Visitors say they would pay for a green Ireland

Most tourists visiting Ireland would rather stay in hotels that had tackled their environmental impact and a sizeable minority say they would be prepared to pay a premium to do so.

The country’s tourist board, Failte Ireland, quizzed 5,700 overseas holidaymakers last summer and the now-published results show that 52% would seek to stay in a hotel that has taken steps towards sustainability, while 35% said they would be prepared to pay more to do so.

Nearly half of respondents claimed they would offset carbon emissions when flying on holiday. As things stand, the real number of people seeking voluntary offsetting schemes is a fraction of that.

Industry accreditation scheme Green Hospitality Awards has welcomed the findings, which it says are backed up by a similar consumer survey of US travellers carried out by Tripadvisor, which showed that 33% of American visitors claimed they would pay more for a hotel with environmental certification.

“We are obviously delighted with these findings as it further endorses the work of the GHA which assists businesses in the hospitality sector to reduce their carbon footprint”, said Maurice Bergin, GHA director.

“Already our members are convinced of the value of introducing effective environmental management programmes as they have experienced substantial reductions in costs resulting from the programme, so this is just a further boost for them.”

150 hotels and guest houses across Ireland are members of the GHA scheme.

Sam Bond

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