Tootbus Study: Attitudes to Sustainable City Breaks 2023

ETOA member, Tootbus, have published their second barometer of sustainable city breaks results. Conducted by Opinion Way, the study aims to capture how current attitudes towards environmental challenges are likely to shape city break travel trends. It gathers insights from more than 3000 travellers across 3 countries; France, UK and Belgium.


The study found that in 2023, European tourists are increasingly interested in exploring unfamiliar cities and off-the-beaten-track destinations. Respondents from all three countries expressed a preference for visiting little-known and less-visited cities, with culture being the primary factor influencing their choice of destination.

Surprisingly, only 30% of respondents have a clear understanding of what sustainable tourism entails. While many have heard of it, the majority struggle to explain its meaning, and half of them find it challenging to engage in sustainable travel practices.

The study highlights positive trends in Europeans’ travel habits with a focus on consuming local and responsible food, purchasing local products, and engaging in responsible activities. It also shows that sustainable city breaks are perceived as expensive by the respondents and while they seem to be ready to make changes to their travel habits, most of them expressed stronger interest in reducing their budget rather than their carbon footprint, with a considerable percentage of Europeans unwilling to pay more for sustainable travel options.

It also reveals that tourism operators have a critical role to play in promoting sustainable tourism, suggesting a need for increased awareness, financial incentives, and official regulations to encourage stakeholders to adopt sustainable practices.