The Future of Vegan Travel
As vegan travellers, it is easy for us to feel a sense of responsibility to travel in a way that is sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly. Since the pandemic started, it is evident that we are not alone in this goal. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of prioritizing our personal health, which naturally includes the incorporation of plant-based eating. As travel companies work tirelessly to anticipate what the future of tourism could look like, one thing has become abundantly clear: vegan travel is on a definite incline, thanks to consumer trends.
When the world came to a screeching halt in March of 2020, I found myself in awe of how nature began to flourish and seep into our man-made environments. In a newfound calm and quiet, dolphins jumped in the waters of Turkey’s newly vacant Bosphorus, which is normally one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. Sheep visited a deserted children’s playground in a Welsh village and for the first time in a decade, a pair of giant pandas mated, relishing in the lack of human visitors to their Hong Kong park. In my own neighbourhood, a family of foxes were frequently spotted on the shores of Woodbine beach. The liberation of the natural world was magical and its liveliness and vibrancy was palpable.
Photo: Vegan food options while travelling
The Statistics prove vegan travel is on the rise
GlobalData, a data analytics and consulting company, headquartered in London, England, conducted a survey which revealed that the number of U.S. vegan-identifying consumers grew from 1 percent to 6 percent between 2014 and 2017, a 600 percent increase. A July 2020 survey showed that 58% of American participants said they wanted to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet. Veganuary conducted another survey that same summer in which respondents admitted that “the link between animal agriculture and the pandemic contributed to their decision to consume more vegan food”. Here in Canada, younger generations are the fastest growing plant-based population. This was evident in recent Google data, which showed a 113% spike in vegan related searches since 2016.
Learn more about the impact of being vegan on the world HERE.
Even tour operators have seen bookings for their vegan holidays more than double in recent years. Big tour operators like Intrepid have been prepared for some time to satisfy the need for vegan travel with their plant-based itineraries through their “Vegan Food Adventures”. Another industry household name, Contiki, plans to launch vegan focused trips later this year. These companies are realizing the importance of providing these options so vegan travellers can explore with peace-of-mind, while adhering to their lifestyle choices. All in all, it is an exciting time to be a vegan traveller.
Of course, veganism is just one piece of the sustainable travel puzzle. To better understand this umbrella niche, we have to have a collective focus. This starts with really looking at where our dollar and practices are going. We must first shift our focus to community travel, a concept used at responsible travel companies like G Adventures, as the core element for creating a promising and healthy future for sustainable tourism.
Photo: Rhinoceros in the wild
The impact of travel on our planet
I’m sure, like me, you have been part of countless discussions over the past year that involve reminiscing about travel - wishing for the pandemic to be over and for travel to resume again. While I definitely miss the thrill of jet setting and road tripping, quarantine has certainly given me ample time to reflect on how I can fulfill this passion while simultaneously doing it in a way that positively impacts the planet and supports a vegan lifestyle so there is no compromise while travelling plant-based.
The pandemic has catapulted the human race into change, completely altering life as we once knew it. It has presented an opportunity for us to reevaluate our perceptions and processes. This universal experience has opened our eyes to the strong link between our actions and their impact on our planet, which has brought about necessary conversations on how we can live more environmentally friendly lives moving forward.
As the uncertainty of the lockdown situation continues, I find a renewal in my spirit and inspiration as I eagerly anticipate all of the possibilities of the future of vegan travel moving forward. I feel thankful for this pause in time which has given us the chance to reevaluate how we roam this planet and what we will do when we arrive in our destinations.
Photo: Mother and child enjoying local culture while travelling as a vegan
The vegan travel movement is on an exciting journey and I think I speak for us all when I say I look forward to being part of its evolution, or revolution?
Stay tuned for another blog post on community travel and other ways to travel sustainably.
For more information on Transformational Travel and how it could be implemented into your travels or business, please feel free to reach out to me.
Written by Claire Burt
Vegan Vacations is 100% vegan owned and operated. As a Vegan Travel Agent supporting vegan travellers all across North America, we make Plant-based vacations a reality.