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Eco-tourism is not just for greenies

2 minute read | Akshara Risbud, Senior Research Executive and Kate Kopczynski, Associate Director – Consumer & Media View | July 2019

Eco-tourism is for travellers who are wanting to actively minimise their environmental and social impact. It may come as a shock but eco-tourism is not just for greenies. In fact, one-in-10 Australians intend to partake in eco-tourism in the next 12 months. To improve the reach and resonance of travel advertising, marketers can create unique campaigns that go beyond eco-tourists’ social and environmental values and tap into their unique standout qualities.

Australians have increased their focus on sustainability as they become more aware of the impact their actions are having on the environment. In 2019, 68% of Australians said they are concerned for the environment, an increase of nine percentage points over the last five years. In the past, recycling was the main way consumers showed care for the environment, however, they are now finding new ways to support a sustainable future:  9.4 million Australians say they are taking steps beyond recycling to minimise their impact on the environment.

This shift in attitude and behaviour has led to the rise of the eco-tourist. Over 2.2 million Australians intend to partake in eco-tourism on their holidays in the next 12 months, both within and outside of Australia. When compared to the general population, eco-tourists tend to be young travellers with 72% under the age of 45; while 58% are more likely to be students. They have an equal gender split and tend to live in affluent metro areas, with one-in-two living in metro cities on the Eastern Seaboard. They are highly educated with 30% having an undergraduate or higher degree. 

Eco-tourists seek and align with brands that reflect their social and environmentally-conscious values. They are 33% more likely than the general population to buy products or services from a company that supports a worthy cause to help them feel like they are making a difference. When making a purchase, they are 34% more likely to agree it’s important the company shows a high level of social or environmental responsibility when compared with the general population. In addition, 72% would like companies to tell them more about how they are making a positive difference to society so they can support them.

Eco-tourist Australians are a group to pay close attention to. Their strong sustainability values and distinctive traits make them a unique and opportune target for travel marketers. 


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