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Booking.com working towards a universal eco-label for accommodation

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When traveling is back on the agenda, it is likely that Indian travellers will want to continue making considerate choices by selecting eco accommodations. In Booking.com’s 2020 Sustainability Travel Report, 97 per cent of Indian travellers said they planned to stay in eco-accommodations in 2020.

Out of the 74 per cent of travellers who have previously stayed in an eco accommodation, almost half (46 per cent) did so to help to reduce their impact on the environment.

To help convince the three per cent of travellers who have not yet expressed interest in staying at an ‘eco-friendly’ accommodation, having a universal eco labeling system could help inspire others to travel sustainably, as 77 per cent of travellers have admitted they would feel reassured about staying in an accommodation if it had an ‘Eco-label’.

Booking.com is making headway for clearer labeling, exploring new ways to highlight sustainable practices at accommodations of all kinds across the globe, including everything from reducing plastics to water and energy-saving measures. These first steps to highlight property sustainability practices – which can also be verified by customers – are part of the company’s ongoing foundational work with Travalyst to develop an easy-to-understand, industry-wide sustainability label.

Going plastic-free and encouraging accommodations around the world to introduce measures that clamp down on single-use plastic looks likely to be a key objective for global travellers in the future.

When it comes to the term ‘sustainable travel and tourism’ nearly one in five (20 per cent) travellers associate the term with reducing waste/recycling plastic. 51 per cent of Indian travellers shared that they have brought their own reusable water bottle rather than buying plastic bottles when visiting a destination in the past year, and 64 per cent have said they have been frustrated when an accommodation has stopped them from being sustainable in the past.

In addition to developing resources with tips and information to help properties operate more sustainably overall, Booking.com is also looking to test features that enable properties to highlight their own eco-friendly efforts to potential customers in a more visible way, for example to reduce their usage of single-use plastics. This includes when they do not use plastic straws, stirrers, crockery or utensils, have removed single-use toiletry bottles and/or when they have eliminated the use of plastic water bottles on site.

The research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 20,432 respondents across 22 markets (Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Israel, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya and South Africa). The survey was taken online and took place in March 2020.

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