Responsible Travel Trends and Statistics: Business Case for Sustainability in Tourism


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April 15, 2015

For travel brands and tourism industry organizations, it's important to stay up-to-date on market data and industry research in order to make informed decisions about product design, business growth and strategy development. And this is also true for decisions and directions regarding sustainability and responsible business practices.

As many recent surveys and market analyses indicate, sustainability practices are critical to the tourism industry not only from the perspective of social and moral responsibilities, but also because they are key to business success in today's increasingly conscious consumer markets.

New Responsible Travel Trends Report

The report "The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends and Statistics 2015" by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) examines a wide range of surveys and studies done in the past five years to assess the state of responsible travel around the world. The newly published report is the third edition of CREST's annual meta-analysis research series, and updates earlier editions based on recent data on consumer and industry demand for responsible travel.

Responsible Travel Trends and Statistics
Download the report: "Responsible Travel Trends and Statistics 2015" by CREST

Responsible travel is defined by CREST as "travel that minimizes negative impacts, brings economic benefits to host communities, and preserves the cultural and natural resources of the destinations".

According to the 2015 report, responsible travel is both a growing trend in the global tourism industry - with "sustained interest among consumers in tourism products and services that protect the environment and respect local cultures" - and an important business driver, as "sustainability is becoming much more mainstream within the tourism industry."

UNESCO forecasts that sustainable tourism will go from ‘alternative’ to ‘mainstream’ within a decade.

The Case for Responsible Travel

Based on the data collected for this report, CREST concludes that today sustainability is not long a life style choice; it is a requirement for business success.

"In a growing number of destinations, the business leaders, citizens, and government authorities are realizing that safeguarding their distinctive sense of place—cultural assets, natural habitats, historic feature, scenic appeal—are essential for reaping the benefits of responsible tourism. A trend to encourage."  - Jonathan Tourtellot, Geotourism Editor, National Geographic Traveler

"[The report]", notes Dr. Martha Honey, CREST Executive Director, "documents the strength and resilience of responsible travel among consumers, businesses, and destinations. But it also demonstrates the critical necessity of adhering to sustainable environmental and social practices if tourism is going to help to address two of our most critical global problems, the wealth gap and climate change."

The CREST study is published and distributed in collaboration with leading tourism organizations and institutions including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Sustainable Travel International, and The Travel Foundation.

About CREST: Responsible Tourism as a Development and Conservation Tool

Center for Responsible TravelThe Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a non-profit research institute that works to advance responsible tourism policies and practices around the world. CREST uses policy-oriented research to design, monitor, evaluate, and improve the social and environmental committments of responsible tourism, as well as to promote sustainable practices and principles within the wider tourism industry.

CREST views responsible tourism as a development and conservation tool that has the potential to address some of the most complex and compelling issues of our times, including poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage preservation, and promoting peaceful, sustainable and economically viable solutions for local community development.

TrainingAid is an international tourism e-learning company offering online training courses and skills development opportunities for tourism professionals.