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Airline Passengers Will Pay Green Premium - Survey

Carbon-neutral Nature air

The use of a new flight search tool has demonstrated that travellers will choose carbon efficient flight options when made available. 57% of users selected the cheapest/lowest carbon option to pay an average premium of 19% over lowest cost/higher carbon options.

The free online tool has been used in a pilot phase on selected websites, which have generated in excess of 10,000 flight searches and the results are compared against GTM’s normal flight search tools where no ratings or direct flight options are present.

The flight search tool developed by Global Travel Market (GTM) and The Carbon Consultancy in association with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, provides travellers with ratings on the efficiency of the long and short haul fleets used by major airlines and highlights lower carbon emitting direct flights vs indirect flights. The use of fleet efficiency enables pre trip impact to be readily assessed. Consumers do not know which plane they will actually be flying on when they book or its final load factor and other variables that inform more accurate post trip reporting.

CEO of The Carbon Consultancy, Hugo Kimber said, “ we are delighted to be able to demonstrate the value of data products to inform consumer behaviour as an alternative to offsetting as a primary consumer solution to air travel emissions. The willingness of consumers to pay a premium in a recession demonstrates that there is stronger than expected demand-led momentum for emissions reduction. The idea of a premium payment bucks previous research trends and highlights the value of simple information tools to drive greater efficiency.

Dave Simmons CEO of GTM commented, “the use of this tool is part of our continued commitment to help inform travellers to make better choices for the environment when they travel. The travel industry has had an undue focus on offsets. This demonstrates the value of education and information in consumer travel choice and takes us beyond the “flying is bad – travel by bike is good” phase of the environmental debate.

Professor Harold Goodwin of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism observed “these results demonstrate that when consumers are presented with a credible way of reducing the polluting effect of their flying they will take responsibility and take the greenest option – even when it costs them more.  This is a much more credible option than buying a carbon offset.

The team plan to launch a new version of the tool that will provide funds to climate change mitigation projects (not offsets) for every click that users make on the best available option. Commenting on this development Kimber added “ rewarding behaviour in a way that supports climate change projects and supports efficient traveller choice will create a new way of booking flights and demonstrate how the industry can respond to the challenges of its environmental impact without just asking consumers to pay for an offset”.

Valere Tjolle



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Categories: Sustain Hotels,Business/ Marketing,Sustainable Tourism


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