2021
9
UK The Ethical Traveller Market Report 2021
2021-03-06T03:02:53+00:00
OX1042549
2195
135312
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Report
en_GB
“Consumers’ desire to avoid crowds provides operators and destinations with an opportunity to promote activities with a low environmental impact such as hikes in wide open spaces and cycle tours…

UK The Ethical Traveller Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Ethical Traveller market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The sudden national and international lockdowns in March 2020 saw a wide shut-down of most travel operators and holiday companies, cancelling bookings or putting them on-hold until reopening. While this has seen a massive blow to the travel and holiday industry, it has also created potential opportunities once restrictions lift.

Thanks to the wide media coverage, customers are now more aware of the environmental impact on popular holiday spots as the areas recover due to low footfall over the past year. Overcrowding is now seen as the third-highest ethical priority for companies, behind reducing carbon emissions and encouraging recycling.

Once lockdown restrictions end and pollution levels start to rise again, companies may jump on this increasing awareness of the environment. As well as promoting low environmental impact activities away from the usual tourist sites, such as hiking, there are also opportunities to reconnect with local culture both abroad and at home.

However, with 28% of Brits now reporting to be either ‘a little worse off’ or ‘much worse off’ in January 2021, from 22% in 2020, financial uncertainty may push ethical concerns to the background while the economy recovers. While 88% of British adults were planning on going on holiday in the next three tears, 26% intended on taking fewer breaks for both environmental and economic reasons.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the UK holiday market and travellers’ priorities.
  • Holidaying intentions and likely behavioural changes in 2021.
  • Purchase drivers when choosing a travel company and the relative importance of brands’ environmental policies.
  • Environmental and ethical factors that consumers would like to see travel brands prioritise.
  • Opportunities to encourage ethical travel.

Covered in this report

Brands: TripAdvisor, British Airways, Premiere Inn, Intrepid, United Airlines, Lonely Planet, Natural Britain, TUI, Booking.com, Hilton, Virgin Atlantic, Expedia, Marriott, Jet2holidays, Loveholidays, Holiday Inn, Travelodge, On the Beach, Best Western, Jet2.com, easyJet, Airbnb, Ryanair.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Marloes de Vries, a leading analyst in the Travel sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers’ desire to avoid crowds provides operators and destinations with an opportunity to promote activities with a low environmental impact such as hikes in wide open spaces and cycle tours with stops at local farms. In the longer term the focus will shift back to the health of the planet, putting pressure on brands to go beyond carbon-neutral targets and to aim for climate-positivity.

Marloes de Vries
Associate Director – Travel

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: Market context
          • Economic and other assumptions
            • Products covered in this Report
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19 on the UK travel market
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the UK travel market, 26 February 2021
                • The market
                  • Strong correlation between financial situation and holidaying behaviour
                    • Value of holiday market will recover but environmental concerns will see conflicted feelings intensify
                      • UK opens consultation on the implementation of CORSIA
                        • Companies and brands
                          • The shift from carbon-neutral to climate-positivity and taking a longer-term approach
                            • Lonely Planet partners with Withlocals to expand carbon-neutral tours
                              • New Zealand inspires travellers to stop taking photos under the social influence
                                • The consumer
                                  • Brits do not intend to stop taking holidays in the coming years
                                    • Figure 2: Destinations visited for a holiday vs intentions to visit, November 2020
                                  • Holidaymakers intend to take fewer breaks once the outbreak is over
                                    • One in four of those planning to take fewer holidays intend to do so because of environmental concerns
                                      • Figure 3: Reasons for intending to take fewer holidays, November 2020
                                    • Travel market will remain highly price-driven
                                      • Figure 4: Main reasons for choosing travel company, November 2020
                                    • Decarbonisation and recycling still seen as the biggest ethical travel priorities
                                      • Figure 5: Ethical travel priorities, November 2020
                                    • The majority have a good understanding of what carbon-neutral means
                                      • Majority of travellers open to minimising impact on the environment
                                        • Figure 6: Attitudes towards ethical travel, November 2020
                                      • The greatest opportunities lie in connecting travellers with local culture and nature
                                        • Figure 7: Ethical travel opportunities, November 2020
                                      • Ethical traveller segments
                                      • Issues and Insights

                                        • COVID-19 will boost longer stays…
                                          • …and visits to less crowded places
                                            • Ethical travel essential to protect future growth of the travel industry
                                            • The Market – Key Takeaways

                                              • Travel bans have raised awareness of the impact on the environment
                                                • Few Brits are planning to cut back on travel because of environmental concerns
                                                  • Accelerated growth once the economy has recovered will put pressure on travel companies to take action
                                                    • UK opens consultation on the implementation of CORSIA
                                                    • Market Background

