Booking.com flags sustainable stays

BANGKOK, 19 November 2021: Booking.com has launched a Travel Sustainable Badge that will provide a consistent way to identify a broader range of more sustainable stays.

The badge is available to any property that has implemented a combination of sustainable practices that meet the requisite impact threshold for their destination.

Booking.com says the “goal is to make credible recognition of impactful sustainability efforts attainable for more properties worldwide and to provide travellers 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.”

Accelerating the sustainability journey

According to a new study just released by EY Parthenon and Booking.com, despite emitting 264 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year, representing 10% of the tourism industry’s annual emissions, the accommodation sector has the opportunity to lead the way in making travel and tourism more sustainable.

While significant investments are needed to reach net-zero by 2050 (EUR768 billion), the research findings highlight that many accommodations have already implemented a range of carbon emissions measures. 

In addition, considering that 81% of global travellers state they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the upcoming year, the company sees a huge opportunity to highlight more of the significant efforts its accommodation partners are making on their important journeys to create more sustainable experiences, making it easier for travellers to find a sustainable way to stay.

With 73% of global travellers indicating that they would be more likely to choose a specific accommodation if they knew it was implementing sustainable practices, the Travel Sustainable badge and program helps reward and further encourage all accommodation providers to take the next steps on their individual sustainability journeys, ultimately increasing the overall amount of sustainable accommodation options available.

During this first launch phase, a property’s page will display an overview of its sustainability efforts across the Booking.com app and website globally.

As the rollout continues, the sustainable travel icon will also start to appear on property listings on the search results page over the coming weeks, along with a sustainable travel filter to help travellers identify more sustainable options from the beginning of their search experience on Booking.com.

The company’s ambition within the framework of the Travalyst Coalition is to create a transparent measure for sustainable property information across the industry. As such, this first version of the Booking.com Travel Sustainable Badge leverages a set of attributes validated by the Travalyst Independent Advisory Group. The badge focuses on highlighting practices that are most relevant to a broad range of property types, as well as their high-impact potential.

The Travalyst Coalition and other industry experts identify the most impactful practises for a property to consider in five key areas: waste, energy and greenhouse gases, water, supporting local communities and protecting nature.

It breaks down to 32 specific sustainability measures or practices that properties can implement. They include everything from eliminating single-use plastic toiletries or switching to LED light fixtures to running on 100% renewable energy sources or investing a certain percentage of profits into local community and conservation projects.

For each one of these practices, Booking.com has also worked with reputable sustainability consultancy Sustainalize to develop a robust methodology that assesses these practices’ relative weight in the model. The calculation also considers the property’s location and accounts for its size, improving the model’s accuracy and applicability among the large variety of Booking.com’s partners.

For example, water-reducing measures in an area prone to drought or sourcing renewable energy options in a country where that’s not yet widely available are weighted as being more impactful.

More detailed information on how individual properties worldwide have achieved the badge is available in this updated section of the Travel Sustainable Handbook on the Booking.com Partner Hub.

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