the primary determinant of their actual purchase behavior."

Get 'em while they're young

(Originally published in TOURISM)

World Youth Student and Exchange (WYSE) director general David Jones says young travellers of today are the trendsetters of tomorrow.

Quoted by Joachim Fischer in eTurboNews, Jones comments, "we have an opportunity to enrich the value of their travel experiences and promote responsible and sustainable travel habits."

The WYSE met this year in Istanbul for the World Youth and Student Exchange Travel Conference to share market and Industry knowledge, strengthen long-term business relationships, and plan for the future, and network with peers. With a network of over 5,000 locations in 118 countries, WYSE members provide international travel and educational experience for more than 10 million youth and students each year.

According to the eTurboNews article, WYSE unveiled its forecast for this niche market drawiong on survey responses from more than 8,500 young travelers. The study revealed that young independent travelers today average more than seven trips in their lifetime, spending an average of 1,915 euros. The average spending rose to 40% percent since the first research in 2002.

The study also revealed that youth travelers use the internet to book their trips (surged from 10 percent in 2002 to 50 percent in 2007), and that 80 percent use the internet to search for information about their trips.

For young people travel is a way of life, the study revealed. "Very few are deterred by terrorism, natural disasters or epidemics." Australia, the United States and France are the most popular destinations for young travelers, while Thailand, New Zealand and Australia are the most popular destinations for backpackers.