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Luxury That Doesn’t Cost the Earth: Sustainable Travel on the Rise as More Travelers Seek to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

June 20, 2015 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

With summer just around the corner, over half (52%) of all global travelers report that they are likely to choose a destination based on its social or environmental impact in 2015. Findings from a survey of 32,000 travelers across 16 countries by reveal that attitudes towards sustainable travel are evolving, even as we continue to embrace vacation comforts.

While only 10% of respondents took a traditional sustainable trip in 2014 (defined as an eco-tour, a volunteering trip, a farm stay, a camping trip or a trip to learn about new cultures), this year will see the majority of global travelers being influenced by an intention to reduce their environmental, or to ensure that their tourism has a positive impact on the local community, when evaluating vacation destinations. Unsurprisingly, this trend is more marked in some countries than others.

  • Brazilian respondents were most interested in sustainable travel, with 74% reporting that they would be likely to base a decision on these concerns
  • At the other end of the spectrum, only 36% of Danish respondents and 39% of Dutch respondents said their plans would be influenced by their potential social or environmental impact
  • Australians (59%) and Americans (53%) were also among the world’s top sustainable travel intenders

Modern Eco Warriors expect accommodations that pamper both them and the environment

While expressing the desire to travel more sustainably, survey respondents were not however prepared to forgo luxury while reducing their carbon footprint. When compared with other respondents, aspiring sustainable travelers were:

  • 50% more likely to intend to book more luxury accommodations in 2015 than they did in 2014
  • Three times as likely to plan to stay in more ‘green’ accommodations in 2015 than they did in 2014

This combined interest in luxury and green stays creates a unique opportunity for accommodations to woo these travelers by offering high-end comfort paired with an eco sensibility.

Celebrating green accommodations that take the self-denial out of sustainable travel

As interest in sustainable travel increases, assures travelers worldwide that it is easier than ever before to combine luxury and sustainability through the power of a well-booked accommodation.

“Sustainable travel is more than just ‘going green’ – it’s also about helping to support and retain local cultures, economies and environments while traveling. Most people don’t know how easy it is to weave sustainability into the types of trips they already want to take,” says Todd Dunlap, Managing Director Americas.

“With our inventory of over 670,000 properties worldwide, there are many ways to be a conscientious traveler in 2015 without having to sacrifice comfort levels or relaxation. Guests may not realize that as they sleep on organic cotton sheets, washed with water heated by energy generated from the hotel itself, they are staying sustainably. Or that when eating a meal made from ingredients sourced within 20 miles of their accommodation, they are a sustainable traveler supporting local business.

“Many of the world’s best accommodations already provide these stealthily sustainable amenities to make sure their guests can enjoy all the luxuries of a vacation guilt-free.  In fact, you might already be a sustainable traveler and not even know it, that’s how seamless sustainable choices in accommodation can be!”

Five secretly sustainable stays

What comes to mind when you envision an eco-friendly stay? Roughing it in the jungle? Itchy burlap bedding? Forgoing five-star amenities? Not so at these accommodations. shares five properties with the sustainable stamp of approval.

Luxury in the city

Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter Las Vegas, USA

Most guests never guess what a marvel of sustainability this LEED® certified Las Vegas icon actually is. In one of the most energy consuming cities in America, the Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter Las Vegas is designed to help discretely and efficiently conserve as much energy as it consumes.

The Savoy Hotel, London UK

The Savoy Hotel in London is not only a timeless classic of elegance and chic, but has become a pioneer of ‘going green’ in the travel and accommodation business. This landmark hotel has won numerous sustainability awards over the past 9 years for its innovation in eco-friendly amenities and facilities.

Luxury in nature

Saffire – Freycinet, Coles Bay, Australia

The Saffire – Freycinet in Tasmania goes beyond indoor eco-amenities by being dedicated to the conservation of the surrounding landscape. Built on a former caravan site, the Saffire was designed to blend into its surroundings leaving minimal yet stunning visual impact.

Monte Novo Eco-Luxury Villas – Montargil, Portugal

This feature property on,’s exclusive vacation rental site, combines everything you could want in a sustainable holiday. Modern amenities, outdoor activities, and plenty of peace and quiet in this serene countryside setting combine for the perfect respite from everyday living.

The Hridayesh Spa Wilderness Resort – Garjia, India

You can choose your own adventure at this gorgeous resort located inside the Jim Corbitt National Park in Garjia, India. Venture out on one of the safari trails to become one with nature, then return to sample local delicacies prepared fresh daily in the onsite restaurant.

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