Sustainability is rapidly becoming the new standard in environmentally friendly practices. The ratio of travelers that want to make a positive impact through their travel-related purchasing decisions is steadily increasing. According to a 2019 study by the leading travel booking platform Booking.com, nearly three-quarters (72%) of travelers said that people must act now to save the planet for future generations.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel (IPCC), issued a report in October of 2018, which states that the world needs to limit global warming to pre-industrial levels of 1.5°C within just over a decade, and floods and droughts beyond that. The report insists that there is a risk of extremely high temperatures. It can be said then, that the increased awareness of the environment among travelers is a change in consciousness based on the climate situation of the global environment.
In order to make sustainable travel and tourism searches easier, several sites exist which are dedicated to information sharing and booking possibilities for eco and sustainable tourism. We have found 6 sites for booking sustainable accommodation and activities, which we have shared in 2-part articles consisting of 3 featured listing sites each.
Keep reading below to discover booking sites for eco and sustainable tourism options!
Positive Travel is a Swiss non-profit social enterprise founded in 2018. Their goal is to make travel more ethical and sustainable.
Positive Travel works with travel professionals and businesses to protect their destinations and raise traveler awareness by strengthening best practices that have a positive impact on the environment and society. The profits are donated for the Global Forest Fund, forest conservation and associated community projects.
Positive Travel rates each hotel and travel agency with a unique rating based on the following criteria:
1. Fair pay and decent working conditions
2. Job education and equal opportunity
3. Human rights
4. Community, heritage & culture
5. Wildlife, biodiversity and natural habitat
6. Natural Resources: Water and Energy
12. Local sourcing
As of June 2020, Positive Travel has launched the campaign ‘Support your travel gem’ in order to help struggling small sustainable tourism-based businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is possible to make reservations with hotels and tour companies all over the world, but as this is an up and coming business, the options are not endless.
Holiable is a startup launched in France in 2018.
With locations in Europe, Asia, Central American and Africa, Holiable can locate and book hotels, restaurants and activities that focus on sustainable efforts. The website is nice and stylish with emerald green theme colour and design. Although there is a limited number of Europe-centric listings, the charm is big – with unique properties in beautiful surroundings.
Each facility listed is evaluated for their level of sustainability with the easy to understand specific checkpoints below:
Free bike rental
Is there a charging station for electric vehicles
Is there a pesticide-free, organically grown, permaculture vegetable garden?
Are the food and drinks they serve made of organic produce?
Is there a vegan option
Are you purchasing directly from local farmers?
Is there a vegetarian option
Is it a building made of environmentally friendly materials?
Are fair trade products on offer?
Are the bed linens and towels made of organic materials?
Are non-chemicals used to clean the room and clean the linen?
Are bathroom amenities recyclable? Most of them are natural ingredients, and are they free of problem ingredients?
Is it locally staffed?
Is there a contribution to the community by donating a part of sales/profit to charity or environmental conservation?
Resources and energy
Are renewable resources for energy in use?
Is there a rainwater collection?
Towels and bed linen are not changed daily unless requested by the customer’
Does the company have activities to offset carbon dioxide emissions?
Is there low consumption lighting ?
Is there an effort to reduce water consumption?
Is the swimming pool free of chemicals?
What measures are taken to reduce waste such as not using disposable products?
Is there sorting for recycling?
Are concrete measures being taken to reduce food waste?
Is organic waste composted?
Are single-use plastic bottles in use?
Coral Road is a booking site for accommodation and hands-on activities in locations mainly throughout India and Southeast Asia. Launched in Stockholm in 2017, there are now over 100 lodging properties listed. Coral Road is a platform that connects sustainable travel destinations with travelers who care about sustainability.
This site checks whether accommodations and tour companies have any sustainability certifications or awards for sustainability as formal evidence of sustainable practices. For example; looking at how energy-efficient equipment and lighting, recycling practices, water usage, and eco-friendliness such as solar power generation and sustainability initiatives are being undertaken.
There are unique features that allow travelers to filter their accommodation options by eco-initiatives such as renewable energy and greywater recycling, as well as activities such as nature walks and yoga. In addition, when a user makes a booking with Coral Road, Coral Road will give 10% of the booking to Kiva, a platform ‘helping to alleviate poverty around the world’.
As of June 2020, the areas covered by Coral Road are as follows.
Hotels: Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Tours: Philippines, Uganda, India, Thailand, Honduras, Cambodia
The good thing about all of these listing sites is that they carefully identify sustainable eco-hotels and eco-tour companies, and publish them exclusively. Thus, making it easier for the sustainable minded traveller to find everything they are looking for with ease.
These sites, created by social entrepreneurs focused on sustainability and not just profit-seeking companies. These listed websites for information and reservations have fulfilled a need in the ecotourism market by bringing these sustainable accommodation and activity options to the forefront by making eco-friendly travel searches easier and more accessible.
In this article we discovered 3 more reservation sites, making 3 of the 6, for the sustainable traveller. Click here to read part 1 of Booking Sites for Sustainable Travel, and start planning your sustainable journey!
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