When does the sustainable offensive take place? The latest publications of the IPCC report have clearly sounded the alarm about our time to react and adapt to the situation. The tourism sector has gone through decades of questioning, research, innovation, reflection, but above all … of solutions. The time needed to allow the sustainable concept to mature and mobilize its troops. However, the market offer does not yet follow the ongoing emergency. According to a survey conducted by the Nouvelle Lune agency of different travel influencer communities, 91.9% want travel agencies to offer a sustainable offer, which leads us to the following question: is the offer sustainable?
Between conscience and initiative, the public oscillates
In collaboration with Digital Green Tourism (DGT), this survey was conducted at the end of 2021 among over 5,000 people, corresponding to the communities of 11 French travel influencers. The data show a problematic reality in the sector: even if 98.5% are aware that tourism has an impact on the environment and 84% believe that responsible tourism is, today, essential; 40% of them do not (yet) implement actions to travel responsibly.
As for the 60% who undertake to apply solutions to their own scale, we find mobility, through the type of transport and the duration of the trip, in addition to the choice of accommodation, alongside environmentally friendly and local support actions, initiatives socio-economic and cultural.
At the level of consumers there is therefore a certain gap between awareness and initiative. Some say they do not feel “eco-responsible” despite taking some actions, and others regret that few solutions are available to make it easier to undertake responsible travel.
When the question isn’t up to par
There is a growing need for education and information, accessible and adapted to the general public on sustainable tourism. However, it is above all a general invitation to the industry to finally implement the full integration of positive impact travel offers and to address the socio-economic and environmental issues involved.
92% of respondents would like travel agencies to offer sustainable offers. But here it is a question of a concrete need for transparency at the level of marketing communication, generation of positive impact through products as well as a real socio-environmental management commitment. Goodbye the greenwashing and niche products, it’s a value proposition for every offering that the public is fond of, so we’re talking about a paradigm shift.
Health, blame and responsibility: the decision-making trio
“In the current context, I forbid myself from traveling for lack of a sustainable proposal”, “We are obliged to voluntarily limit ourselves to being reasonable and responsible” confides some of the interviewees. The perception of responsible travel reflects in this sense more or less radical decisions, governed by reason, by guilt or by self-responsibility, according to the beliefs and point of view of each one. This radicalism brings us back to our main problem: the lack of an integrated offer, commitment and an adequate solution for the general public.
95% believe sustainable travel is necessary to continue exploring in the face of the climate emergency we face. But beyond the simple tourist fact, it is a new vision of travel that must be generalized: that of the generation of positive impact, the minimization of the carbon footprint, the altruistic goal of discovering territories, the conservation of cultural and environmental resources. .
Sustainable tourism is no longer an “alternative” but a new reality that some major players in the sector are still resisting. The second part of the IPCC’s 6th assessment report, released on February 28, told us well: anticipating will cost much less than repairing. In addition to adapting the market offer, action must be taken by implementing this new way of traveling required by the general public, that of sensible, respectful and committed tourism.
Nomadic consultant who meets the actors of sustainable tourism of tomorrow, Tiffany Farina highlights and questions innovations with a positive impact. Through his experiences and projects, he highlights the place of alternative forms of tourism in the sector.
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