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Hong Kong tourists want to travel more sustainably

Consumer research suggests huge opportunity for hotel operators who embrace sustainability 

Sustainability must never be written off as a passing fad: New research suggest the trend is here to stay and why the HoReCa industry needs to embrace it. 

According to online travel agency Booking.com, 74 per cent of Hong Kong tourists prefer to travel more sustainably. 

The results show 86 per cent of tourists confirming sustainable travel is important, with half of the respondents (56 per cent) citing that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices.

The data was gathered from more than 30,000 travellers across 32 countries, highlighting the impact of their travel experiences.

A millennial tourist feeds a native quokka on Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia. More and more consumers are looking for sustainable travel destinations according to research from Booking.com.
Image: @placesofourlives via Twenty20.

Almost a third of the respondents from Hong Kong say that the sustainability efforts of accommodation and transport companies play a significant role in their travel decisions. Around three-quarters (73 per cent) said they would be more likely to select something more sustainable, regardless of their destination.

Seeking more sustainable stays, 46 per cent of Hong Kong tourists confirm they have seen eco-conscious accommodations on an online travel site over the past year, and 37 per cent claim they actively look for details on a property's sustainability efforts before they make a purchase reservation.

Furthermore, 50 per cent claim they have stayed in a sustainable accommodation at some time during the past year. Their reasons for choosing the place include: 

  • To reduce their carbon footprint.
  • To have a more locally-relevant experience.
  • A belief that sustainable properties treat communities better.

Curiously, of those who said they did not stay in a sustainable accommodation venue during the past year, 36 per cent said that was because they did not know such properties existed.

Resort World Sentosa in Singapore is one of the region's hotel destinations to be credited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Image: @Terryles via Twenty20


Booking.com says it plans to do more to help tourists discover more sustainable properties. One of its initiatives is to tag more than 100,000 listed on its platform with a "Travel Sustainable" badge. 

Such properties would have been approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), (including Singapore’s Resort World Sentosa), EU Ecolabel, Green Seal, Ibex Fairstay, Fair Trade Tourism, Leed, Edge, Nordic Swan Label, Green Hospitality, or Green Tourism. 

"With increased pressure on our natural resources and the undeniable impact our way of life is having on the environment, we are fully committed to leading the industry in charting a more mindful and responsible course for the future of travel," said Regina Chan, area manager of Booking.com.

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