                                                      • Staycations will be in high demand once restrictions get lifted
                                                        • Figure 8: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the UK travel market, 26 February 2021
                                                      • COVID-19 hits after holiday market reaches record heights
                                                        • Figure 9: Volume and value* of domestic holidays taken by British residents, 2015-20
                                                        • Figure 10: Volume and value* of overseas holidays taken by UK residents, 2015-25 **
                                                      • Staycation boom expected once measures are relaxed
                                                        • Value of holiday market will recover but environmental concerns will see conflicted feelings intensify
                                                          • Learnings from the last recession
                                                            • Financial constraints led to a staycation boom
                                                              • Environmental concerns took a temporary backseat due to financial concerns
                                                                • Share of long-haul travel increased as affluent travellers’ finances were hit less hard
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • UK opens consultation on the implementation of CORSIA
                                                                    • Despite lobbying, APD is set to increase for long-haul flights
                                                                      • Surroundings; one of the seven key drivers for consumer behaviour
                                                                        • Figure 11: Key factors driving consumer behaviour around Surroundings, July 2020
                                                                      • Younger consumers expected to become even more price-driven
                                                                        • Figure 12: Changes in financial situation, November 2019-January 2021
                                                                      • Accelerated growth once the economy has recovered will put pressure on travel companies to take action
                                                                      • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                                        • TripAdvisor, British Airways and Premier Inn seen as relatively ethical
                                                                          • Reducing carbon emissions: from carbon-neutral to climate-positivity and low-carbon growth
                                                                            • Inspiring tourists to go off the beaten track
                                                                              • Connecting travellers with local culture and nature
                                                                              • Brand Research

                                                                                • TripAdvisor, British Airways and Premier Inn seen as relatively ethical
                                                                                    • Figure 13: Ethical image of travel brands covered in Mintel’s brand research, Jun 2019-Nov 2020
                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                  • Reducing carbon emissions
                                                                                    • Intrepid takes longer-term approach by aligning targets with limiting global warming to 1.5°C
                                                                                      • easyJet and United Airlines help to accelerate the development of electric aircraft
                                                                                        • Tackling food waste
                                                                                          • Emirates to use AI to reduce food waste by 35%
                                                                                            • Inspiring tourists to go off the beaten track
                                                                                              • New Zealand inspires travellers to stop taking photos under the social influence
                                                                                                • Connecting travellers with local culture and nature
                                                                                                  • Lonely Planet partners with Withlocals to expand carbon-neutral tours
                                                                                                    • Natural Britain launched to display ethical travel experiences
                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                                                      • Brits do not intend to stop taking holidays in the coming years
                                                                                                        • Decarbonisation and recycling still seen as the biggest ethical travel priorities
                                                                                                          • Majority of travellers open to minimising impact on the environment
                                                                                                            • Ethical traveller segments
                                                                                                            • Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

                                                                                                              • Travel bans have raised awareness of the impact on the environment…
                                                                                                                • …but pent-up demand for travel remains strong
                                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Most desired activities once the current social distancing measures are relaxed, 4-12 February 2021
                                                                                                                  • A change in priorities could pose a threat to ethical behaviour
                                                                                                                    • When overseas travel bounces back, environmental concerns will intensify
                                                                                                                    • Holidaying Intentions – Participation

                                                                                                                      • Brits do not intend to stop taking holidays in the coming years
                                                                                                                        • Figure 15: Destinations visited for a holiday vs intentions to visit, November 2020
                                                                                                                      • The desire to travel further afield remains strong
                                                                                                                        • Figure 16: Holidaying intentions, by destination and demographics, November 2020
                                                                                                                      • Lack of knowledge how to minimise impact when travelling overseas
                                                                                                                      • Holidaying Intentions – Frequency

                                                                                                                        • Holidaymakers intend to take fewer breaks once the outbreak is over
                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Changes to holidaying frequency once the coronavirus outbreak is over, November 2020
                                                                                                                        • The intention to go on holiday less often is mainly driven by financial concerns
                                                                                                                          • One in four of those planning to take fewer holidays intend to do so because of environmental concerns
                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Reasons for intending to take fewer holidays, November 2020
                                                                                                                          • Majority still keen on taking multiple shorter breaks throughout the year
                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Preference for short vs long breaks, November 2020
                                                                                                                        • Purchase Drivers when Choosing a Travel Company

                                                                                                                          • Travel market will remain highly price-driven
                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Main reasons for choosing travel company, November 2020
                                                                                                                          • Ethical behaviour will grow in importance
                                                                                                                            • Companies challenged to help travellers deal with conflict of interests
                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Importance of a good environmental policy when choosing travel company, by age, November 2020
                                                                                                                          • Consumer Priorities for Ethical Travel

                                                                                                                            • Decarbonisation and recycling still seen as the biggest ethical travel priorities
                                                                                                                              • Fear of returning to busy places
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Ethical travel priorities, November 2020
                                                                                                                                • The majority have a good understanding of what carbon-neutral means
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Understanding of carbon offsetting and carbon-neutral, November 2020
                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Ethical Travel

                                                                                                                                  • Majority of travellers open to minimising impact on the environment…
                                                                                                                                    • …but some fear the impact on their holiday experience
                                                                                                                                      • Inspiring travellers will be key to make the travel industry greener
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Attitudes towards ethical travel, November 2020
                                                                                                                                      • Awareness of individual travel companies’ efforts to protect the environment is low
                                                                                                                                      • Ethical Travel Opportunities

                                                                                                                                        • The greatest opportunities lie in connecting travellers with local culture and nature
                                                                                                                                          • Growth potential for night trains and rail itineraries
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Ethical travel opportunities, November 2020
                                                                                                                                        • Ethical Traveller Segments

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Ethical traveller segments, November 2020
                                                                                                                                          • Hard ethical travellers
                                                                                                                                            • Soft ethical travellers
                                                                                                                                              • Wannabe ethical travellers
                                                                                                                                                • Non-ethical travellers
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Age profile of ethical traveller segments, November 2020
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer research methodology

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