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WEDNESDAY, 20 JULY 2016

AIG Travel Survey Explores Consumer Perceptions of Sustainable Travel Movement

Travel insurer reports travelers are receptive, but note barriers, to responsible tourism


HOUSTON -- According to a new poll, most travelers agree that traveling sustainably is important, but many may feel it's easier said than done. AIG Travel, a worldwide leader in travel insurance and assistance services, today released the results of its latest Pulse Poll on sustainable travel, which received more than 1,500 responses from travelers and followers of the brand.

Chief among the findings: Most respondents (52 percent) said it's important to travel sustainably, but more than one third (35 percent) reported difficulty doing so, with 50 percent of those citing "not knowing how" as the top barrier. This lack of awareness was reflected elsewhere in the survey, with 71 percent of respondents defining sustainable travel as "minimizing environmental impact" despite the World Tourism Organization's broader definition of the term, which includes economic and social elements.

"International travel is more accessible today than ever before, and with this access comes a responsibility to positively impact the places we visit," said Jeff Rutledge, CEO of AIG Travel and a Vice Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). "This Pulse Poll is one of many efforts to help us understand potential barriers to sustainable travel, so we may help travelers overcome them. The results suggest a major opportunity for consumer education around this important cause."

In April, AIG Travel sponsored WTTC's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which celebrate sustainability best practices by recognizing exceptional tourism businesses, organizations and destinations. In August, the travel company will partner with award-winning family travel blogger Heather Delaney Reese of "It's a Lovely Life" to host its first #WhereNext? Twitter chat on sustainable travel, educating travelers on the basics of the movement and exploring key survey themes, including:

  • Catch 22: In the survey's open-ended section, 41 respondents questioned whether air travel is at odds with sustainable travel. The group will discuss ways to mitigate the environmental impact of air travel, including purchasing carbon offsets, opting for public transportation once at one's destination, and practicing social and economic consciousness.
  • Team Effort: When asked who had the most power to help people travel sustainably, respondents held themselves (37 percent) and the travel industry (45 percent) about equally responsible. The group will discuss ways in which these parties may work together to promote responsible tourism.
  • Golden Rule: When asked what sustainable travel means to them, 49 respondents wrote in with variations of "treating others the way you'd like to be treated" and "leaving destinations better than you found them." The group will explore ways to bridge the gap from these abstract, but commendable, goals to concrete actions to support them.

In May 2016, AIG Travel distributed a 12-question Pulse Poll on the topic of sustainable travel to its U.S. direct marketing email list and Twitter followers. The survey received 1,508 responses from May 3 – May 10, 2016. For more information about AIG Travel, Travel Guard® travel insurance, and ways to practice sustainable travel, or to find updates on how to participate in the #WhereNext? sustainable travel Twitter chat in August, visit www.travelguard.com and follow Travel Guard on Twitter @TravelGuard.

About AIG Travel and Travel Guard

AIG Travel, Inc., a member of American International Group, Inc., is a worldwide leader in travel insurance solutions and assistance. Travel Guard® is the marketing name for its portfolio of travel insurance solutions and travel-related services, including assistance and security services, marketed to both leisure and business travelers around the globe. Services are provided through a network of wholly owned service centers located in Asia, Europe and the Americas. For additional information, please visit our websites at www.aig.com/travel and www.travelguard.com.

About AIG

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. Founded in 1919, today we provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement products, mortgage insurance and other financial services to customers in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions. Our diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com and www.aig.com/strategyupdate | YouTube: www.youtube.com/aig|Twitter: @AIGinsurance | LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/aig. These references with additional information about AIG have been provided as a convenience, and the information contained on such websites is not incorporated by reference into this press release.

AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. All products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available in all countries, and coverage is subject to actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.