ITB 2019: Travelzoo global survey finds public support for tackling ‘overtourism’

ITB 2019: Travelzoo global survey finds public support for tackling ‘overtourism’

The travelling public will support the industry if it works to address concerns about ‘overtourism’ by promoting alternative travel options.

That was the key finding of a global Travelzoo traveller survey, the results of which were unveiled last week at the ITB trade show in Berlin.

The deals publishers worked with independent researcher Norstat to assess the views of 8,000 consumers in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US.

Sharry Sun, Travelzoo global head of brand, who presented the results at ITB last week, said she was positive about the findings.

“Consumers today are very aware of the situation, and they have gone through that stage to reach for alternative options and are committed enough to contribute and work together to tackle the issue.

“It’s up to use as industry players to harness desire for real change. We have started to look at what we could do in order to contribute. We should continue to educate people and increase awareness. We are getting there, we are on the right track, but we are not there yet.

“As an industry publisher we will continue to call for sustainability among industry players as well as among our members. There are many ways to present the world to our repeat travellers.

“Today the goal, as we stand here talking about overcrowding, is not to tell travellers to stop travelling, it’s how we allocate demand and supply smartly to enjoy the world in a responsible way.”

Sun said Travelzoo can play a key role in helping to re-allocate demand away from pinch points as its founding mission has always been to help people travel affordably and help suppliers to fill spare inventory and so enabling them to even out demand.

The survey findings were split into three distinct phases of travellers’ move towards appreciating the full impact of mass tourism on destinations: Awareness, Action and Commitment.

Sun said there were “promising” findings with respondents prepared to engage in activities to help local communities and support local businesses as well as paying more to ensure that their holiday choices benefit the destinations they travel to.

Among the findings in Travelzoo’s survey were:

  • 69% believe that protecting the local environment from tourists’ damage is one of the most important issues of our time;
  • 52% of consumers are more concerned about the effect on local residence and infrastructure than a downgraded travel experience for themselves;
  • 65% of consumers said they’d be open to travelling at less busy times of the year;
  • 43% of consumers said they are interested in supporting local brands, local small businesses, and local culture.

The survey also found travellers are willing to pay a premium to tackle the problem of “Overcrowding”:

  • 76% of Germans, 69% of the French, and 61% of the Spanish would pay an extra €100 to €300 to stay away from overcrowded destinations
  • 42% of Japanese would pay an extra JPY 30,000 to stay away from overcrowded destinations
  • 41% of Canadians would pay and extra CAD $500 to stay away from overcrowded destinations
  • 31% of Chinese would pay an extra CNY 4,000 to stay away from overcrowded destinations
  • 28% of British would pay an extra £500 to stay away from overcrowded destinations
  • 19% of U.S. travellers would pay $1,000 to stay away from overcrowded destinations

Sun said: “These results show it will become increasingly important for consumers to see alternative choices of destinations.

“This is exactly what Travelzoo has always been specializing in. It is just becoming more relevant.

“The interesting insight for us from the data is that a significant number of consumers are willing to pay more to stay away from overcrowded destinations.

“When promoting destinations with excess inventory, Travelzoo has always managed to provide its members with irresistible offers at lower prices.

“We would like to invite all these consumers to Travelzoo to see how they can stay away from overcrowded destinations and enjoy very attractive prices at the same time.”

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