10 trends shaping the future of impact tourism in 2022

by | Mar 29, 2022 | Public Relations

New research from impact travel pioneer Kind Traveler culls research from industry leaders and surveyed their consumer base to identify global trends shaping the future of the travel industry. The 2022 Impact Tourism Report brings together their findings and pairs them with actionable solutions for travelers.

CEO Jessica Blotter, a Board Director of Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), has made it her life’s mission to educate, inspire, and create a groundswell of kind travelers that will make a positive impact in the communities they visit. While gathering information from hotels, charities, and destination partners, Jessica shares key information about the future of the travel industry and identifies 10 trends shaping the future of impact tourism.

“Trends give us direction, while solutions give us better pathways forward. As a former earth science teacher, education and positive change are interlinked,” said Blotter, in a news release. “By creating and offering more kind choices, it’s possible to create tourism opportunities that drive positive impact and trip satisfaction. We hope this Impact Tourism Report serves as a beacon of inspiration for the industry.”

The report includes:

  • 10 trends shaping the future of impact tourism: hotels, charities & destinations
  • Educational, responsible travel tips to drive action
  • Unique examples of impact tourism including sheep meditation, sleeping with wolves, philanthropic social clubs, waste-to-candles recycling workshops, floating adventures at a bear sanctuary in Switzerland, and more creative experiences

Key statistics from the research include:

  • 96 percent of respondents noted that it’s important (noted either slightly important, fairly important, important, or very important) that their travel dollars are making a positive impact in the places they visit.
  • 48 percent stated that choosing accommodations that are sustainable and socially conscious is the hardest part about traveling sustainably.
  • 37 percent stated that reducing or eliminating their carbon footprint was the hardest.

The 10 key takeaways from the report stem from the travel industries’ renewed interest in sustainable & regenerative travel and community-driven initiatives:

  1. Hotels innovate creative ways to motivate giving
  2. Transparency for guests required
  3. Hotels + local charities as catalysts for destination wellbeing
  4. Opportunity for hotels to be regenerative powerhouses
  5. Measurable sustainability metrics: More important than ever
  6. Charities financial support still ravaged by Covid-19 impact
  7. Charities create positive impact experiences
  8. Storytelling, virtual platforms, and strategic partnerships as key motivators
  9. Destinations are a key resource for travelers
  10. Stewardship pledges are critical roadmaps to good

Kind Traveler and all the generous partners who gave their insight hope that these 10 trends stand to encourage and inspire other hotels, destination managers, business or nonprofit representatives, and travelers to seek out partnerships and resources to make a positive difference. When all consumers make purchasing with purpose a priority, the industry will follow.

Download the full report here.

Kind Traveler interviewed 64 partner hotels, charities, and destinations in 16 countries to uncover 10 trends that are shaping the future of impact tourism in advancing positive community and environmental impact in destinations. There were 1,014 respondents that submitted feedback in the Kind Traveler survey.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter