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Travellers Want To Be Greener But Is More Eco-Education Needed?


Signs like these at hotels seem to encourage guests to conserve (Photo: Joelk75)

In the next year, 71 per cent of of the more than 700 U.S. travellers surveyed by TripAdvisor said they intend to make more eco-friendly choices than in the past. Forty-seven per cent said they were as eco-conscious on vacation as at home.

But while the survey showed that travellers take advantage of green practices—80 per cent report using hotels’ linen-reuse programs, for example—and half of all respondents said they’d spend more money to stay at a “green” hotel, a majority of travellers (73 per cent) said they either “rarely” or “never” feel they have the necessary information to decide whether a hotel is eco-friendly.

Additionally, only 4 per cent of travellers had taken a dedicated eco-tourism trip in the past—and 17 per cent didn’t even know what an eco-tourism trip was.

Travellers were also asked to rate the cities they perceived to be the greenest in America, which were Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. According to the 2011 Siemens Green City Index of U.S. and Canadian cities, they were almost right: San Francisco and Seattle ranked as the two “eco-est” U.S. cities, but Portland didn’t even make it into the top 27.

Among the top ten U.S. and Canadian cities, the Green City Index rated Vancouver number 2 (after San Francisco) and Toronto number 8. ln the top 20 were Ottawa (#12), Calgary (#14) and Montreal (#19). Vancouver ranked number-one in air quality and CO2 emissions.

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