64+ Sustainable Travel Statistics, Facts, and Trends [2023]

64+ sustainable tourism statistics
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Are you interested in sustainable tourism?

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We’ve gathered the latest statistics, facts, and trends related to sustainable travel and compiled them into a comprehensive list.

Let’s dive right in:

  • Sustainable tourism is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.54%, adding $335.93B between 2022 and 2027.
  • The term “sustainable travel” has grown by +61% in global searches over the past two years.
  • Sustainable travel is important to 80% of global travelers.
sustainable travel is important to 80% of global travelers
  • Roughly 76% of travelers want to travel in a greener way in the next 12 months.
  • About 81% of people are willing to change their travel behavior to reduce their environmental impact.
  • Over half of travelers (60%) are open to paying more to businesses prioritizing environmental stewardship.
  • A lack of information and knowledge is the main barrier to sustainable travel for 32% of individuals.
  • Roughly 70% of employees are unaware of their organization’s green policies for corporate travel.
  • Almost two-thirds of people (63%) feel booking sites, travel agencies, and tour operators should be required to disclose the carbon footprint of the flights and other travel products they offer.
  • Approximately 83% of Americans feel guilty about their past travel choices, worrying their trips weren’t environmentally friendly.
  • Eight in 10 global travelers prioritize sustainable travel.
Top Countries That Believe in the Importance of Sustainable TravelShare
  • Consumers want sustainable options in various destinations: major cities/towns (43%), lesser-known cities or towns (34%), and resorts (23%).
  • Nearly three-quarters of travelers (72%) would opt for a greener flight if offered.
  • About seven in 10 travelers (67%) report purchasing carbon offsets when booking plane, bus, or train tickets.
  • Six in 10 people are willing to prioritize eco-friendliness over convenience when making travel decisions.
60% of travelers prioritize eco-friendliness over convenience
  • Close to 60% of individuals have lodged at least once at a place that implemented sustainable practices.
  • For 74% of consumers, choosing a lodging, destination, or transportation option that gives back to the local community and culture is worth the extra cost.
  • About 70% of tourists are willing to pay extra for eco-friendly accommodation, with “16–20% more” being the most common amount.
Sacrifices Consumers Are Willing to Make to Be More SustainableShare
Convenience (i.e., walking vs. using a car)50%
Comfort (i.e., taking public transport vs. taxi)49%
Time to travel to a destination(s)47%
The convenience of lodging (i.e., distance from destination, amenities offered)47%
Transport time while at or nearby destination(s)43%
Comfort of lodging43%
  • Visiting destinations during the off-season to avoid overcrowding is a viable option for 42% of travelers.
  • More than a third of tourists (36%) are willing to cut back on single-use plastics.
  • About 30% of travelers are open to driving rather than flying.
  • A quarter of consumers prefer to book trips with eco-friendly hotels and travel companies.
  • Three in four people are likely to book sustainable travel options in the future.
Reasons to Opt for Sustainable TravelShare
To care about the impact of traveling and future generations50.5%
To improve one’s travel experience26.8%
To follow the trend of traveling sustainably13.2%
Peer and societal pressure8.4%
  • Three in 10 people are constantly searching for brands that support sustainability.
  • Nearly half of tourists (43%) plan sightseeing in a way that allows them to use sustainable transportation options (e.g., walking, biking, public transport).
  • Roughly 43% of travelers prefer small, independent stores.
  • Nearly seven in 10 travelers want their spending to benefit the local community.
Who Should Bear the Most Responsibility for Reducing the Impact of Travel?Share
Shared responsibility36.9%
  • If a place had a sustainable certification, 65% would feel better about staying there.
  • Most travelers (59%) want a filtering option showing accommodation with a sustainable certification during their next booking.
  • Almost seven in 10 travelers (69%) consciously try to find sustainable options, regularly or occasionally.
  • Just under 60% of travelers have engaged in sustainable practices in recent years.
Sustainable Steps Taken by Travelers on Vacation (in the Past 12 Months)Share
Turned off the lights and appliances in accommodation when they weren’t there77%
Turned the AC off in accommodation when they weren’t there67%
Re-used the same towel multiple times60%
Used their reusable water bottle 55%
Recycled their garbage45%
Opted out of having their room cleaned daily 40%
  • Nearly 70% of consumers have skipped a travel destination or transportation option because they doubted the authenticity of their commitment to sustainability.
  • Around 89% of Americans plan to travel more sustainably in the future.
Main Sustainable Initiatives Travelers Are Willing To Adopt WorldwideShare
Use a travel mug/water bottle84%
Eat and shop in places owned by locals83%
Adopt behaviors useful not to waste local resources80%
Stay in locally-owned accommodation76%
Avoid activities that aren’t socially responsible or respectful of the environment/the wildlife74%
Pick accommodation with a green certification68%
Support local tour companies63%
Travel to a closer destination to reduce one’s carbon footprint63%
Bring goods to donate to local population when visiting underprivileged regions62%
Switch transportation modes for a lower carbon impact60%
Participate in a travel offset program to compensate for carbon footprint59%
Volunteer with NGOs to join community tourism projects49%
  • Nearly 74% of travelers expect more sustainable travel options from companies, an increase from 66% in 2022.
  • About 80% of people have become more aware of responsible tourism thanks to social media.
  • Almost half of travelers (48%) think climate change will affect their travel plans.
  • Close to 43% of travelers claim to be well-informed on sustainability, citing social media and news as primary sources of education on the subject.
  • Recent news about climate change has swayed more than half of travelers (53%) toward making more sustainable choices.

