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Carbon offsetting and sustainability are key for younger travellers

By Ashley Norris

Nearly half of Gen Z want operators to offset carbon emissions

Carbon offsetting and sustainability are key for younger travellers

Sustainability is a key criteria for making travel choices, especially for younger consumers, a report reveals.

A survey of 2,153 people by YouGov for travel company Intrepid Travel discovered that as many as 58 per cent of people believe that managing the environmental impact of their journey is important when booking trips and holidays.

The report found that Gen Z (people born after the mid-90s) are most concerned about travelling in a sustainable way. In particular, they are keen their operator offsets carbon emissions, with 44 per cent saying this was important, compared to just 20 per cent of baby boomers.

Overall 38 per cent of the respondents wanted the opportunity to give back to local communities, 35 per cent want to see a ban on single-use plastics and 28 per cent are keen on offsetting carbon emissions.

The report underlines an ongoing trend of consumers becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their travels. These concerns have helped spur a number of announcements from companies recently including World Expeditions which says all of its trips will be carbon neutral as of 1 November – at no extra cost to its clients.

Meanwhile Bamboo Travel has announced plans to offset 1.5 tons of carbon for each client it sends on its holidays in Asia through a partnership with Gold Standard, a major player in the offsetting market.

The report’s author, Intrepid Travel, has been carbon-neutral since 2010 and offsets all of the 2,000 trips that it sells through buying carbon credits in renewable energy schemes. Next year it will extend its offsetting to flights that clients book, as well as the trips they take.

Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton said: “Like most of our travellers, Gen Z are open to new destinations, they want to travel for personal growth and they want to interact with locals to build greater understanding of the many cultures around the world.

“However, more so than other generations, they have a genuine – almost intrinsic – desire to make a difference and to change the world; ultimately, making this generation one of the most socially-conscious and philanthropic.”

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