ING: Carbon footprint and cost front of mind for Australia’s growing ‘Conscious Travellers’

Tom Watson

06 Mar 2020

Two hikers walking in the mountains content

It’s a known fact that Australians have travel on the brain, but it turns out that more and more of us are thinking beyond the hotels we’ll be staying at or the food we’ll be eating while abroad. 

New research from ING has revealed that 82% of Australians now consider themselves to be ‘conscious travellers’ - travellers who are increasingly thinking about the impact their trips are having on the environment and the countries they’re visiting.   

So what’s causing this move towards more conscious travel?

In a survey of 1,041 Australians conducted on behalf of ING, respondents reported the following as the most common factors behind becoming a more conscious traveller: 

  • - Awareness of the negative impact tourism can have on particular countries

  • - Concern about the negative impact travel can have on the environment 

  • - Becoming more aware of their own carbon footprint compared to previous years 

It’s not just a change in mindset though, because Aussie travellers also reported that they are willing to take action. 

According to ING, 69% of those surveyed said they would be willing to spend more on a holiday if it meant they could minimise their carbon footprint while 36% said they have already considered travelling by train, bus or boat instead of flying (which is more carbon intensive).

Cost consciousness also key

It turns out that ‘conscious’ Aussie travellers aren’t only focused on taking more environmentally-friendly trips though. 

ING found that the ‘low-waste and sustainability trend’ was flowing through to travel budgets, with 47% of survey respondents admitting to restricting any unnecessary splurging overseas as part of more conservative budgeting. 

One of the major ways Australians are looking to save while on holiday is by giving overseas card fees on their travel debit cards or credit cards the flick. 

The ING survey revealed that 62% of travellers were ‘concerned’ about getting charged overseas transaction or ATM withdrawal fees, while 48% admitted to limiting their use of ATMs in order to avoid getting hit with fees.

“Our research shows Aussies are a mindful lot. Not only are we inspired to make important changes to the way our travel impacts the environment, but we’re also looking to minimise money waste, sticking to budgets that don’t allow for frivolous spending,” said ING’s Head of Retail, Melanie Evans. 

“When it comes to cutting back on holiday spending, one of the easiest ways is opting for a card that doesn’t charge unnecessary overseas fees. It’s great to see a quarter (26%) of Aussies are already using credit or debit cards that don’t charge international or ATM withdrawal fees, but there are still a number of Aussies who are burdened by carrying an excessive ‘travel wallet’ and being charged fees that could be avoided.”

According to the latest figures from the Mozo database, only seven banks offer a debit card with a $0 overseas ATM withdrawal fee and a 0% international transaction fee: Citi, HSBC, INGMacquarie Bank, UBank, Up and Xinja

However, ING is the only bank that rebates overseas ATM owner fees to its Orange Everyday customers, providing that they meet the minimum monthly criteria of a $1,000 deposit and at least five card purchases.

RELATED: Best travel credit cards in Australia 2020

Getting prepped for your next international vacay? Check out some of the great travel debit cards in the table below, or take a read of our helpful guide on how to avoid fees when spending overseas.

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