fb-pixelAre people losing interest in sustainable travel? This study says so. - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Are people losing interest in sustainable travel? This study says so.

Plus: The best (and worst) tourist attractions around the world

Ally Rzesa/Globe Staff

Welcome back to Survey Says, in which we share some of the random, absurd, and occasionally useful polls from the world of travel.

With Earth Day coming up, the team behind The Vacationers website wanted to know how Americans feel about sustainable travel, whether they’d spend more to travel sustainably, and whether they planned to make more eco-friendly decisions when planning their vacations.

The good news is that most do: A survey of 1,017 US adults conducted online earlier this month found that 82.1 percent said sustainable travel is either somewhat important or very important to them. But there’s bad news here, too: That’s down more than 5 percentage points from the 87.32 percent who said it was either somewhat important or very important to them in 2022.


Other key stats from the study: Three out of four people said they plan to make more eco-friendly decisions when they’re planning time off. Of that 74.33 percent, only 22.81 percent said they will make the decisions regardless of whether it inconveniences them, and 51.52 percent of respondents said they would do it only if it does not inconvenience them. Last year, 81.57 percent said they planned to make more sustainable decisions when planning travel, so there is a significant drop there, too.

Last year, 78 percent of people said they would pay more for a vacation if it meant lowering their carbon footprint. This year, that number was closer to 71 percent, another notable decrease.

The Vacationers also asked survey takers to list the factors that are most important to them when booking travel. Not surprisingly, cost was the top answer, at 59.78 percent; time and convenience was next with 35.59 percent of people listing it as their top priority. Only 4.62 percent of respondents said sustainability is their top concern when it comes to travel.


It’s hard to know what to make of the drop in interest in sustainable travel, especially as news about climate change only becomes more dire. But it’s possible that the pandemic is a factor here: Maybe people just want to travel freely now that they can, even if it means putting their own wants over the planet’s needs. Let’s hope it’s temporary.

The best (and worst) tourist attractions around the world

Another study that caught our eye this week comes from Stasher, a luggage storage network, which ranked 99 global tourist attractions to find the most popular. Their data analysts examined Google reviews, local accommodations, distance from the nearest international airport, safety records, and TikTok popularity to give each attraction an overall score out of 10.

Why did Stasher do this? Well, they say, “It’s important that tourists know what to expect. Nobody wants to think ‘is this it?’ when arriving at a tourist attraction. But every traveler has experienced the disappointment of reality not living up to expectations at some point.”

Here’s the list of the 10 best, according to Stasher’s analysts:

1. Hungarian Parliament Building, Hungary (7.34/10)

2. Disneyland Paris, France (7.17/10)

3. The Blue Lagoon, Iceland (7.15/10)

4. Plaza de Espana, Spain (7.13/10)

5. Angkor Wat, Cambodia (7.04/10)

6. St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy (7.03/10)

7. El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Argentina (6.99/10)

8. Acropolis of Athens, Greece (6.91/10)

9. Museum of New Zealand, New Zealand (6.9/10)

10. Milan Cathedral, Italy (6.83/10)

And the 10 worst:


1. Hollywood Walk of Fame, United States (3.42/10)

2. Grand Bazaar, Turkey (3.48/10)

3. Taj Mahal, India (3.83/10)

4. Busch Gardens, United States (4.52/10)

5. Lotte World, South Korea (4.8/10)

6. Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong (4.89/10)

7. Ocean Park, Hong Kong (4.96/10)

8. Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, Japan (5.04/10)

9. Great Wall of China, China (5.05/10)

10. Everland, South Korea (5.17/10)

Chris Morris can be reached at christine.morris@globe.com. Follow her @morrisglobe.