British Tourists Get Greener?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Green is a popular thing to be. We now have our first Green MP. We have sustainable tourism and an ever increasing number of eco-friendly holidays. You can offset your air travel by carbon offsetting where trees are planted to replace the amount of carbon that were used when you fly on holiday.

Are we becoming greener in our holiday and travel habits? And how do we compare with other countries? National Geographic and a Canadian market research company called GlobeScan have just released the results of their 3rd annual Greendex Study that has looked at 17 nations around the world and their attitudes to green issues. It is a methodical, well researched study unlike some of the ones mentioned in CD-Traveller. Short on researching and analysing the impacts of green tourism, there are a few indications to be found but only a few. The problem is there isn’t very much around of quality to compare it with.

Out of the 17 countries, Britons are one of the peoples least likely to use planes regularly. 29% of us never use them and 45%, only once a year or less. So virtually three quarters of us use other modes of transport. Given that we are a collection of small countries with a train and motorway structure maybe that’s not surprising. Only 2% of us claim to fly at least once a month. Compared to the 2009 study, the number of Britons never flying has risen. That may be due to increased airfares the rise in APD and  surcharges for fuel, baggage, checking-in and the like. But the rise was much greater than the average of all countries surveyed.  This year, given the volcanic ash incident it may rise even further.  The 2010 study says that Britons are the nation that has the highest in the very concerned category about financial and economic issues.  It seems that we are probably not seeing much if any of an increase in green attitudes to air travel. Change is due to financial constraints and charges.

Hopefully next year, National Geographic might consider adding some questions and analysis on eco and sustainable tourism

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