Our diet choices and requirements, especially ones like Veganism which are arguably a choice of lifestyle not just food, can affect many parts of our lives. Where we go out to eat, where we shop, what clothes and other products we buy, even our holiday choices. So much so that, according to GlobalData, Veganism’s influence on the travel industry will only continue to increase in the future.
GloblalData, a leading data and analytics company, says that Veganism has traditionally been associated with both the consumer and retail sectors but its influence in the tourism space is growing. Vegan-friendly tours, excursions and digital travel apps are emerging as another tool for travel companies to attract environmentally focused individuals. As companies across the travel and tourism spectrum look to recover from the harmful impact of Covid-19, they see greater personalisation as key. This helps ensure satisfaction and consequently, accommodating every traveller type – vegan included – will be critical in the future of travel.
This #worldveganday choose a holiday that caters for you, rather than being relegated to the salad menu for every meal.— Responsible Travel (@r_travel) November 1, 2018
Responsible travel, sustainability and appetising vegan cuisine are a perfect combination. Find out more about our vegan trips here https://t.co/Clh8DdbdyF pic.twitter.com/2VLd6rMkCq
Travel & Tourism Analyst Johanna Bonhill-Smith comments, “A common objective across the entire travel and tourism sector is to deliver a ‘seamless’ traveler experience for each customer along every touchpoint, on an individualised, trip-by-trip basis. Vegan travellers can often encounter problems ranging from where to stay to a lack of suitable meal choices. Language barriers and cultural differences can often exacerbate these problems. This creates an opportunity where personalised recommendations are lacking and catering for a growing vegan consumer base could soon be a key differentiator.”
Unique apps have emerged, with Veg Visits and Air Vegan identified as key innovators. Veg Visits, for example, is a Vegan home sharing platform providing individuals with ‘vegan hosts’ across 80 different countries. Air Vegan rates how vegan friendly an airport is, giving users insights into the best Vegan food spots within it. Some lodging providers also commonly provide for the Vegan tourist with hoteliers and Hilton opened its first Vegan hotel suite in 2019. Tour operators are also capitalising on this market with smaller companies such as Responsible Travel promoting 34 Vegan holidays across destinations worldwide including Greece, Ethiopia, India and Costa Rica.
Bonhill-Smith concludes, “The view that a vegan diet reflects a more sustainable form of lifestyle is gaining increased traction and is no longer considered a market niche. In a GlobalData survey conducted in December 2020, 76% of over 5,700 global respondents identified they were influenced by how ethical/environmentally friendly/socially responsible the product/service is”.
Prior to Covid-19, only 46% of global respondents identified that they actively buy products that are ‘better for the environment or animal friendly’. This suggests travellers’ perceptions are changing during Covid-19 and many may decide to make more environmentally friendly decisions – including going vegan.
“Servicing a traveler’s every need is going to be critical in post-pandemic recovery to both restore confidence and ensure satisfaction. With a greater level of satisfaction, there is, in turn, a higher chance to attract loyal customers – a promising prospect in light of Covid-19 and the detrimental losses it has inflicted on company revenues. As travel companies aspire to personalise each individual’s experience, ‘Veganism’ should be an area to be acknowledged and acted upon, not ignored across the tourism sector”.