An overwhelming proportion of young Indians are motivated to make sustainable holiday choices and merge altruism with travel, according to a Cox & Kings study released in conjunction with World Environment Day.
The results of the study were derived from surveys carried out in key Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram, with the 5,000 youth respondents aged between 20 and 35 years.
While the service providers on one end are modifying business models to contribute positively, travellers are also becoming more conscious than ever, Cox & Kings observed.
Close to 72 per cent of the participants said they prefer to hire a bicycle or simply take a bus/train to explore while on holiday in Europe. While there is very little that can be done to contain the greenhouse emissions by air travel, millennials in India wish to compensate by choosing more environmentally-friendly ground transport modes.
Places to eat are chosen either through local or online research. About 67 per cent of respondents take more to restaurants that provide locally sourced food, and criteria such as minimal to no usage of single-use plastics.
The demand for green hotels and accommodation facilities is also on the rise. An impressive 89 per cent of respondents indicated they have chosen their stay post researching sustainable practices.
Be it for luxury or budget accommodations, the young Indian explorer chooses the one that prioritises local community, local procurement of resources, solar power usage, waste treatment facilities and technology-intervention to minimise carbon footprint.
Moreover, 59 per cent of survey participants mentioned they reused their bath towels and asked for a no replacement from the hotel staff.
Voluntourism, an emerging trend of travel linked to doing good while on the go is also a big hit. About 92 per cent of young Indians expressed interest in participating in plogging events (picking up trash and jogging), rural tours, farming trips, NGO visits, cause-based trips and sustainable treks/hikes.
For many, overtourism is a concerning phenomenon. About 74 per cent of respondents avoids destinations that are strained by mass tourism.