Vegan vacations and experiences are on the up, with travel giants such as Intrepid Travel launching new exclusively plant-based food tours. The Australian group travel company now offers “Vegan Food Adventures” to destinations such as Italy, Thailand, and India. “We feel it’s important to encourage and celebrate vegan cultures and practices around the world as one way responsible travelers can help save our planet,” Leigh Barnes, chief purpose officer for the company, said in June.
But “responsible travelers” aren’t just vegans, claims the co-founder of Veggie Hotels, Thomas Klein. The entrepreneur maintains that his global network of veggie and vegan hotels are popular with a variety of customers, including meat eaters. In fact, most of the hotels on his network report higher numbers of flexitarian or health-conscious customers than vegans, he notes.
“We see unbroken demand from guests,” Klein told Business Insider UK. “Hotels from around the world are asking us what they can do to become more vegan friendly and we are in the process of putting together workshops to educate chefs and hoteliers in plant-based hospitality.”
Lonely Planet, a major travel guide website, first predicted the trend for vegan vacationing back in January. “More and more people are developing a taste for vegan and vegetarian dining with benefits to their health, the planet, and of course, the animals,” stated the guide.
The travel industry is changing, with many companies choosing to adapt their policies to be kinder to animals. One way of doing this is to provide vegan tours. Another is to discourage customers from visiting attractions that may be harmful to animals. In July, Britain’s biggest travel agent Thomas Cook axed the sale of tickets to SeaWorld and Loro Parque, due to claims that the theme parks are abusive to the marine mammals in their care. Chief executive of the company Peter Fankhauser said, “[We] knew we had to take action to make sure that the attractions we sell were consistent with our customers’ expectations of us.”
Further, Gate 1 Travel, a Fort Washington-based travel company, ceased selling tickets to captive elephant attractions in June, after realizing the cruel nature of the industry.