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  • Writer's pictureRichard Hammond

Sustainability 'important' for British travellers

A new survey of British travellers' attitudes to sustainable travel has found that many consider sustainability is important when selecting a holiday.

signpost for eco hotel in northern spain
The ecologically sensitive hotel Posada del Valle in northern Spain. Photo: Chris Willan/Green Traveller

The survey*, commissioned by the Spanish Tourism Office (UK), found that 86% of British respondents value sustainability as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when selecting a holiday destination. This figure rises to 94% amongst 18–24-year-olds and drops to 75% amongst those aged 65 and above.

When asked which destinations they could easily travel to and around sustainably, the United Kingdom was the top choice (74%). Outside of the UK, 66% of respondents said it’s easy to have a sustainable holiday in Spain, followed by France (65%), Germany (59%) and Italy (57%).

Despite this, over half of Spain visitors were not aware of any sustainability measures the country has taken. Just one in eight (12%) of respondents could provide an example of the measures Spain as a travel destination has taken to become more sustainable. Over a third (34%) were unsure, and over half (54%) were not aware of any sustainable measures enacted by Spain.

Manuel Butler, director of the Spanish Tourist Office (UK) says: “Sustainability lies at the heart of our tourism strategy and is a vital part of our government agenda. We have ambitious targets in place to support and deliver on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and significant funds have been invested to ensure we deliver on these goals which include the distribution of funds to our regions to help fund energy efficiency and circular economy projects. It’s important for us to understand the attitudes and perceptions of the UK public to help inform our strategy. Whilst we are pleased that 66% of respondents think it’s easy to have a sustainable holiday in Spain, we need to work harder to communicate our initiatives.”

For tips and recommendations for where to go for a sustainable holiday in Spain, see:

Green Traveller's video of summer in Catalonia:

*The survey was carried out by Opinium on behalf of the Spanish Tourist Office in November 2022 and was completed by a sample of 1800 UK adults who have been to Spain in the last 5 years


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