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Friday, July 12, 2024

“Thai Travelers Aim to Improve Destinations: Booking.com Report 2024”

Booking.com announces its Sustainable Travel Report 2024, with insights gathered from more than 31,000 travelers across 34 countries and territories, revealing the latest consumer attitudes, priorities and influences related to sustainable travel. While the annual research reveals a continued sense of desire and awareness, new insights show a sense of weariness could be emerging globally, fueled by the ongoing challenges that travelers experience to make more sustainable travel choices.

Responsibility towards sustainable travel

Responsibilities extend to how consumers are being supported to fulfill their intentions and the role they feel they can play in tackling the negative impacts of travel also highlights their expectations around collaboration.

  • A noteworthy 84% of Thai travelers say they want to leave the places they visit better than when they arrived (up from 81% last year)
  • 50% think they themselves have the potential to counteract the social impacts of travel.
  • Yet, Thai travelers (39%) think governments hold the most potential for countering the economic effects. While 46% believe travel service providers hold the key to addressing environmental factors.
  • Furthermore, 42% of them believe that governments are responsible for educating people on the impacts of travel and tourism.
  • Coming across an accommodation labeled as more sustainable is more appealing to 63% of Thai travelers and consistency of certification standards is critical to identifying these options.
  • With 78% agreeing that all travel booking sites should use the same sustainable certifications or labels.
  • However, the number of travelers who are interested to learn more about why the accommodation was given this label is down 26% percentage points (at 56%) when compared with the same time last year, indicating a need for simple, clear communication that enables easy decision-making regardless of priorities.

Sustainable travel facing a challenge

The report shows that 94% of Thai travelers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them, while 30% of them feel even traveling more sustainably is important, but not a primary consideration when planning or booking a trip. However, 46% of Thai travelers report they are tired of hearing about climate change all the time.

With this in mind, the opportunity for collective action is more pertinent than ever, in order to ensure that progress toward a more sustainable travel industry remains a priority.

  • Looking ahead, 85% of Thai travelers say that they want to travel more sustainably over the next 12 months, and 58% would feel guilty when they make less sustainable travel choices.
  • When it comes to motivators among those who want to travel more sustainably, 18% want to do so because they believe it’s the right thing to do.

On the other hand, a sense of disillusion towards making more sustainable travel choices may be counteracting those intentions. New areas of exploration researched for the first time this year reveal that some travelers don’t recognize the importance of being more mindful of their impact.

  • 57% of Thai travelers feel that the damage already done is irreversible and that the travel choices they make are not going to change that.
  • Some feel their time spent traveling is too precious to put sustainability at the top of their decision-making list (46%)
  • More than half (56%) of Thai travelers believe that being more sustainable in a destination that is not implementing sustainability practices itself feels pointless.

 Sustainable silver linings

Despite the emerging frustrations, travelers who say they are making more mindful choices also feel that more sustainable travel experiences are actually adding value to their trips.

  • 79% of Thai travelers recognize that they are the best version of themselves when they travel more sustainably and consequently take home this positivity.
  • Whereas 80% feel that witnessing sustainable practices while traveling inspires them to be more sustainable in their everyday life.
  • Thai travelers have adopted sustainable behaviors on their travels, with 96% having done tours or activities for authentic, local, and cultural experiences, 97% shopped at small, independent stores, and 95% planned their trips so that they could walk, bike, or take public transport.

“It’s important that we continue ensuring that more sustainable options are not only readily available, but also easy to trust and understand. That’s where we believe further education, clear and consistent standards and credible third-party certification of legitimate sustainable practices across the travel experience can really help. While the signals of consumer frustration should be a concern, it’s also a reminder to maintain our focus on the impactful work we know can make a difference not only for travelers, but for communities and destinations everywhere,” said Danielle D’Silva, Head of Sustainability at Booking.com.

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