Is formally identifying your property as a green hotel becoming more important? That certainly seems to be the case with an increasing number of organizations saying they will recognize green or sustainable hotels on their websites.
Back in September, according to Bloomberg, Google began labeling hotels as “Eco-Certified” in its global search results, with a leaf-shaped icon next to the hotel’s name. The new feature relies on 29 certification programs to establish a hotel’s green credibility. The term “green hotel” has quadrupled in search volume since March 2020, according to Google Trends.
Earlier this month, Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, announced the inaugural launch of its Travel Sustainable badge, a sustainability measure that will provide information to travelers all over the world looking to make more sustainable travel choices. The badge is available to any kind of property that has implemented a combination of sustainable practices that meet the requisite impact threshold for their destination. The property need not be part of any certification program.
Designed to be applicable to a wide range of property types, from apartments, B&Bs and holiday homes to hotels, resorts and even treehouses, and adaptable to local realities and considerations, the initiative is highly unique, Booking.com says. The goal of the badge is to make credible recognition of impactful sustainability efforts attainable for more properties worldwide and to provide travelers with a transparent, consistent, and easy-to-understand way to identify a wider range of more sustainable stays, no matter where they want to travel.
What Bidroom is Doing
Bidroom participants are able to easily find hotels that have been awarded one of a number of eco-labels through their “eco-certified” designation. Accommodations that achieve this certification need to meet rigorous standards, including reduction of CO2 emissions, energy usage and water usage, proper waste management, conscious use pesticides, and promotion of sustainable services and food.
While TripAdvisor has not actively promoted its GreenLeaders program for hotels in a long time, it still identifies properties on its site that are part of the program with a leaf along with a description of the various steps the hotel is taking to reduce its environmental impact.
A new World Travel & Tourism Council and Trip.com Group report found that more than eight out of 10 (83 percent) global travelers say they would make sustainable travel a priority in the future. The report is one of several that have found this same travel preference.
What I have discovered over the years is that it is not that easy maintaining a booking website that highlights a property’s green attributes. It takes money. It takes people to do the managing and updating and it takes marketing and PR—a lot of consistent marketing and PR—to get the word out about a program. It will be interesting to see if these online programs really catch on in a big way.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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