U.S. travelers are more familiar with sustainable travel terminology than they were two years ago but remain unwilling to pay more for eco-friendly travel options according to the July travelhorizons(TM), the quarterly consumer survey co-authored by the U.S. Travel Association and Ypartnership.

The percentage of American travelers who consider themselves "environmentally conscious" has not changed since 2007 (78 percent); however, there has been a remarkable increase in the percentage who report familiarity with the term "carbon footprint" (from 12 percent in July 2007 to 54 percent in July 2009). Awareness of the term "green travel" also improved from 9 percent in July 2007 to 22 percent in July 2009. Despite these increases, only 9 percent of consumers say they are willing to pay more to use travel service suppliers that offer eco-friendly options for travelers, and only three percent have purchased a carbon offset when booking travel.

"Although consumers are reluctant to pay more to support green travel service suppliers, they are definitely paying attention to those who are green, even in this down economy," said Peter Yesawich, chairman and CEO of Ypartnership. "Travel service suppliers should therefore continue to adopt green practices that have a minimum impact on consumers' wallets."

Among consumers who would pay higher rates or fares for eco-friendly options, roughly four in ten (39 percent) would pay as much as a five percent fare or rate premium to an environmentally responsible supplier, and an equal percentage would pay between five and nine percent more.

"Consumers are looking for 'green travel' choices at the right price. The travel community has developed thousands of options and we are adding more daily," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association. "Earlier this year, U.S. Travel and American Express launched TravelGreen.org to facilitate best practice sharing among travel companies and provide a clearinghouse on the latest research and trends in green travel."