Though some 85 percent of travelers consider themselves to be “environmentally conscious,” they are no longer willing to make sacrifices or pay more for travel, according to a recent YPartnership survey of travel trends for 2009.
Rather, travel companies are expected to be “good stewards” of the environment in which they operate, the study found (via NBC Los Angeles).
The proposed rules of green travel, according to the column:
No more carbon offset programs. Japan Airlines recently introduced a carbon offset program, joining competitors Continental, SAS, British Airways, Air Canada, Qantas, JetStar, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin America. But travel companies should be offsetting their own carbon, not guilt travelers into paying a surcharge for it.
Question the reasons. A fuel-saving initiative on a cruise line, for example, might seem like the perfect “green” initiative. But perhaps that company is doing so just to save money, or is under investigation from regulators. And maybe that initiative is not consistent across geographies – only those where people pay attention to their actions.
Read between the lines; know the history. A hotel that advertises how green it is and boasts of recycling programs or energy-saving appliances should be examined to find its history. Before it was officially green, was it “consuming energy like there was no tomorrow as late as 2007?” the columnist writes.
The best companies are not the late adopters but those who have a solid history of being consistently – and quietly – green, he concludes.