DMOs can foster sustainable behaviours by analysing 4 clusters of tourists

As already reportedsustainability represents the guiding thread of new tourists’ behaviour and emerging trends. However, the willingness expressed by consumers to adopt a more sustainable travel behaviour has not always materialised.

Recognising this, the European Travel Commission (ETC) published a report named “Sustainable Travel in an Era of Disruption: Impact of Covid-19 on Sustainable Tourism Attitudes”, which aims at supporting European destinations understand the gap between people’s sustainable values, enhanced by the pandemic, and their related actions.

In the analysis of tourists’ behaviours, four distinct clusters have been identified:

  • Frontrunners: Low-footprint travellers with the highest likelihood of adopting sustainable travel behaviour in the future. The cluster with the strongest biospheric and altruistic value orientation.
  • Habitual low-footprint travellers with interest in alternative destinations in ones’ proximity and in travelling in low season.
  • Entitled Stewards: Medium-footprint travellers who are less likely to compromise on location and time of travel but willing to adjust otherwise.
  • Laggards: Habitual high-footprint travellers with the lowest level of likelihood for considering sustainable alternatives in the future. The cluster with the weakest biospheric and altruistic value orientation.

The study shows that travellers are most likely to adopt sustainable practices in the behavioural category of interacting with the local community and immersing in local life. On the other hand, money and time are constraints that were found to have a significant impact on the likelihood of adopting more sustainable travel practices in the future.

At Twissen we have observed that for DMOs and NTOs it is necessary to understand travel trends and expectations in a pandemic world, in order to properly implement destinations’ infrastructures and services. As underlined in the report, cross-sector collaboration is needed to adopt a strategy that stimulates tourists’ sustainable travel behaviour. 
Download the full ETC report here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.