www.ResponsibleTravel.com results show high increase …

That is certainly a great sign for eco-tourism since Responsible Travel is the leading OTA (online travel agency) providing green holidays. They are based in the UK.

More info below from http://www.travelmole.com/

Responsibletravel Sales Up 37%

Despite the gloomy economic outlook there’s a ray of sun for responsibletravel.com, reporting sales growth of +37% for Jan – Jun 2008 as the responsible tourism sector becomes better established. While the holiday market remains tough responsible travel & tourism is one of the few areas showing growth. The big winner is England – which knocks Thailand off the number 1 most booked country on the site (up from 14 with sales growth of +95%) as travellers look to stay closer to home. Other winners include Turkey, outside the Euro and good value, which is up from 10th to 5th most popular destination. Losers include Kenya – with sales down 40% and dropping from number 4 to number 20 after the (now resolved) political problems earlier in the year. Other, perhaps more surprising, losers include China down from number 7 to number 23 after publicity around pre Olympic human rights issues increases. The top 10 destinations in 2008 so far (with 2007 ranking in brackets) –

1. England (14) 2. Thailand (1) 3. Egypt (3) 4. Italy (2) 5. Turkey (10) 6. Spain (12) 7. Peru (5) 8. Malaysia (8) 9. Morocco (9) 10. Tanzania (6)

Justin Francis, responsibletravel.com Managing Director said – “Although a far newer category than say organic or fair trade food the responsible travel & tourism market is slowly becoming better established. As in the food sector increasing numbers of consumers want to know how products (holidays) are made, by whom and with what consequences for the environment and local people.” “However, perhaps the key to our growth is that tourists increasingly want locally distinctive holiday experiences rather than cloned resorts, and travellers are discovering responsible travel is a more enjoyable way to travel.” “Although only 25% of the companies that approach us end up meeting our criteria and joining our site we have increased our product range by 20% as more hotels and tour operators turn to responsible tourism. Over the past year we’ve focussed on growing our closer-to-home UK and European holiday offers”.

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