Even though 95% of Indian travellers surveyed expressed the importance of sustainable travel, over half believe that irreversible harm has already been done, Booking's ninth 'Sustainable Travel Report 2024' says. The report disclosed that nearly two-thirds (62%) of Indian travellers admitted they would feel guilty if their travel choices were less sustainable, with 20% desiring to travel more sustainably due to their belief in its ethical correctness.

Based on insights from over 31,000 travellers across 34 countries and territories, including 1,000 from India, the report revealed a growing disillusionment towards making sustainable travel choices, despite positive intentions. A quarter (24%) of Indian travellers acknowledged the importance of sustainability but didn't prioritise it when planning trips. The report also noted that more than half (52%) perceived the damage is irreversible, believing their individual choices wouldn't impact this.

While 42% of Indian travellers believe they can positively impact the social aspects of travel, an equal percentage (42%) believe that the government is best positioned to address economic challenges, and another 42% see travel service providers as key players in mitigating environmental factors.

Moreover, 39% doubted the severity of climate change, while 47% prioritised their travel time too much to prioritise sustainability. Additionally, over half (53%) felt that being sustainable in a destination lacking sustainability practices seemed futile.

Nearly half of travellers, at 48%, are attracted to accommodations labelled as more sustainable. The importance of consistent certification standards is emphasised, with almost three-quarters (73%) of travellers believing that all travel booking platforms should adopt the same sustainable certifications or labels.

Santosh Kumar, Booking.com's country manager for India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia, says, “In its 9th year now, Sustainable Travel Report 2024 presents a timely picture on traveller views, perceptions, habits and potential barriers when it comes to more sustainable travel. Each year, we see travellers expressing their intentions and commitments to making more sustainable travel choices, but this year’s new insights show that a sense of weariness could be emerging fuelled by the ongoing challenges that they experience to make more sustainable travel choices.”

“With many travellers believing the damage already done is irreversible and the choices they make will not change that, we believe that working together across the industry, simple changes when taken together can start to make a big difference. At Booking.com, our mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, and that includes providing a platform that makes it easier to take the next important steps together on our collective journey to a more sustainable future for travel,” he adds.

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