The influence of veganism in travel and tourism is growing, according to data and analytics company, GlobalData, which says vegan-friendly tours, excursions and travel apps are emerging as the industry looks to bounce back from Covid-19.
Travel companies are hoping to attract environmentally-focused individuals as they see greater personalisation as key. That also means accommodating every traveller type, vegans included, will be critical in the future of travel.
Johanna Bonhill-Smith, GlobalData’s travel and tourism analyst, said: “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.”
She identifies apps like Vegvisits and Air Vegan as “key innovators”. The former is a home-sharing platform providing accommodation with vegan hosts across 80 countries, while the latter rates the vegan-friendliness of airports and where you can find plant-based food within them. Some lodging providers commonly accommodate vegan tourists in hotels, and Hilton opened its first vegan hotel suite in 2019. Tour operators are also making the most out of this market, with smaller firms like Responsible Travel promoting 34 vegan holiday destinations globally, including Greece, India, Ethiopia and Costa Rica.
Bonhill-Smith added that a vegan diet is no longer viewed as just a market niche, and the fact that it’s a more sustainable lifestyle is well-known. “Travellers’ perceptions are changing during Covid-19 and many may decide to make more environmentally friendly decisions — including going vegan.
“Servicing a traveller’s every need is going to be critical in post-pandemic recovery to both restore confidence and ensure satisfaction. 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.”