Travelers Place a Higher Value on Responsible Hotel Brands After COVID-19, IHG Says
IHG’s portfolio includes the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort Beach in Australia.
When a catastrophic incident like the coronavirus pandemic happens, it changes the way people look at things. Judging from the results of a new global survey by IHG Hotels & Resorts, that includes the way they travel. The hotel company reports that people are more mindful than ever about traveling consciously after the pandemic.
The survey is part of IHG’s launch of “Journey to Tomorrow,” a 10-year action plan to make a difference in communities around the world and create a future where people travel responsibly. According to the company, more than half of the 9,000 adults surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, China, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Australia agreed that the past year and the coronavirus made them more socially and environmentally conscious about their impact on the world when traveling.
When it came to Americans, younger travelers were more likely to agree, with 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds sharing this opinion, as opposed to 27% of those 55 and older. IHG also reports American travelers will spend an average of 41% more on accommodations they know operate responsibly, while 47% of that group were willing to pay more than 40% extra for each night.
But their concerns will not vanish once the pandemic is over. Instead, 38% of the respondents in the United States said they would be more mindful about their travel choices after the pandemic, with 42% saying their No. 1 consideration was how ethical and responsible the hotel brand is in creating an inclusive work environment, supporting jobs, providing skills training and education, and protecting human rights.
Another 38% placed an emphasis on avoiding tourist activities that could negatively impact the local environment and communities. “As we look to the future, the global response to COVID-19 reminded us what can be achieved when we come together and work towards the greater good,” IHG CEO Keith Barr said. “This has made us all more conscious than ever about caring for people, communities and planet.
“Journey to Tomorrow embodies IHG’s strengthened commitment to make sure we do what’s right, not just what’s needed, and we are determined to contribute towards positive social and economic change, to stand up for key issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusion and human rights, and to make more responsible environmental choices,” he added. “A great guest experience at our hotels is inextricably linked to operating thoughtfully and growing sustainability. So while travel may have been temporarily paused for many, we want the next stage of our journey to be successful in every sense of the word.”