Malaysian travellers prefer eco-friendly hotels

A survey reveals that travellers are conscious about the environment but don’t want to pay more to protect it.

THE majority of Malaysian travellers care about the environment and are willing to pay more to protect it, a recent survey by revealed.

Most Malaysian holidaygoers (60.64%) indicated that they prefer eco-friendly hotels, with 42.8% willing to pay US$10 to US$50 (RM33-RM163) more to stay in one. Another 15.2% said they would be willing to fork out more than US$50 (RM163).

This puts Malaysia third in the ranks of Asian travellers who are willing to pay more to stay at an eco-friendly hotel. Brunei and Indonesia came in first and second respectively.

The online survey asked 57,000 customers how they felt about environmental efforts by hotels. While 58% of all travellers said they preferred hotels that claimed to be environmentally friendly, 39% said they would pay an extra US$10 (RM33) or more per night to stay in one. Seventeen percent said they’d pay up to US$5 (RM16.30) more, and 31% said they wouldn’t pay anything more.

Travellers from the Netherlands, Denmark and Britain cared the least about eco-friendly hotels. Only 35% of Danish and Dutch travellers and 38% of British travellers said they preferred them. They were among the least likely to want to shell out more cash, too, with 57%, 47% and 47% respectively saying they would not pay anything extra to stay in a green hotel.

The biggest fans of green hotels were travellers from China. An impressive 79% said they were more likely to stay in eco-friendly hotels. When it came to opening their wallets, though, they were a little less enthusiastic. Only 35% said they would pay US$5 (RM17.50) or more per night to stay in a green hotel.

When asked which environmentally-friendly hotel practices they liked the most, travellers picked use of environmentally-friendly cleaning products and recycling as their favourites, each taking about 37% of the total votes cast (respondents were allowed to select as many as they wanted from a list of eight common practices). The least popular was reusing towels and sheets, which got only 23% of the votes.

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