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Booking.com Launches First-of-its-Kind Travel Sustainable Badge Showcasing Australian Stays

November 25, 2021 OTA News No Comments
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Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, has announced the launch of its Travel Sustainable badge, a credible, globally relevant sustainability measure that will provide sustainability information to travellers 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.

Designed to be applicable to a wide range of property types, from apartments, B&Bs, holiday homes to hotels, resorts and even treehouses, and adaptable to local realities and considerations, the initiative is a first of its kind in the industry. The goal of the badge 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 sustainable stays, no matter where they want to travel.

“Building a truly sustainable travel industry will take time, coordination and concerted effort, but progress is possible through continued innovation, partner support and industry collaboration. With our Travel Sustainable badge and programme, we’re recognising the sustainability efforts of a broader range of properties around the world in a credible and transparent way for consumers,” said Tracey Foxall, Regional Manager Oceania at Booking.com.

“This will be particularly helpful to our eco-conscious Aussie travellers who, after an extended hiatus from international travel due to border closures and travel restrictions, have had time to reflect on their past travel choices and express a strong desire to travel more sustainably when they are once again able to do so.”

Making sustainable travel choices easier for everyone

Booking.com collaborated with industry experts to identify a set of the most impactful practices for a property to consider in five key areas: waste, energy and greenhouse gases, water, supporting local communities and protecting nature. This foundational framework is further broken down into 32 specific sustainability measures or practices that properties can implement, including 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. While the goal has been to create a universal model, operating sustainably means different things in different markets. 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.

Accelerating the sustainability journey

According to a new study released by EY Parthenon and Booking.com, despite emitting 264 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year, representing 10% of the total annual emissions of the tourism industry, 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 ($1.1 billion), the research findings highlight that many accommodations have already implemented a range of carbon emissions measures. With adoption levels of the most efficient available technologies and practices varying between 30% and 70%, there is significant opportunity for improvement.

“Considering 72% of Australian travellers stated they want to stay in a more sustainable accommodation in the upcoming year, according to our Sustainable Travel Report 2021, it’s clear it is a top priority when planning to travel. And with three-quarters (60%) of Aussies indicating they would be more likely to choose a specific accommodation if they knew it was implementing sustainable practices, the Travel Sustainable badge and programme helps reward and further encourage all accommodation providers to take the next steps on their individual sustainability journeys” added Tracey Foxall, Regional Manager Oceania at Booking.com.

During this first phase of launch, the Travel Sustainable badge and an overview of individual property sustainability efforts will initially be visible to Australian travellers on property pages across the Booking.com app and website globally. As the rollout continues, the Travel Sustainable icon will also start to appear on property listings on the search results page over the coming weeks, along with a Travel Sustainable filter to help Australian travellers identify more sustainable options from the beginning of their search experience on Booking.com.

As part of the Travel Sustainable program, Booking.com continues to share guidance, insights and best practices with property partners via various educational opportunities, including handbooks and dedicated content on the Booking.com Partner Hub. For more information on sustainability at Booking.com, please visit sustainability.booking.com.

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