‘Consumers care’: 71% of European travellers say sustainability is important to their travel, Accor report finds

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Europeans, with money to travel, are continuing to opt for hotels as their preferred choice of holiday accommodation but climate concerns are having an impact on booking behaviour, according to a new report from Accor.

Despite ongoing cost of living pressures, research carried out amongst 8,000 travellers across seven European countries, found that over half (54%) of participants believe they will have more money to spend on travel in 2024 than they did in 2023, compared to just 11% who say they’ll have less to spend.

Those in Poland were the most confident about their travel spending power this year compared to last, with 64% expecting an increased budget, followed by those in Germany, who were the second most confident (61%).

In Italy, the least confident of the seven nations, almost four times as many travellers expect increased budgets (44%) as those anticipating reduced budgets (12%).

The number of overseas leisure trips people expect to take is up slightly on the number they took last year, and international “bleisure” trips will also see an increase with one in five European travellers (19%) expecting to take at least one trip combining work and leisure in 2024.

Seven in ten travellers (71%) say sustainability is important to their travel. This was most evident in Italy where 82% of participants claim that having sustainable options is important to their decision-making process. This is followed by Spain (78%) and Poland (77%), with British travellers lagging behind (61%).

Three in four travellers (77%) say climate concerns will have an impact on their travel or booking behaviour, according to this report, and it will result in people travelling less frequently (11%); flying less (14%); and actively seeking sustainable accommodation providers or tour operators (10%).

“Despite ongoing macro-economic and geopolitical challenges, 2024 looks set to be a strong year for European travel as consumers prioritise it above other forms of discretionary spend,” said Accor Premium, Midscale and Economy, CEO for Europe and North Africa, Patrick Mendes.

“This report reinforces several overarching themes, none more important than the climate crisis. Consumers care about how travel businesses are addressing sustainability issues, and this will only become more important to their travel choices over time.

“The study highlights other crucial long-term trends. Consumer focus on wellness is here to stay. Bleisure is here to stay. Travel businesses must have a strategy to cater to these evolving needs, capture this significant demand and stay ahead of the competition.”

Hotels dominate as the most popular type of holiday accommodation for European travellers, with two-thirds (65%) planning to check-in to a hotel in 2024. Cost and location are the most important factors when selecting a hotel, however, travellers are also drawn to hotels that offer great in-person service, with 21% citing it as a key factor when booking a stay. Other booking drivers include great food and drink (37%), great ambiance (17%) and embracing the local destination (11%).

Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Greece are the top destinations for travellers in Europe, while 16% of European travellers intend to take a trip to North or Central America this year, with the same proportion planning a trip to Asia.



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