Mandala Research And Sustainable Travel International Team Up To Examine Sustainable Tourism Growth And Traveler Expectations
Mandala Research and Sustainable Travel International, in partnership with the Sustainable Travel Leadership Network and the Sustainable Destination Leadership Network, have announced that they are fielding theSustainable Travel and Tourism Study to examine travelers’ expectations, their definitions of sustainability, their propensity to visit destinations and support travel companies that contribute to the social, environmental and economic well-being of host communities.
The study takes a closer look at all the key components of sustainability, specifically, environmental, social, cultural, economic and governance. The study will engage participants in a collaborative approach to generating the most in-depth and insightful analysis on the value, demand for, and return on investment of sustainability.
“Sustainable tourism means many things to many people, and until now the travel industry hasn’t fully understood how travelers define it, value it, and make choices based on sustainable practices,” said Laura Mandala, Managing Director of Mandala Research. “This research is an attempt to understand from the bottom up how travelers are making choices based on what they believe to be ‘sustainable’ and how this translates to higher quality experiences.”
Sustainable Tourism is one of the most progressive and rapidly growing travel segments in the world, yet sustainable tourism, per se, has not been adequately defined or measured. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) describes sustainable tourism as “development [that] meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future.”
Mandala added that while the benefits of tourism from a global perspective are widely known, corporate decision makers and destination managers would benefit from better understanding the potential impact of and business case behind sustainable tourism. This study will help the industry to better understand how travelers define sustainable tourism and how they incorporate it into their travel decisions and behaviors.
Slated for release in June, 2015 general areas of the study will include:
- Travel behavior
- Responsiveness to destinations and travel companies that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability
- Levels of involvement in sustainable activities and crossover activities
- The role of sustainability in destination choice and corporate patronage
- Trip planning behavior
- Traveler definitions of “sustainable travel and tourism” and its importance
- Demographics generations differences in cultural travel preferences (Millennial, Gen X and Boomers)
“The study will contribute to our organization’s and leadership network’s overall efforts to demonstrate the role of travel and tourism in protecting the environmental, economic and social fabric of destinations globally,” explained Brian T. Mullis, CEO & Founder of Sustainable Travel International.