Sustainable tourism is not a priority for the French, here’s why

Sustainable tourism is not a priority for the French, here's why

For eight out of ten French people, considering more responsible holidays to be more in tune with the climate emergency is not a priority. A few hours before the spring holidays for zone C, a study highlights the lack of desire of vacationers to change the situation.

The French do not want to change their habits

Get up at dawn to hit the road, then enjoy a little coffee on the motorway, before feeling relaxed just by the sight of the heated swimming pool upon arriving at your Normandy vacation spot… In In this case, we are far from putting our habits in line with the interests of the planet. But there you have it, the holidays have something reassuring, and that’s what we’re probably looking for at this precise time of the year when we can finally take the time to think about ourselves and no longer (too much) pay attention to everyday requirements.

So many holiday habits that feel good and are all the more difficult to relegate to the background, even in the context of climate change. No less than 35% of French people simply do not want to change their habits to adopt behavior more in line with the climate emergency, according to the sustainable tourism barometer carried out by the Madeinvote institute for Flower Campings*. To change the situation, what is more important than motivation. And on this point, we are not there at all! Last year, there were even fewer people who lacked the desire to change the way they spent the holidays, i.e. 23%.

Thus, 22% of French people plan to go abroad this summer, and therefore probably to take the plane. Moreover, 58% plan to go more than 400 km from home while one in two will take their car running on gasoline or diesel.

Prices too high

The crux of the matter for more responsible tourism is, unsurprisingly, the prices which a majority of French people (89%) consider too high compared to traditional tourist offers. An opinion shared by even more vacationers compared to last year (84%) even though in 2023 they had made trade-offs due to the inflationary context.

If the impression is general, it particularly concerns the train. 37% of those questioned consider ticket prices too high, particularly those under 35 (43%). Last summer, a Greenpeace report threw a wrench into the pond by calculating that the train in France cost 2.6 times more than the plane. In Europe, the tricolor rails are among the most expensive to take, even if in the United Kingdom, the bill can rise up to four times more than a plane ticket. No surprise then if only 12% of French people plan to take the train to go on vacation this year.

This pricing problem is even less likely to find a solution as the French do not very well understand what defines so-called sustainable tourism. This notion is considered vague by almost three quarters of French people (71%). The younger generation, in any case those aged under 35, are better able to understand the challenges of these more ecological holidays (37%).

*This survey was carried out by Madeinvote via Facebook and Instagram from February 9 to February 26, 2024 on a sample of 1,000 French people interviewed, aged 18 to 65, representative of the French population in terms of Gender, Age, CSP & Region.