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Travalyst campaign reveals New Zealanders’ attitudes towards sustainable travel

  • Four out of five New Zealand travellers have sustainability on their radar but nearly one in two don’t know how to act on it
  • Travalyst’s first major consumer campaign investigates New Zealanders’ attitudes towards sustainable travel

LONDON (7th December, 2022): Travalyst, the not-for-profit sustainable travel organisation founded by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, chose Aotearoa New Zealand for its first major consumer campaign exploring consumer habits and attitudes towards responsible travel.

Developed with input from Aotearoa New Zealand travel operators, the campaign was designed to understand what inspires New Zealanders to make world-friendly choices on their travels, with a view to closing the gap between intention and action.

As part of the pilot initiative, Travalyst conducted a survey of over 1,000 New Zealand travellers1 which revealed that while nearly 80% consider sustainability when planning their travels, nearly half don’t know enough about it or where to find sustainable travel options (45%) and two thirds (71%) perceive it to be more expensive and inconvenient.

Respondents were quizzed on their understanding of sustainable travel, with getting to and from a destination being the most associated aspect (83%), followed by supporting local communities (69%) and creating minimal/less waste in destination (68%). One in ten people said they simply didn’t know what to associate with sustainable travel.

When on holiday, 53% of travellers said they will minimise single-use waste, 44% said they will be mindful of using towels and toiletries at their accommodation and 43% will dine at local restaurants rather than big chains. 

As well as exploring consumer behaviours, the campaign sought to challenge consumers to think about the impact of their choices on the places they visited, via an online rating tool. In a flip on the traditional question: “How would you rate your holiday?”, travellers were asked: “How would your holiday rate you?” in terms of supporting local communities, travelling with values of kaitiakitanga, looking after nature and wildlife and other ways of contributing to the health and wellbeing of the destination. This holiday rating tool was available on the Travalyst website along with a showcase of stories from kiwi travel operators leading the way with sustainable travel options.

The campaign also featured a video starring Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, alongside kiwi actors Rhys Darby, Dave Fane and Rena Owen [here] and top tips on Aotearoa NZ friendly travel. The resulting widespread coverage helped to celebrate Māori language and bring Aotearoa New Zealand’s tourism offering to the global stage.

Travalyst is a global coalition of some of the biggest brands in travel, with partners including Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Skyscanner, Travelport, Trip.com, Tripadvisor and Visa. Together, they are collaborating actively on large scale initiatives – including the recent launch of two unified frameworks reporting on aviation emissions and accommodation options – to ensure a resilient and thriving future for travel and destinations worldwide.

Travalyst Chief Executive Officer, Sally Davey, commented: “As a country of sustainability pioneers, Aotearoa New Zealand felt like the perfect place to conduct our pilot consumer campaign, and we are really grateful for the insights, expertise and opportunity afforded us by our colleagues in Aotearoa New Zealand to bring this to market. The initiative has really helped us to understand consumers’ knowledge of what it means to travel sustainably, the priority they place on it, and the barriers we need to overcome to bring it into the mainstream.

“While it is encouraging to see that nearly 80% of travellers have sustainability on their radar, it is clear we need to help consumers better understand what this means in practice, and what steps they can take to change the way they travel for good. We will apply what we have learned from kiwi travellers and operators to the next phase of our mission to ensure that consumers everywhere can and do make better travel choices.”

The implementation of Travalyst’s efforts in Aotearoa New Zealand was driven by a local collective formed by the Aera Foundation, with funding and support from the Fife Foundation. 

The team, chaired by Aera founder and climate technology investor Derek Handley brought together local tourism advisers, experts and community leaders to help inform the local campaign produced by award-winning agencies Augusto and Together Media.

Derek Handley concluded: “It was exciting to be part of such an innovative and collaborative campaign. As summer approaches, New Zealanders are getting out and about and we hope that travelling sustainably will be on their radar.”

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1 A nationally representative Pureprofile online survey was conducted with n=1036 New Zealanders aged 18+ during 2-28 June, 2022.