11 April 2006
Green issues are important to 86% of parents when they book a family holiday, according to a new survey.
The survey, by leading family travel website www.takethefamily.com, shows that the growth of eco-friendly tourism is beginning to impact the family travel market.
Lucy Ace, managing director of takethefamily, said: “Parents care about their children’s future. They recycle more and more at home. And now it seems they want to protect the environment when they’re on holiday.”
“It’s a tricky balance. Parents want to protect the environment. But more and more want to travel further afield and as we know air travel pollution is a growing concern for environmentalists at the moment. Not everyone wants to stay at home in the UK.”
While a third of parents put cost above the environment, the vast majority wanted to go green when they went abroad.
A small majority (14%) put the environment at the bottom of their list of priorities saying it was a holiday not a science trip.
And the desire for green family holidays is reflected in increased sales, according to Lucy Ace. “Consider Center Parcs, where you park up and spend the break getting round on foot or bike. It’s full practically all year round and planning to open a fifth resort. It’s not just a great product; it’s also a greener holiday option”
Other family holiday and break options that will appeal to green-minded parents include city breaks via Eurostar. And while Scandinavia, Ireland, southern France and northern Spain may all be further afield, they are still easily accessible from the UK through direct ferry connections.
Families who do opt to travel by air can still clear their consciences by donating to organisations like the CarbonNeutral Company or Climate Care, which arrange for trees to be planted to offset the damage caused by a flight. And more and more families are doing just that.
(489 families participated in the survey via Take the Family's site. 146 care about the environment 'loads - it's my child's future', 150 'care a fair bit - I do what I can', 128 'care a little - but cost is more important' and 65 do not care at all.)
Take the Family’s favourite places offering kids clubs include Lanzarote’s Princess Yaiza, the Algarve’s Vila Vita Parc, the UK’s Luxury Family Hotels Group and the four Center Parcs resorts. For those seeking a luxury break try the Four Bears Den at one of the UK’s four Luxury Family Hotels or the Treehouse at the Sandy Lane in Barbados. Mark Warner and Club Med have great reputations, partly because of their kids clubs and smaller operators on our list of favourites, with a dedicated family friendly portfolio, include Esprit, Powder Byrne and Aspire Holidays.