Holidaymakers Refuse to Help the Environment

First published in Travel Promotions

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A recent survey has shown that British holidaymakers are not willing to change their travel plans in order to help the environment.

As world leaders meet at the Copenhagen Summit to discuss climate change, research has revealed that the majority of holidaymakers are not prepared to change their travel habits in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.

Cost and convenience were voted more important by a staggering 90% of people who responded to the survey. Just 13% said they were prepared to reduce their flights next year as opposed to 15% who were considering flying more during 2010.

>From the 2,000 people surveyed, just 5% would be happy to pay a little more for their holidays to off set the environmental cost. And just 11% have the confidence in leading global governments to deal with climate change.

The research company's group director, Tom Costley said "This research points to a 'hands off' approach to the question of travel and the environment. Even though we claim to be concerned about climate change, we prefer to consider our travel plans in isolation and avoid letting green concerns affect our flying."

The director added that it seemed like travellers see their holidays as an escape from reality and maybe assumed others would take the responsibility of climate change, when they should really be thinking about it themselves.

Many passengers feel that they are already 'doing their bit' by paying the increased Air Passenger Duty (APD) which took effect in November this year.

Although the government refers to this as a 'green' tax, it is unclear as to how much is actually getting spent on the environment. Increases saw short haul economy flights such as those on Ibiza, Majorca or Menorca holidays rise by just &pound1 per person. For those travelling a bit further afield, perhaps to Egypt then the tax is &pound5 per person more. While those travelling long haul to destinations such as the Caribbean will see charges rise by up to &pound30 per person. Premium seats are set to go up by &pound150 per person next year, meaning a family of four could be paying &pound600 more for holidays to the Caribbean.

The banding system is determined by the distance of the destination from London, and prices are set to rise even further next year.

The argument is sure to run for a long time to come on exactly who should be covering the cost for the self indulgent among us who like to holiday abroad without facing the consequences.

Commercial airlines complain that the tax does not affect private jets or cargo flights. The government are refusing to drop the 'green' tax and we as a nation don't seem to be overly concerned about the damage our Menorca holidays for example, could be doing to the environment, it looks like things will continue the way they are, but if the APD continues to rise, places like the Caribbean could find themselves suffering more from this tax than from climate change itself.

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