Blockers and Obstacles for More Sustainable Tourism

  • A full 70% of consumers find it daunting to start the process of being a sustainable traveler.
  • Half of travelers think sustainable travel choices are overpriced, a rise of 11% from last year.
  • Nearly half of travelers (48%) find choosing sustainable lodging the most challenging aspect of sustainable travel. It’s followed by 37% who said reducing the carbon footprint was their biggest hurdle.
  • Approximately one in two people (47%) are seeking advice on how to be a sustainable traveler while staying within budget.
  • Over half of travelers (51%) believe there need to be more sustainable travel options.
51% of travelers want more sustainable travel options
  • Close to 49% of travelers are seeking discounts and other incentives to choose eco-friendly options, up 12% from 2022.
  • About 42% of travelers would be motivated to travel more sustainably if given reward points that they could later use for discounts or extra perks.
  • Roughly 44% need help finding sustainable travel choices.
  • Four in 10 travelers are unsure where and how to locate tours and activities contributing to the local community.
  • Despite obstacles and financial constraints, 59% of travelers are more committed to making sustainable choices than a year ago.

Consumers’ Need for Information About Sustainable Travel Options

  • One in three travelers lacks knowledge about sustainable travel options, suggesting a lack of clear communication from tour operators and travel agents.
  • Seven in 10 people want to know why certain options are recognized as more sustainable.
Types of Sustainable Travel Information Consumers Want To See During Trip PlanningShare
Recommendations for locally-owned businesses and restaurants at or near a destination 45%
Environmentally-friendly transportation alternatives 45%
Guidance on respectful interaction with local cultures and communities in a travel destination43%
Accommodation options that have a lower environmental impact 42%
Recommendations for destinations that support indigenous cultures and heritages 42%
Walkable or bikeable destination recommendations 41%
Eco-friendly activity recommendations 41%
Suggestions for destinations that aren’t over-visited 39%
How to pack more sustainably 37%
Info on volunteering with or supporting local organizations at a destination 34%
  • Travelers prefer to see sustainable travel information through listings and information pages on travel sites (54%).
  • Two-thirds of travelers (67%) want to receive environmental information during their stay.
  • Around 66% of consumers seek more sustainability information from lodging and transportation providers.

Business Travel vs. Sustainability

  • About 89% of working professionals say their company has prioritized sustainability.
  • Roughly 88% of the global business travel sector considers climate change the most critical area for action.
Importance of Hotel Sustainability for Business Travel Buyers Worldwide (as of October 2022)Share
Somewhat important41.5%
Very important28.6%
Not important3.4%
Crucial (we don’t partner with properties that fail to meet our sustainability criteria)2.7%
  • High costs (82%) and a lack of clear information (63%) are the top obstacles that prevent industry professionals from adopting more sustainable business travel management practices.
  • The travel industry still has a long way to go, with only 14% believing it’s well-advanced on sustainability. Yet, 76% of travel buyers have included or plan to include sustainability goals in their travel policies, indicating progress is being made.


What’s sustainable tourism?

Sustainable tourism aims to minimize negative impacts on the environment, economy, and local communities while providing a positive and fulfilling experience for travelers.

What’s the growth rate of sustainable tourism?

Sustainable tourism is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.54%, adding $335.93B between 2022 and 2027.

Do people care about sustainable travel?

Sustainable travel has become increasingly popular in recent years. So much so that 80% of global travelers claim that traveling more sustainably is important to them.

Why is sustainable tourism becoming more popular?

Sustainable tourism has grown due to greater awareness of issues like climate change, deforestation, displacement of indigenous people, and preservation of natural resources.

How does tourism affect the environment?

Tourism frequently strains natural resources, causing overconsumption, particularly in areas with limited resources. It can result in pollution, soil erosion, loss of natural habitats, and endangered species.

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