Almost half of UK holidaymakers say ‘giving back’ to a holiday destination is important to them, the results of a new poll by Tui UK & Ireland reveals.

The survey found that 62% of holidaymakers agree it makes them feel better when they know their holiday was organised with respect to nature and the local community.

More than half (55%) want to indulge in delicious food (55%) and sample local cuisine (82%).

Visiting local markets and neighbourhoods (48%), shopping for souvenirs (68%) and taking a tour with a local guide (50%) are among priorities.

The issues most likely to attract support from British tourists are hunger and food safety (27%), animal welfare (26%), cultural heritage conservation (22%), education and lifelong learning opportunities (18%).

The findings indicate that social and environmental awareness is not just ‘on-trend’ but is fast becoming a cornerstone of mass tourism.

The research reveals the extent to which engagement with local culture and people can enhance holidays and help create unforgettable memories.

Academic Xavier Font, professor of sustainability marketing at the University of Surrey, who helped develop the study, said: “It’s great news that British holidaymakers are increasingly more concerned about the welfare of the places they visit.

“On an individual level, the notion of ‘giving back’ is becoming the norm and people want to engage with local cultures on holiday.

“There’s also a very clear message for the travel industry with the majority of Tui customers expecting the companies they book with to demonstrate care and responsibility towards the destinations they operate in to show how they ‘give back’ too.”

Tui UK & Ireland marketing and customer experience director Jeremy Ellis – a board member of the Tui Care Foundation charity – added: “The research confirms that travellers value the type of activities we support.

“We find and fund projects that align tourism with the most important social and environmental needs of holiday locations and tackle the concerns closest to UK tourists’ hearts.

“Our latest initiatives are opening up youth employment opportunities for disadvantaged youngsters in Morocco and The Dominican Republic, protecting endangered loggerhead turtles in Cape Verde and supporting farmers in Crete.”