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When thinking about reducing your carbon footprint, the best way is to lessen emissions. But when it comes to business travel, the efforts of sustainable business travel often get overshadowed. Sustainability and the environmental and social impacts of travel have been at the forefront of the global travel industry. With companies slowly committing to joining greener travel trends and eco-friendly retreats have all started booming.

Business travel is what brings people and nations together and booms the economy of countries. It is clear that there can’t be a pause on travel, so necessary steps are being taken in the effect of climate change and green trends. And as much as we see different global corporates take charge of building a green travel management system, there are still many barriers that get in the way of a greener business travel industry.

A study by the Global Business Travel Association conducted from January to March 2022 between industry professionals and policymakers in the global travel sector was carried out to understand the barriers and key challenges to draw a map toward sustainable business tourism. Here are some of the barriers standing on the path toward prioritizing greener travel trends and the solutions that can come into effect.

There are 4 major barriers to a more sustainable business travel

 1. The perceived high cost and low financial gain

According to GBTA ratings, higher costs were on high priority to the sector’s sustainability development. Due to sustainability implementations over 82% of business travellers were worried about the higher costs involved in business travel. A huge geographical and regional gap can also be seen in accepting cost factors. Respondents from North America were more worried about higher costs than European travellers.

Over 42% of the respondents and about 71% of stakeholders especially NGOs and think tanks believed that there was a lack of financial aid and incentives taken by the nation’s government in making efforts toward greener travel trends.

2. Lack of data and access to transparent sustainability information

Over 68% of business travellers believed that companies failed to present data and efforts towards sustainable travel, which caused a lack of information, thereby leading to reduced interest levels in the whole agenda. When there is a lack of information on set emission levels and technology tracking within organizations, it becomes difficult to keep individuals motivated in the long run. Making it hard to track the success of cutting carbon emissions. 

3. Lack of interest from some stakeholders

Due to the perceived higher costs with no financial gain from going green, there is a lack of enthusiasm to allot more resources for sustainability. Over 69% of Latin American respondents agreed with a lack of interest from industry professionals to bring the right changes. Andover 28% believe that stakeholders and policymakers in the industry need to build on their sustainability performance.

Due to the perceived low gains, the enthusiasm of stakeholders to participate in sustainability efforts is a cause for concern. No support from the stakeholders along with the lack of data would translate to unclear environmental regulations as well. 

Many industry professionals and travellers believed that there was a loophole in the efforts of various governments to provide clarity on environmental regulations. The respondents in the study rated environmental concerns as their highest material issue on the roadmap to sustainable travel. Concerns like clean energy, clean water and sanitization, responsible energy production and consumption and effective efforts towards climate action were of the highest priority of the GBTA members.

4. Compromising the quality of travel

Though there are many ways to practice sustainability when travelling, 34% of respondents believed that sustainable travel efforts may hamper their travel comforts. Everyone across the world is used to travelling a certain way with a certain set of comfort. Many of them weren’t open to accepting changes in travel comfort levels.

This is co-related to travel comfort. Over 32% of travellers and 60% of policymakers believed they would have to travel for long hours to make up for green tourism. The fact that air travel is the highest contributor to increasing CO2 levels means travellers would have to take alternative forms of travel that may hamper their time management.

The solution as of now

GBTA and its respondents understand the need for talking about new concepts to force travel managers and buyers to take the sustainable travel route. Overall mindset and cultural change on how companies prioritize sustainability needs major tweaking. Only then can more organizations support better and stricter data tracking. 

Sustainability will only work in full action when the entire world joins hands and collaborates with one and only one idea – to increase sustainable travel, reduce carbon footprint and make the world a better, safer place for everyone.

As we wait for the current situation to get better, companies may partner up with organizations like Patch to equip themselves with the needed data and resources to achieve greener travel.

Brighter outlook for business travel

We are on the right track to travel recovery and your business goals don’t have to be on a waiting list. Book a demo or sign up for a free trial to see how we can make business travel easier and safer for you.

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