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Responsibility is yet to travel from thoughts to action

Haaga-Helia commissioned a survey on responsible travel with 550 Finnish respondents in spring 2019. The results revealed that while people are increasingly interested in responsible travel, they aren’t quite ready yet to take concrete action.


Pasi Tuominen

hotelli-, ravintola- ja matkailualan liiketoiminnan kehittämisen lehtori
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Eeva Puhakainen

viestinnän lehtori, TKI-viestintävastaava
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 09.09.2020

The principles of responsible travel were considered important or very important by 53 % of the respondents – especially young people, students and women. However, 17 % deemed them unimportant or not very important.

In practice, 6 % of respondents have changed their travel habits significantly due to environmental or social impacts. Interestingly, 8 % of men have done so compared to 4 % of women. A clear majority – 68 % – of Finns haven’t yet changed their travel habits.

Attitudes also vary according to location: 11 % of the respondents in Helsinki have changed their habits, whereas in Northern Finland the figure is only 2 %.

Would you pay more for responsibility?

Would Finns be willing to pay extra for a travel product if fair wages were guaranteed for the employees in the destination? In the survey, 58 % answered in the affirmative.

What’s more, about 50 % would be ready to financially support the protection of the environment in the destination – and pay more for a locally produced and authentic product.

Willingness was slightly lower when the respondents were asked whether they would pay more for environmentally friendly vehicles (39 %) or accommodation (about one-third) in the travel destination.

Several conscious and unconscious factors influence the choice of a travel product. The Haaga-Helia survey as well as international research indicate that responsibility has emerged as one of them, but the gap between thoughts and deeds still exists.