Adventure travel industry survey reveals understanding of carbon offsets


NativeEnergy, an international leader in the carbon offsets industry, conducted a live Webinar in May, titled The Role of Carbon Offsets in Adventure Travel. As an informal survey of 50 members of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the objective was to gather perceptions of carbon offsets in the adventure travel sector. The results reveal industry perceptions and level of carbon offset comprehension.

Participating in the live Webinar and interactive survey were tour operators, destination marketing organizations, gear manufacturers and a variety of non-profit organizations. Richard Edwards of NativeEnergy co-presented The Role of Carbon Offsets in Adventure Travel, along with Brian Mullis of Sustainable Travel International.

As a veteran online travel expert, Edwards reports that the survey conveyed a desire among tour operators to use carbon offsets in a broader, responsible travel strategy and a belief that the consumer is ready and willing to help share financial responsibility. Additionally, the survey showed the pressing need for more education across all levels.

“Some of the survey results were very revealing,” reported Edwards. Just 51% of all respondents admitted they had a clear understanding of what carbon offsets were and how the voluntary offset market works. Yet when asked if they had a carbon offset program currently in place, an overwhelming 84% said they did not. However, 86% felt that the carbon offsets market could be a positive solution to the climate crisis.

“This feedback clearly shows a positive feeling about carbon offset programs within the adventure travel industry,” concluded Edwards. “Folks just need to better understand how it works and who is going to pay for it.”

The Webinar, the most well attended that the ATTA has done to date, is available online at Industry representatives and the public are encouraged to review it in its entirety, as it is available free of charge.