ATLANTA, Feb. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- People are more mindful than ever about traveling consciously following the COVID-19 pandemic, reveals a new global survey by IHG Hotels & Resorts. The commissioned research is part of IHG's launch of 'Journey to Tomorrow': a 10-year action plan comprising a series of far-reaching new commitments to make a positive difference in communities around the world and help shape the future of responsible travel.
More than half of the 9,000 adults surveyed across the US, UK, China, the UAE, Germany and Australia – with almost two thirds in the US – agree 2020 and Covid-19 has made them more socially and environmentally conscious about their impact on the world when traveling. For Americans, younger travelers are far more likely to agree, with 78 percent of 18-24-year-olds sharing this sentiment, compared to just 27 percent of those 55 and over.
It appears travelers not only intend to do more for the planet and communities around them, they are willing to pay for it too. The research found that Americans will spend an average of 41 percent more on an accommodation they know operates responsibly – with 47 percent happy to fork out more than 40 percent extra a night.
Connecting with purpose and putting communities first With the world traveling more domestically – or not at all – for now, it seems the pandemic has made consumers more conscious about preserving, and connecting with, the communities around them. More than a third of respondents in the US (38 percent) say they will be more mindful about their travel choices following the pandemic. The number one consideration was how ethical and responsible the hotel brand is in creating an inclusive work environment, supporting jobs, providing skills training and education, and protecting human rights (42 percent), followed by avoiding tourist activities that could have a negative impact on the local environment and communities (38 percent).
84 percent of Americans surveyed say it is important to get to know the local community when visiting somewhere new, with more than half (55 percent) doing this by supporting local eateries. Furthermore, 3 in 10 respondents globally choose to stay with travel companies that offer local community programs. As for activities such as volunteering and restoration projects, young American travelers aged 18-24 are nearly six times as likely to get involved when visiting another country, compared to those 55 and over.
Traveling smarter for a sustainable future The appetite for kinder, greener travel is ripe. An incredible 82 percent of adults around the world, along with 66 percent of Americans, say they are committed to taking their everyday sustainability habits with them when they travel, with minimizing food waste and recycling taking the top spot in the US as a priority.
And it seems sustainability doesn't need to take a backseat on vacation. Hotels are a welcome spot to practice better behaviors: for global travelers, the two most popular habits included re-using towels and walking short distances to explore the local area. And, when asked what people would avoid so they could be more responsible travelers, 36 percent of US respondents said they would avoid leaving the air conditioning on when they leave the room.
Our Journey to Tomorrow
Keith Barr, CEO, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: "As we look to the future, the global response to Covid-19 reminded us what can be achieved when we come together and work towards the greater good. This has made us all more conscious than ever about caring for people, communities and planet. Journey to Tomorrow embodies IHG's strengthened commitment to make sure we do what's right, not just what's needed, and we are determined to contribute towards positive social and economic change, to stand up for key issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion and human rights, and to make more responsible environmental choices.
A great guest experience at our hotels is inextricably linked to operating thoughtfully and growing sustainably. So while travel may have been temporarily paused for many, we want the next stage of our journey to be successful in every sense of the word."
The ambitions and commitments are firmly rooted in an understanding of what is most important to colleagues, guests and partners across the world when it comes to doing business in the right way, as well as how IHG can play its part in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in this important 10 years of action. For decades, IHG has been championing its purpose of True Hospitality, from providing skills and education to supporting young people and taking action for environmental change, to partnering with experts globally on urgent causes such as humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.
Commenting on IHG's Journey to Tomorrow, Laurie Lee, Chief Executive Officer,CARE International UK said: "For the past decade, IHG Hotels & Resorts has demonstrated its commitment to responsible travel by working with CARE International UK to respond to emergencies around the world with a special focus on providing safe shelter. IHG's support of CARE has remained firm despite the unprecedented challenges facing the travel industry – and the communities we serve – as a result of the pandemic. In the past year alone, CARE and IHG provided essential COVID-19 prevention resources to almost 5,000 people in the Bogor district of Indonesia, a region severely affected by floods and subsequent COVID-19 outbreaks.
Furthermore, with IHG's support, CARE helped nearly 20,000 people following Vanuatu's devastating cyclone by providing emergency materials as well as the training and tools to rebuild homes. These life-saving humanitarian efforts are critical to helping communities respond to and recover from crises wherever they happen, and we look forward to continuing the next decade of action with IHG."
With a family of 16 brands and almost 6,000 hotels and resorts at the heart of local communities around the globe, IHG is here when travelers are ready. IHG recognizes the power of collaboration and will join forces with all who stay, work and partner with them to reduce carbon emissions in line with climate science, eliminate single-use items or move to reusable/recyclable alternatives, reduce food waste, and collaborate locally to tackle water sustainability in high-risk areas.
Join the journey: More information on IHG's Journey to Tomorrow can be found here, including information on the plan, ambitions, detailed commitments, and to follow the progress.
All the figures are from OnePoll, a survey-led marketing research company specialising in online and mobile polling. It has offices in London and Bristol, U.K.
9,000 people were surveyed: 2,000 in the United States, 2,000 in the United Kingdom, 2,000 in Greater China, 1,000 in Germany, 1,000 in the UAE and 1,000 in Australia.
Survey was conducted online between 20 and 28 January 2021.
The figures stated have been weighted and are representative of adults (18+) who travel for business/leisure in every region.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns nearly 6,000 hotels and 890,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries, with approximately 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG Rewards, our global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 400,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.