Local and responsible tourism: what do the French think?

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Local and responsible tourism: what do the French think?

Local and responsible tourism:
What do the French think ?

This month, Interface Tourism Insights is going green with an analysis of the local and responsible tourism trends in France thanks to its travel data platform ETIM (European Traveller Intelligence Monitor): what is the position of the French towards responsible tourism? How does it translate into their travel habits and how has it evolved with the Covid-19 crisis? Is local tourism on the rise? To answer these questions, the new study by Interface Tourism Insights looks at the aspirations of the French in terms of green and sustainable tourism to draw up a profile of the French responsible traveler.

The trend is clear: 82% of French people say that they want nature, and that the choice of outdoor activities will be a determining factor in the selection of their next vacation destination. This rising desire for nature and wide open spaces is also accompanied by new concerns for ecology, sustainable development and responsible tourism.

  • Greater concerns for environmental issues 

The desire to travel is stronger than ever among the French right now, however the Covid-19 crisis has impacted the way they conceive their future travels. The environment – and its preservation – has become a central issue for a whole part of the French population and today 32% of the French, that is to say nearly one French person out of three, considers that environmental and sustainable development issues will be of great or very great importance in the choice of their next destination. They are particularly sensitive to the transportation methods used to get to their vacation destination and 30% of travelers say they will favor low carbon emission transportation (train or bus) or direct flights (48%). Alternatively, a third of respondents also declared a greater interest in trips and stays (flights and hotels) that are subject to a carbon offset program.

  • A renewed interest for proximity tourism

At the same time, this environmental concern is accompanied by a renewed interest in local tourism. Thus, 40% of the French will opt for destinations where they can get to by car. France has emerged from the crisis willy-nilly as the n°1 destination for French travelers, and over the next two years, nearly 20% of French people say they want to do more domestic tourism than before. Proximity again, countries bordering France are in second place with 8% more travel intentions than before the crisis, compared to 5.7% for the rest of Europe and 4.8% for destinations outside Europe.

  • Profile of the French responsible traveler: nature, environment and slow tourism

Who are these French people sensitive to responsible tourism and how does it affect their travel preferences? Among the French people surveyed who said that these issues were very important in their travel choices, 52% were women. They are also mostly couples and singles without children (51% and 41% respectively), rather than families (only 8% for families with children under 17). Nature and outdoor activities top their aspirations for selecting their next destination (89% vs. 82%).

The French responsible traveler also fits perfectly into the slow tourism trend: even more than the average French traveler, they want to be able to interact with locals when they travel (59% vs. 44% for French travelers in general), they want to meet new people (76% vs. 60%) and have cultural experiences on site (56% vs. 40%). Finally, in terms of lodging, they prefer more local or authentic accommodations: in priority the possibility of staying with family or friends, and otherwise private rentals, bed and breakfasts, their own holiday homes or independent 3 & 4* hotels.

Find here all the 2021 travel trends in France.

Alice Kabanoff Interface Tourism

Alice Kabanoff

Account Director

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