More Luxury Travellers Are Looking To Go Green—Here’s What This Means For The Travel Industry

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the preferences of luxury travellers towards more environmentally friendly options. The latest How We Live Report by Aviva shows that 64% of UK travellers want to reduce the environmental impact of their holidays by exploring green travel options — including more environmentally friendly transport modes, accommodation, and other environmental steps while travelling.

The same survey notes that 24% feared ‘green travel’ would not be luxurious enough. However, Jon Marsh, MD, Partnerships, at Aviva General Insurance, explains that “…there is a wide range of options available nowadays, so travelling ‘green’ needn’t mean being devoid of home comforts.” From road trips and cruises to air travel, luxury travel providers are adapting and responding to meet the demands of this luxurious and environmentally conscious market. Let’s take a closer look below.

Recreational vehicles (RV) and auto vehicular travel

Many luxury travellers now opt for road trips as a more sustainable and immersive way to explore the world. Companies such as Living Vehicle, renowned for their 24-foot-long travel trailer, have introduced eco-friendly features in their vehicles. These include the Street-side Dual Solar Awning, which provides 4,400 watts of solar power, advanced insulation, and energy-efficient systems to minimise overall energy consumption. Otherwise, the Euro loft and Dual-Zone Mini-Split AC style system of the trailers at Living Vehicle are sure to impress any luxury traveller.

The thick competition within the RV industry has fuelled collaborations among established firms. In 2023, the manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” Airstream even partnered with legendary design firm Studio F. A. Porsche to deliver a futuristic camping trailer with improved aerodynamic performance and towing experience optimised for electric vehicles. These innovations promise to redefine the luxury of road trips and appeal to environmentally conscious luxury travellers while contributing to a more sustainable future.

The shift towards green luxury travel in the UK’s RV and auto vehicular industry extends beyond individual travellers. Rental companies are also joining the sustainability movement. UK-based rental companies like Just Go Motorhomes and LandCruise Motorhome Hire offer eco-friendly RV rentals with solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and responsible waste management systems. By providing these options, rental companies enable luxury travellers in the UK to experience green travel without the additional costs of owning their own RVs.

Ships and the cruise industry

The Aviva report counts almost a third of holidaymakers in Britain now travelling by boat (or train) to reduce their carbon footprint. Hence, major companies in the cruise industry, such as Royal Caribbean International or Explora Journeys, are investing heavily in environmentally friendly practices. Standard ships are retrofitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems while actively implementing waste management strategies, such as recycling and advanced water treatment systems.

Additionally, companies are exploring liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a cleaner fuel source for their vessels. While Explora I is set to sail on its maiden voyage in July 2023, Explora Journeys specifically promised that Explora III, IV, V and VI will be LNG-powered, with Explora V and VI also being hydrogen-powered. This will produce emissions-free power, thereby minimising impacts on marine environments and ensuring a positive footprint on all places and people visited.

Luxury airlines and air travel

In air travel, luxury airlines are also taking steps to offer greener alternatives. British Airways, for example, has invested in developing sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). The airline partnered with renewable fuels company Velocys to establish Europe’s first commercial waste-to-jet fuel plant, converting household waste into low-carbon aviation fuel. By incorporating SAFs into their operations, successful projects of luxury airlines may slash CO2 emissions by an average of 200,000 tonnes each year.

As this demand continues to grow, more companies are expected to embrace eco-friendly practices, offering luxury travellers the opportunity to explore the world in a sustainable and luxurious manner. For more travel news and guides to auto travel, check out our other blogs on Zen Guide.