TripAdvisor(R), the world's largest travel community, today announced the results of its ecotourism survey of more than 1,000 travelers worldwide. Eleven percent of respondents have taken and one-quarter are considering going on an ecotourism trip. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said that environmentally-friendly tourism is a consideration when traveling.
Rolling Out the Green Carpet
Thirty-eight percent of travelers surveyed have stayed at an environmentally-friendly hotel, and nine percent specifically seek out environmentally-friendly hotels. When asked what qualities are most important to making a hotel eco-friendly, conserving energy ranked number one, followed by conserving water and using recycled paper.
Spare the Change
Seventy-eight percent of travelers said they decline to have their sheets and towels changed, when provided the option by hoteliers.
A Good Start
Sixty-six percent believe environmentally-friendly measures in travel are making a difference.
Putting Money Where Their Mouths Are
Thirty-four percent of travelers surveyed would pay more to stay at an environmentally-friendly hotel. Twenty-five percent would be willing to pay a 5-10 percent premium, and 12 percent would pay a 10-20 percent premium.
Twenty-four percent of respondents believe that air travel should be avoided, when possible, to help preserve the environment. Thirty-eight percent of travelers surveyed would pay more to take an eco-friendly flight and 26 percent would pay a 5-10 percent premium. Only three percent of travelers surveyed have purchased carbon credits.
"A significant number of TripAdvisor survey respondents are environmentally-conscious, which sends a message to the travel industry to ratchet up eco-friendly offerings," said Michele Perry, director of communications for TripAdvisor. "Travelers are willing to pay more to be green."
TripAdvisor's Top Ten Environmentally-Friendly Accommodations
1. Green Genes: Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, Vanua Levu, Fiji- Average nightly rate $617
On an amazing 17 acres of coconut plantations overlooking Savusavu Bay, the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Island Resort offers numerous eco-friendly activities and features a marine biologist on staff. A TripAdvisor traveler noted, "It has the friendliest staff, and we were made to feel like we were the only people there."
2. Lofty Standards: Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa, Costa Rica- Average nightly rate $420
A private nature reserve set 350 feet above the ocean, Lapa Rios Ecolodge is constructed of local natural materials and set in a breathtaking tropical rainforest. A TripAdvisor traveler commented, "There is unbelievable wildlife at every turn-toucans, scarlet macaws, and even monkeys on the walk to the main lodge."
3. Big Sur Prize: Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California- Average nightly rate $871
Blending into the cliffs of Big Sur, the Post Ranch Inn is made of organic materials and features houses with ocean, mountain, tree and butterfly themes. One TripAdvisor traveler commented, "The Post Ranch Inn excels at the little things and touches. All-in-all, this is a remarkable property with great service."
4. Peruvian Pearl: Inkaterra Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu, Peru- Average nightly rate $616
In the tranquil Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, the Inkaterra offers striking white-washed cottages and stone pathways made from local materials. A TripAdvisor traveler wrote, "The hotel is amazing, situated in the forest with great vegetation and hummingbirds by the hundreds."
5. Hill Thrills: Concordia Eco-Tents, Salt Pond Bay, St. John- Average nightly rate $115
Built almost entirely from recycled materials and positioned up on the picturesque hills of Salt Pond Bay, the bargain Concordia eco-tents are powered by the sun and wind. One TripAdvisor traveler commented, "We felt like we were living in the trees since we were eye-level with the treetops."
6. Daintree Discovery: Daintree Eco Lodge: Daintree, Australia- Average nightly rate $404
Located in a rainforest, the Daintree Eco Lodge provides luxury accommodations while preserving the local habitat. A TripAdvisor traveler noted, "We spent time with one of their Aboriginal guides, who taught us dot art painting and about their culture."
7. Bio 101: Hotel Punta Islita, Playa Samara, Costa Rica- Average nightly rate $229
In a threatened ecosystem, Hotel Punta Islita has an on-site biologist that is identifying the best conservation strategies. One TripAdvisor traveler said, "Set on a steep hill, the beauty of the place is extraordinary."
8. Chaa-Ching: Lodge at Chaa Creek, San Ignacio, Belize- Average nightly rate $170
On the banks of the Macal River in a rainforest, the economical Lodge at Chaa Creek has thatched-roofed lodges and great trails to explore. One TripAdvisor traveler suggested, "It paradoxically combines being a pioneer in eco-tourism with extremely comfortable adobe-walled cottages and excellent facilities."
9. Seaside Sanctuary: Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine- Average nightly rate $275
Committed to environmental responsibility, the charming New England-style Inn by the Sea educates its guests on environmentally-friendly practices. As one TripAdvisor traveler commented, "It was everything and more with unforgettable views of the ocean."
10. Heart and Solar: Hotelito Desconocido, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico- Average nightly rate $417
Lit by torches and candles at night, the solar-powered Hotelito Desconocido is set on an estuary and in July, sea turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs. One TripAdvisor traveler wrote, "At night the hotel is illuminated with thousands of candles making it romantic and interesting."
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