Whether we’re holidaying across the UK or taking a trip abroad, we always look forward to our short break away from work. However, did you know that a lot of wealthy Romans took holidays that lasted two years?
The Office for National Statistics reported that in 2017 there were 72.8 million visits overseas by UK residents, showing a 3% increase on the previous year. This figure is only set to increase even further after a survey of 25,000 British travelers found that 11% of respondents would like to travel more in the future.
With this, more people are considering ‘alternative holidays’. But what does that actually mean for holidaymakers, local communities and businesses across the globe? Organic coffee retailers Traidcraft Shop takes a closer look…
Opting for new methods
Google data has shown a key interest in more sustainable trips from people in the UK. Along with veganism, flexitarianism and other lifestyle choices, these types of holidays have captured the public’s attention and will likely become the norm for future generations who will be more environmentally conscious.
A study from Booking.com found that almost 90% of global jet-setters want to travel more sustainably. With such high figures, it’s clear that this is a market more businesses in the hospitality and travel market should be tapping into. You could argue that sustainable travel is subject to a person’s environmental standpoint, and while this is true, the same report also revealed that 46% of people believe sustainable travel is staying in an eco-friendly or green accommodation.
Everyone has an opinion on sustainability. For example, 40% said that they wanted to reduce their environmental impact. On the other hand, 34% said this was to have a locally relevant experience and a further 33% said they wanted to feel good about where they rested.
But why? 60% said that this idea sparked from taking in the natural sights from their previous trips – such as coral and rain forests. Also, 54% said that they had noticed the visible impact tourism had on places that they themselves had visited, while 47% went on to say that their decision was after seeing the positive impact sustainable tourism had on local communities. Furthermore, 32% said they felt guilty about how their holidays impact the environment.
Package holidays have never been as cheap, so will this pose an additional cost? As these trips tend to require fine planning and research, they could potentially be more costly than your average trip to Spain. However, 67% of travellers in the report said that they were prepared to spend up to 5% more on their travel to ensure it had a low impact on the environment.
Figures from the same survey found that four in 10 people say that booking sites should offer an eco-friendly filter. Although this doesn’t seem like a step a lot of travel sites are taking, some have began adding pages to represent these trips and advertise them publicly. As well as this, 32% of people call for an international standard that can identify eco-friendly accommodation. If travel companies and hotels acknowledge this growing requirement from travelers now, it could keep them ahead of the competition. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year where we see more sustainable trips!
Projects to get involved in
Alternative holidays are all about developing greater life experience and understanding the world differently. Holidaymakers can integrate themselves into the communities who are behind the products we frequently buy — such as fair trade vegan chocolate!
The Meet the People Tours for example, will see you travel to some of the world’s most beautiful countries and learn more about their communities. Just like the fair trade products we buy, these trips are organised so that the people living and working in these communities are better off as a result.
From visiting development projects and having your ideas of developing countries challenged, you’ll truly feel that you’re making a difference from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. These stories will live with you for the rest of your life too, and this kind of experience will probably become the norm for your future holiday trips.