Booking.com just released its 2021 Sustainable Travel Report. I will be running the entire press release about the report in the coming days. Be sure to watch for it. Insights in the report were drawn from 29,000 travelers across 30 countries. There were some survey results that jumped out at me. First, when looking just at the 40 percent of American travelers that said they have not stayed in a sustainable property in the past year, 37 percent said they did not even know that they existed, 16 percent said they could not find any options where they were traveling, and 26 percent said that they did not know how to find them. In fact, 42 percent of travelers still believe that in 2021, there simply are not enough sustainable travel options available.
These findings do not surprise me. Oftentimes, hotels do not report their sustainability activities on their websites, or they bury the information. It happens a lot with franchised properties especially. Websites for each property look almost identical and you must go to the corporate site to find information on green initiatives. Also, when was the last time you saw a TV spot touting a brand’s sustainability program? Plus, there are only a few booking sites that openly feature sustainable properties.
According to the report, while three out of four global accommodation partners say they have implemented sustainable steps at their property, only one-third (31 percent) actively communicate about their efforts proactively to potential guests, with this mostly happening at the time of check-in (59 percent). To those who do not communicate your efforts, what is the reason? According to the survey, 63 percent of U.S. travelers believe people must act now to save the planet for future generations. That is a hefty percentage. Plus, the part about check-in is interesting to me because I cannot recall more than just an occasion or two when I was told about anything having to do with sustainability at check-in.
The report concludes that significant challenges remain to making sustainability information easy to access for travelers at earlier stages of the booking process.
Watch for more information on this significant report on Green Lodging News.