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Published on Thursday, July 19, 2007

Traveller poll shows lack of care for the environment

Over two thirds of Brits admitted they won"t even be thinking about the impact their summer holiday could have on the environment, according to a survey.

The Summer Lifestyle Report, conducted by broadband, telephone and media company Tiscali, showed 67% do not consider their carbon footprint.

Instead, what bothers Brits most is the possibility that their accommodation won"t live up to scratch (28%) or luggage might go missing (26%).

British travellers aspire to long haul destinations, with 16% of respondents said their dream holiday would be to the USA, Australia (15%) and the Maldives (13%).

Only 4% would consider booking a holiday in the UK in the next 12 months, despite the fact that 54% remember childhood holidays in the UK.

Alex Hole, Tiscali"s online media director, said: "Lower flight costs and last minute breaks are encouraging us to go for guaranteed sunshine and even exotic holidays.

"The government"s new carbon calculator might get people checking out the carbon cost of their holiday but it"s obviously not putting the Brits off their favourite sunny destinations."

The survey polled a representative sample of 3,264 adults in the UK.

By Bev Fearis

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  • Excellent point, Fernando, well made.

    Fernando, that is so very true. And actually suggests a very different story to the one intended. Thanks. So a third of travellers are bothered about their carbon footprint - which would tally with our experience.

    By Jayne Jackson, Tuesday, July 24, 2007

  • How do you want your data?

    It is common agreement that the presentation of statistical data can always be used to say what you want and not cold data, and here is another example... For instance, telling the public that "67% do not consider their carbon footprint" sounds very different from saying "33% do consider their carbon footprint", or "one third of people actually worry about these issues", which is quite different and in fact very significant. On the other hand, I can't see the logic of saying "Instead, what bothers Brits most is the possibility that their accommodation won't live up to scratch (28%) or luggage might go missing (26%). " What bothers "most", with these percentages?... Why not present exactly the same data but simply like: 72% of Brits don't worry about their accommodation, and 74% don't worry much about the possibility of luggage go missing? We could actually say that with these numbers, carbon footprint (33% remember?) is bothering people most than the luggage (although I admit that I would be surprised about that...) Now why a percentage in the 20s is "what bothers most", and a percentage in the 30s means people are not worried about it?... It would also be very interesting to put the evolution of the percentages since last year. If there was an increase in people worrying about carbon footprint (which I could be there was), then the title of the article "poll shows lack of care for the environment" would be misleading at least, and the more suitable title would be "poll shows increase on concerns about environment". I hate it when journalists don't report news but only their opinions in disguise...

    By Fernando Correia, Tuesday, July 24, 2007

  • Swedes more eager ecotravellers

    a fresh poll on Swedes shows that 4 out of ten travellers expect to use ecotourism offers inside 10 years. Do the Swedes care more that the British? I think they have clear options, it seems to be worth a try and they love nature. Could that be true for the British as well? is this a matter of how ecotourism is launched on the market? In Sweden we consider green-wash an important problem, but hearsay is also very effective.

    By peter lugnegard, Monday, July 23, 2007

  • Green travel

    Call me an optimist, but I think most people want to be green. That's in life and travel. But I'm interested in real, tangible actions. I'd like to see airlines recycle newspapers and plastic from their flights - I have just learned from two sets of Air Canada flight crews that they don't. I would like to see the politicians who lecture us about greening the environment have their drivers turn off the cars while waiting for ministers to come out of meetings. I think it's environmentally stupid to require a single tube of travel-sized toothpaste be put in a plastic bag to go through airport security. But I guess this isn't the stuff of surveys.

    By Allan Lynch, Thursday, July 19, 2007

  • Uk needs to innovate

    The British Isles are, (at least according to the Lonely Planet guide) the most beautiful islands in the world. Our current summer weather hasn't helped mastters, however many of our resorts are tired facsimiles of Blackpool and lack the sophistication craved for by the new generation of traveller. There are a great number of stunning locations catering for a wide range of tourists however they are not suited to mass tourism. A great example of a British resort adapting to changing tastes is Woolacombe in Devon attracting young & old alike with good standards of accommodation, variety of eateries & shops and a wide mixture of activities. We need to embrace our climate and culture and play to our strengths to maintain a healthy domestic market.

    By JOHN DROGAN, Thursday, July 19, 2007

  • carbon not the only issue

    There are plenty more ways for travellers to go green than worry about their carbon footprint. There's a wide range of eco-friendly products on the market now for instance - and if every holidaymaker took a wind up torch instead of using batteries it would make a big difference. Travelling green is just like going green at home - a small change can make a big difference. Carbon is a pretty dull topic and there's too much focus on it, eco-friendly gadgets on the other hand are alot more fun, and can actually save people money - just think of how much you spend on double AA batteries over the years. The media needs to take a different approach to green travel.

    By ian everett, Thursday, July 19, 2007

  • UK Holidays

    A holiday is often a family's biggest break from the trudge of day to day living. The UK weather and the cost of UK holidays and also the excitement of going somewhere different means abroad. For me a UK holiday is a trudge. Politicans need to wake up and realise this. To be honest if aircraft only account for 7% of carbon emmissions how much is saved by a family driving long distances often stuck in jams and then use of the car all week.

    By Paul Johnston, Thursday, July 19, 2007

  • Stick your own industry Tiscali

    What great insights from travel experts Tiscali - not. Looks to me like they are like trying to get a PR angle to make use of the results from an expensive and random selection of survey questions! Probably more useful is customer responses that we have been capturing about the environment and responsible tourism on the Thomson website - the data and our customer feedback shows that customers want the travel company or airline to be taking responsibility for the environment on their behalf. 60% of respondents said that the environmental reputation of an organisation would influence their choice of travel company. 58% of respondents said that the natural environment is important to their holiday. 59% said that they were as careful as they at home with resources such as power and water - and reassuringly people are increasingly travelling more responsibly - with 31% saying they are more careful with resources when on holiday then when they are at home. More info at

    By kimberley kay, Thursday, July 19, 2007

  • Give travellers options and time.

    I think most people are totally confused about the carbon footprint issues. There has been so much emphasis on travel and yet how many people have actually made changes in their home or work life. Or reduced their car usage? It has been argued that for the sustainability of the planet, particularly for many countries who are dependent on tourism and trade, that it would be catastrophic to discourage foriegn travel and that includes flying. The good news is that at least we are all discussing the issue and looking at the best way forward. These issues will take time for consumers to adjust to; and of course many may choose not to. But for those who are worried about their carbon footprint and still want to travel abroad, they can still fly, perhaps less often but stay longer in a destination than they used to, make changes at home and offset their carbon footprint with their travel company. Travel Republic gets a healthy response from its customers in terms of voluntarily carbon offsetting with the World Land Trust. The important thing is to build awarenesss and offer holidaymakers options.

    By Jayne Jackson, Thursday, July 19, 2007

  • UK is not the only eco option.

    Just because people go overseas, it doesn't mean they don't care for the environment. They can travel to the continent by ferry or train, and besides, the UK doesn't have the capacity to cater for much more than 4% of the travel market. "Lies, damned lies and statistics."

    By Gary Phillips, Thursday, July 19, 2007

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