Research Insights: Exclusively for HITT participants

Research Insights: Exclusively for HITT participants

Ten more days and the HITT community will be back on board. And with it, exclusive news that Think Tank participants will be the first to hear. The latest results from the hospitality survey on changing consumer behaviour will be presented by Chairman Dr Crispian Tarrant from data researcher BVA BDRC: Baby Boomers are grabbing it, the younger ones prefer to talk about social. In addition, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Arlt will present his new “Meaningful Tourism Index Hospitality 2023” for the first time in Europe: His ranking shows which hotels have a true sustainability approach.

The results on the topic of the new consumer behaviour in terms of sustainability are part of a large-scale hospitality study by the market analyst BVA BDRC. The final results will only be available in the next few days. Here, therefore, are just some initial pointers, which alone will set an exciting discussion in motion during the HITT:

Cris Tarrant
Cris Tarrant: The differences between the generations are clear. / Photo: private
  • Travellers believe that “others” should be responsible for sustainability, climate change and the environment, with the responsibility falling on governments and large companies.
  • Only about a third of respondents are willing to pay more for sustainable products, but this is no longer a given due to the current increase in the cost of living.
  • Two out of five survey participants agree that sustainable travel is very important, and the majority do give some thought about the environment and sustainability when they are travelling.

The differences in the generations

  • Generation Y/Z (Millennials) are significantly more likely to agree on the importance of sustainability than Baby Boomers.
  • When it comes to concrete sustainability measures, the picture is different. Baby Boomers are significantly more likely than Gen Y/Z to reduce their waste, save plastic, reduce their energy consumption and buy products from the region.
  • While Gen Y/Z are the most focused on sustainability, they care more about social issues than Baby Boomers: fair trade, avoiding purchases from countries/companies with employees who are doing poorly, and supporting companies that focus on diversity & inclusion.

“While this may seem counterintuitive at first glance, it is borne out by other research we conducted in 2021,” adds Cris Tarrant.

Certificates: no label stands out

A big topic of the think tank this year is also the sustainability certifications for hotels. BVA BDRC asked which labels are best known. The disillusionment is great: almost half (45%) did not know any certifications at all when asked. On the consumer side, however, the GenY/Z were much more aware of the certifications than the Baby Boomers.

The most important labels mentioned were

  • ISO14001 with 25%
  • Green Key with 22%
  • Travel Sustainable Badge (from with 17%
  • B Corp with 17%
  • Earth Check with 16
  • GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) with 13%
  • Travelyst with 12%

BVA BDRC conducted the research in the top ten traveller source markets: USA, China, UK, Germany, France, Italy, the Nordic countries, Canada, Australia and the Middle East. In each country there was a robust sample size of n=500 travellers, with fieldwork conducted in the first week of June.

Premiere for the Meaningful Tourism Index / Hospitality

speaker Arlt Wolfgang Georg - Hospitality Inside HITT Think Tank 2018
Prof Dr Wolfgang Arlt: The results can be measured. / Photo: privatePremiere for the Meaningful Tourism Index / Hospitality

The new Meaningful Tourism Index will have its European premiere at HITT 2023. And here, too, the index inventor and editor Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Arlt will present results of the hospitality industry to the participants.

Arlt is known to HospitalityInside readers and HITT participants as a China expert. Covid-19 forced a 3-year China break, a week ago Wolfgang Arlt just returned from his first extensive China. In Shanghai, he presented the index for the first time (without the hospitality results).

“The Meaningful Tourism Index Hospitality 2023 will give guests a clear indication of which hotels have a positive approach to sustainability that not only includes their own satisfaction, but also brings benefits and satisfaction to all stakeholders, including, among others, guests, hosts, staff and service providers, as well as at the various levels of government and from the environment,” Arlt said. “The index helps prove that this is not a form of greenwashing, as it is based on concrete results measured with verifiable KPIs.”

The Meaningful Tourism Center, based in Hamburg and headed by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, published the Meaningful Tourism Index for countries in April 2023. / map


Copyright teaser image: Laurence J Photo