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    Global traveller report reveals shift towards sustainable travel

    A new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Group, together with Deloitte, has revealed a heightened appetite for sustainable tourism amongst consumers, with 69% of travellers actively seeking sustainable travel options.
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    Image source: Gallo/Getty

    The report also analyses the trends that shaped the travel and tourism sector in 2022 and will continue to do so over 2023.

    The A world in motion: shifting consumer travel trends in 2022 and beyond report, shows that sustainability is a key element of the travel agenda, with travellers eager to reduce their carbon footprint and support sustainable tourism.

    According to a survey included in the report, three-quarters of travellers are considering travelling more sustainably in the future1 and nearly 60% have chosen more sustainable travel options in the last couple of years.

    Another survey also found that around three-quarters of high-end travellers are willing to pay extra to make their trips more sustainable2.

    Last year, following more than two years of travel disruption, travellers made clear their wanderlust is very much alive, with a 109% increase of international overnight arrivals, compared to 2021.

    According to the report, last year consumers were willing to stretch their budget for their holiday plans, with 86% of travellers planning on spending the same amount or more on international travel than in 20193, with U.S. tourists leading the list as big spenders4.

    Traveller spend looking better

    Despite concerns about inflation and the cost-of-living crisis around the world, nearly a third (31%) of travellers said they intend to spend more on international travel this year than in 20223.

    Additionally, according to Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker, last year more than half (53%) of global consumers surveyed during the summer said they plan to stay in a hotel over the following three months.

    Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO, says: “The demand for travel is now stronger than ever and our report shows that this year we will see a significant bounce back. 2023 is set to be a very strong year for travel and tourism. Sustainability is top of travellers’ agenda, and consumers highlight the value they put on protecting nature and travelling responsibly.”

    Jane Sun, Group CEO, says: “Travel and tourism is a powerful force in driving the global economy, creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, and lifting communities out of poverty.

    “The Asia-Pacific region, with its rapidly growing middle-class and dynamic economies, is well-positioned to capitalise on the growth of the industry and take its place as a leader in the global tourism economy. I’m optimistic about the positive momentum for the global resumption and growth of travel in 2023, primarily driven by mainland Chinese consumers, which will help accelerate worldwide recovery and development.”

    Scott Rosenberger, Deloitte global transportation, hospitality and services sector leader says: “Travel is rebounding from the pandemic while innovating and meeting the demands of more modern alternative travel types, sustainable travel, luxury travel, and much more. Even the rise in inflation-driven financial concerns is not slowing the pace; incredibly travel is being prioritised and flexible/remote work arrangements are creating new opportunities. We are actively engaging with our clients as they embrace these new trends and create memorable experiences for consumers.”

    Other findings revealed in the report include:

    • 2022 sun and sea package holiday sales are estimated to be up 75% compared to the previous year
    • Last year during the summer, international arrivals in European sun and beach destinations were just 15% below 2019 levels
    • According to WTTC’s recent Cities Economic Impact Research, in 2022 visits to major cities are expected to see a 58% year-on-year increase, less than 14% below 2019 levels
    • Luxury holidays will prove particularly popular, with sales of luxury hotels expected to reach $92bn by 2025 (compared to $76bn in 2019)
    • In a survey, nearly 60% of travellers said they were either already paying to offset their carbon emissions or considering it if the price was right

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