Beyond Green By The Luxury Channel

An excerpt from an overview of a recent report by the Future Laboratory in the July 2010 issue of Luxury Briefing.

Beyond Green

Trends reflect the changing nature of consumers themselves. Values, along with value for money, are becoming increasingly important for a new generation of conscience-driven travellers. ‘Ecotourism’ is the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry, expanding globally between 20% and 34% per year, and sustainable tourism is expected to make up 25% of the world’s travel market by 2012 despite the current downturn, according to research by the International Ecotourism Society. On top of this, nearly one in 10 travellers (9%) only make bookings at hotels with an environmental policy, according to a recent survey by global market research firm Synovate of 6,300 travellers. Malaysian travellers led this green charge (27%), followed by Indonesians (17%) and Brazilians (15%).

Making a resort green is only one of many problems the industry faces, however. World oil reserves are due to hit their peak in 2011, then go into a steep decline, according to the London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre. In this world, then, where oil is in scarce supply and therefore becomes an expensive commodity, it is inevitable that travel will change, as will the nature of resorts themselves in light of the fact that we will need to employ more sustainable ways to design and manage them, and more efficient ways to power them.

Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl, authors of Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil, predict that changes will occur rapidly over the next 15 years. “We’re not seeing the end of air travel by 2025, which is as far ahead as we’re looking in the book, but we’re seeing greatly diminished air travel, particularly domestic,” says Gilbert, a consultant on transport and energy issues. Against this backdrop, we can imagine the rise and return of more civilised train journeys: rail networks, for example, are enjoying a renewed popularity. In 2008, 9.1m passengers used Eurostar, the high-speed train service that links the UK and mainland Europe, representing a 10% increase on the previous year. An excerpt from an overview of a recent report by the Future Laboratory in the July 2010 issue of Luxury Briefing.