Travellers are more actively focused on enabling positive and empowering experiences for the communities they visit, shows a study by Economist Impact which surveyed 4,500 people across nine countries in the Asia-Pacific region including India. The study was commissioned by the online board and lodging platform, Airbnb.
The survey showed that 79 per cent of Indian travellers want to travel in ways that positively benefit local communities both economically and socially. While 58 per cent of Indian travellers think it is important that they're not contributing to issues such as 'overtourism'.
"People are increasingly becoming more thoughtful and deliberate about the ways they can use travel to make a positive contribution to the communities they are visiting," said Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager - Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
"We're seeing the rise of a new form of 'conscious travel' that will benefit communities across India in new ways," Bajaj added.
The research showed that two-thirds of Indians place importance on using travel as a way to meaningfully connect with communities and culture. 67 per cent of Indians say they'll be more conscious when it comes to familiarising themselves with what's important to the communities they're visiting.
More than 60 per cent of people in India are conscious that communities are in need of economic recovery and will factor this into where they travel and how they spend their money, showed the research. 68 per cent said that they are willing to forego comforts and luxuries on a holiday if their actions can support sustainable tourism outcomes.
"As demonstrated by our survey findings, we're seeing a trend where people are attempting to make their travel decisions more sustainable-economically, culturally and environmentally-and hoping to have a more positive impact by benefiting local communities," said Pratima Singh, Senior Manager for Policy and Insights at Economist Impact.
Creating equitable outcomes and income for locals as well as engaging with new social experiences and meaningful connections, emerged as the top two most important aspects of sustainable travel for those surveyed.
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