Nearly 75% of 18-34 year olds say they are more likely to visit an attraction that is pursuing environmentally friendly practices, according to a national survey released by PGAV Destination Consulting, a planning and design firm and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
According to the report, a commitment to sustainable practices will be supported with spending behavior. Almost 60% of people under age 35 expect to pay more for green attractions, and they will pay over 10% more. Most of these consumers (nearly 65%) expect their spending on green products to increase over the next 12 months.
Visitors look for specific signs of environmental commitment: recycle bins, energy efficient lighting, solar panels, selling food/beverages in biodegradable containers, reusable shopping bags, and offering water in biodegradable cups rather than plastic. Recycling is a nearly universal expectation for green attractions with over 80% across all consumer segments saying that recycling is very representative of an environmental commitment. LEED Certification, the standard system of sustainability measurement, ranked last as an outward sign of environmental commitment valued by attractions visitors. It is likely that the LEED rating is less known and less understood by the general public.
Gen X and Y are also taking personal responsibility for environmental actions: Over 75% reduced water consumption, over 61% reduced energy consumption and nearly 39% have already purchased green products.