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Green is good for the environment, but is it good for business?

( Investments in green initiatives need more than goodwill to get off the ground — they need business justification — especially in today's marketplace. PhoCusWright's Going Green: The Business Impact of Environmental Awareness on Travel evaluates US consumer values and attitudes surrounding green travel to help companies understand how best to design their initiatives and communications to match consumer expectations.

“This report was designed to give companies insight into what consumers expect of them and highlight opportunities to build value and relevance in the travel marketplace," said Carroll Rheem, director, research at PhoCusWright. “We were prepared to tell companies to spend their capital on something else if consumers pointed us in that direction — our conclusions are based on demand, not principle. What we found is that green is truly not just a social movement; the environment has become an additional stakeholder that no company can afford to ignore," added Ms. Rheem.

According to PhoCusWright's Going Green: The Business Impact of Environmental Awareness on Travel, 44 percent of US travelers consider environmental impact to be important to them when planning travel. The high propensity of green supporters to vote with their wallet, leaves opportunities for premiums for green travel. Nearly one-third of US travelers would pay such premiums, but these savvy consumers are looking for practices that go above and beyond cursory measures. “With consumers keeping a close watch on their spending, they need to know that a company has gone the extra mile to implement green initiatives like renewable energy, zero waste, and carbon management practices," explained Sustainable Travel International president, Brian T. Mullis. “The fact that almost half of American travelers have these expectations and consider the environment when making travel decisions during these tough economic times, is evidence that the green movement has become part of consumer and corporate culture."

PhoCusWright's survey of US travelers finds that 56 percent are skeptical of what companies are telling them about green practices, and only 8 percent think it is easy to find green travel options. “The travel industry is making a concerted effort to make green options available to consumers. Clear and transparent communication of these efforts will yield great rewards for our industry," said Fran Brasseux, executive vice president of HSMAI Foundation.

Travel companies must convey a sense of quality and accuracy when communicating with green consumers. PhoCusWright’s Going Green: The Business Impact of Environmental Awareness on Travel allows travel companies to thoroughly evaluate the benefit of green strategies by surveying the US traveling consumer population and determining its propensity to make environmentally-conscious travel decisions. The report isolates the attitudes, preferences, and purchase habits of each group and determines each one's willingness to pay for green travel options.

For more information or to order a copy, please visit

Sustainable Travel International (a non-profit organization that promotes responsible travel through programs that help travelers, businesses, and destinations protect the environment, preserve cultural heritage, and promote economic development) and HSMAI Foundation (which serves as the research and educational arm of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International) were industry partners for this research study.

About PhoCusWright Inc.

PhoCusWright is the travel industry research authority on how travelers, suppliers, and intermediaries connect. Independent, rigorous, and unbiased, PhoCusWright fosters smart strategic planning and tactical decision-making.
PhoCusWright delivers qualitative and quantitative research on the evolving dynamics that influence travel, tourism, and hospitality distribution. Their marketplace intelligence is the industry standard for segmentation, sizing, forecasting, trends, analysis, and consumer travel planning behavior. Every day around the world, senior executives, marketers, strategists, and research professionals from all segments of the industry value chain use PhoCusWright research for competitive advantage.

To complement its primary research in North America, Europe, and Asia, PhoCusWright produces several high-profile conferences in the US and Germany, and partners with conferences in the UK, China, and Singapore. Industry leaders and company analysts bring this intelligence to life by debating issues, sharing ideas, and defining the ever-evolving reality of travel commerce.

The company is headquartered in the United States, with offices in Germany and India.

Brian T. Mullis President Sustainable Travel International

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