In honor of Earth Day on April 22, Virtuoso surveyed its network of travel advisors to share how they are seeing rising interest in travelers seeking sustainable tourism vacations.

The result? Clients do factor in sustainable tourism practices –  defined as travel that is more environmentally friendly, supports the protection of cultural and natural heritage, and provides social and economic benefits to local people – and Millennials are leading the charge, followed by Baby Boomers and Generation Z.

Virtuoso travelers enjoying beautiful Sedona, Arizona.

“Sustainable tourism represents a transformative movement and our goal remains to support our travel partners in their best practices, from saving endangered species to supporting community development projects around the world. By sharing these inspirational stories and educating Virtuoso advisors and their clients on the positive impact that comes from traveling in a more mindful way, we are helping to advance travel as a force for good,” said Jessica Hall Upchurch, Virtuoso Sustainability Ambassador.

These ten factors of sustainable tourism appeal to Virtuoso clients:

  • Reducing plastic waste
  • Eco-friendly practices
  • Protecting wildlife
  • Eating local foods/supporting local farmers
  • Giving back to communities
  • Animal welfare
  • Respecting culture
  • Staying at green hotels
  • Conserving coral reefs
  • Safeguarding historic sites 

Virtuoso advisors expressed concern about some of the impacts they are witnessing in popular travel destinations, including climate change that has led to a die-off of coral along the Great Barrier Reef; rising sea levels that threaten coastal cities, such as New Orleans, and entire countries, including the Maldives; as well as the increased popularity of archeological sites such as Machu Picchu that attract millions of visitors every year.

For travelers wanting to learn more, here are six easy ways to travel sustainably.

*Survey data comes from Virtuoso’s 2018 Luxe Report, providing insights into the latest trends in travel.