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Few Swiss holidaymakers are mindful of the environmental impact of their 2019 summer holidays

Between June and August 2019, LINK Institute representatively questioned 2,095 respondents in the German- and French-speaking regions of Switzerland about their 2019 summer holidays. According to the results, 64% of Swiss holidaymakers went away in the summer or were planning to do so at the time of the survey. For most of them, environmental aspects are not an issue. Only 21% said they thought it was important that the journey to their destination was environmentally-friendly and only 27% that their accommodation was environmentally-friendly. Apart from the proximity to nature or a natural environment at their destination, it is the climate and the price that top the decision criteria list when it comes to their choice of destination.

No flight shame discernible – younger people with worse eco-balance

Only 19% of Swiss summer holidaymakers holiday in Switzerland – most migrate abroad to other European countries (69%). Eleven percent travel outside Europe. Accordingly, cars (46%) and planes (37%) clearly dominate the choice of transport. Only 13% travelled by bus or train and, as such, chose a form of transport with a better carbon footprint.
«Apart from the fact there’s an absence of flight shame, the environmental protests by the younger generation have also had no impact on summer travel patterns», says Stefan Reiser, Head of Market Research at LINK Institute, who ran the study. Indeed, at 71%, 15 – 29 year-olds went on summer holiday not only more frequently than the older generation, at 52%, they also travelled by air much more frequently and at 60% travelled significantly more often from Switzerland to non-neighbouring countries.

This ties in with the decision criteria summer holidaymakers named when it came to their choice of travel destination. However, environmental aspects were particularly important for older people aged between 60 and 79. For 37% of them, an eco-friendly journey to their destination was highly relevant, as was eco-friendly accommodation for 45%. Among the 15 – 29 year-olds, this figure reached just 21% and 23% respectively.

No real improvement in terms of environmental impact in comparison to 10 years ago

The behaviour of the surveyed summer holidaymakers who have been planning their summer holidays on their own for the last 10 years has not changed over the decade to become more eco-friendly when it comes to transport. The car in particular comes out as the winner in this comparison: 36% travel more often with the car or camper van in comparison to just 15% of respondents who travel less frequently with such transport. The figures for bus and train are more or less balanced, and only a slight downward trend can be seen for air travel (36% say they travel less often, 33% just as often and 24% more often).

Attitude and behaviour match

Summer holidaymakers who say that these days they take care that their summer holiday plans are eco-friendly, do in fact act more sustainably. Specifically people who think that a eco-friendly journey to their destination is important have reduced their number of flights in comparison to 10 years ago and use transport with a good eco-balance more often.

«If, however, the eco-balance of summer holidays is to be fundamentally and sustainably improved, there’s no way round external intervention in the market to make transport with a good eco-balance more attractive», says Stefan Reiser summarising the results.

DOWNLOAD: Charts Press Release LINK Swiss Holidaymakers’ Summer Holidays

Stefan Reiser
Head of Business Unit Market Research
+41 79 198 27 25
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