Environmental sustainability an important travel consideration for 72 percent of Kiwis in 2022 - study

Environmental sustainability an important travel consideration for 72 percent of Kiwis in 2022 - study.
More and more Kiwis are thinking seriously about sustainability while making travel choices. Photo credit: Getty Images

New Zealanders are increasingly factoring in the environmental sustainability of travel options they're considering ahead of trips, according to new research.

The Booking.com study found 72 percent of Kiwis stated sustainable travel is important to them, with 63 percent saying they want to travel more sustainably over the coming 12 months as many plan their first international holidays since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

A quarter of New Zealand respondents in the survey said the sustainability efforts of accommodation and transport providers will be a strong factor in their property and transport travel decisions, while 62 percent said they would be more likely to choose a sustainable accommodation, whether they were looking specifically for one or not.

The 2022 Sustainable Travel Research Report from Booking.com was released the same week as Air New Zealand announced NZ0, its commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.

"Despite the COVID-19 pandemic grinding our business to a halt, we believe climate change is the biggest crisis facing our airline. And, if anything, our commitment to take real action has only strengthened," said Air NZ CEO Greg Foran.

Nearly one in four Kiwis (24 percent) said they feel ashamed to fly because of its environment impact in the Booking.com research. That's likely due to the increasingly frequent reports of the catastrophic climate change released by the world's leading experts - 42 percent of New Zealanders surveyed said recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices this year.

"Kiwis continue to be conscientious travellers who, in the past year, have largely selected more sustainable travel choices when they can," said Todd Lacey, Booking.com NZ Area Manager.

"More encouragingly, the intentions New Zealanders have for future travel show a genuine and increased commitment to taking greater strides towards being more sustainable while exploring the world."

Booking.com said it remained carbon-neutral in its own operations in 2021 and transitioned to 100 percent renewable electricity towards the end of 2021.

The company has over 100,000 properties on its website recognised with a Travel Sustainable badge and recently added more third-party certifications and labels to automatically qualify accommodations to receive it.

The research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted in February among a sample of 30,314 respondents across 32 countries and territories, including 486 from New Zealand.