Potential demand Information to tour operators Corporate Initiativs Lack of a "Green Corner"  

About this Publication
The European Union
Table: core set of indicators
Eco-labelling tourism
The tourism market
The VISIT approach
The VISIT Standard
The VISIT eco-labels
The VISIT message
Easy access to eco-labelled products
The VISIT Association
Outlook 2010
Word of thanks


The tourism market

Potential demand for certified products

A. Consumers expect environmental quality

The best holiday is when the guests are completely satisfied. Studies have demonstrated that consumers in Europe, for example from Germany, United Kingdom and the Netherlands are aware of environmental impacts that can be caused by tourism. They expect a high environmental quality in their destination, prefer eco-labelled accommodation services, would like to see certified products in travel catalogues and have access to all “green” tourism products in Europe. Some examples:

Environmental quality aspects

  • Two out of three UK travellers think it is important that the tour package is “specifically designed to cause as little damage as possible to the environment.” More than 80% said dirty beaches and a polluted sea, “mattered a great deal” in choosing or recommending travel destinations.
  • Half of all Germans are looking for high environmental quality. They want to spend their holiday only where the environment is still unspoiled. What do they expect in detail when thinking of their next holiday trip?
    • One third of all Germans would like to be able to reach the destination by bus or train, and would also prefer to have good public transport at the holiday destination instead of having to use the car.
    • The majority of German visitors attach great importance to clean beaches and water. They do not wish to find rubbish near their accommodation or in the surrounding area, and are strongly opposed to noise pollution caused by traffic, discothèques and the urbanisation of rural areas. A good protection of nature is considered a must for a quality holiday.
    • Approximately 40% of the Germans think that it is particularly important to find environmentally-friendly accommodation.


HOLIDAY 2002: German tourists expect environmental quality

When thinking about your next holiday, which of the following environmental factors is most important to you?
64.5 %: clean beaches and water
59.1 %: no rubbish in the resort or in the surrounding area
51.0 %: no noise pollution from traffic or discothèques
50.0 %: no urbanisation of rural areas
45.8 %: good nature protection in the holiday destination
41.8 %: environmentally-friendly accommodation
35.1 %: little traffic and good public transport in the destination
29.0 %: possibility of reaching the destination easily by bus or train
18.7 %: indication of environmentally preferable products in the tour
operators’ catalogues
14.2 %: easy access to information on all tourism products with certified
environmental quality (eco-labels)

Source: ECOTRANS / F.U.R. (Reiseanalyse 2002)
Sample: n = 7872 / representative for 60 m Germans aged at least 14 years

Information to tourists

  • Nearly 20% of German tourists would welcome catalogues of tour operators, accommodation networks and destinations to clearly indicate offers, which are particularly environmentally-friendly. Approximately 14% of German tourists wish to have easy access to all certified products, e.g. via the Internet.
  • Approximately 50% of all UK consumers are interested in finding out more about local social and environmental issues before booking a trip. Three out of four UK package vacation travellers declare that the inclusion of social and environmental information in tour operators’ brochures is important to them.
  • 82% of Dutch tourists believe that integrating environmental information into all travel brochures is a good idea. 73% stated that they would use this information when selecting accommodation.
  • Half of Dutch consumers give an eco-label for accommodation the same importance as a quality classification system, others prefer one or the other. They wish to be informed about both service quality and environmental quality. (Taking this into consideration one could have the idea of simply combining the well-known 5 star classification system for hotels with an extra “green star” for preferable environmental performance!)

Consumers are not aware of the existing eco-labels

  • Although a majority of Germans are familiar with product labels, current German tourism eco-labels are recognised by not more than 3 – 19% of the consumers.
  • In the Netherlands only 6% of the consumers know the Dutch Milieubarometer eco-label for tourism services. The positive exception here is the International Blue Flag: 27% are familiar with this symbol for beaches and marinas.