Sustainable tourism is on the rise. Discover what’s driving the eco-tourism boom, and find out how to make your property more environmentally focused for the eco-friendly traveller– and still increase your revenue.
Thinking green, choosing eco-friendly, travelling sustainably. Whichever term you use, the growing importance of environmental tourism can’t be ignored. In this blog post, we follow up on a recent Booking.com report that shows how you can earn more by being more environmentally focused, and suggest practical ways you can appeal to eco-tourists.
The future’s bright. The future’s green. According to Booking.com’s recent Sustainable Travel Report, more and more eco-friendly travellers want to reduce their environmental impact, avoid over-touristed attractions and simply feel good about the accommodation they choose.
Key traveller survey results
- 87% want to travel more sustainably.
- 39% manage to travel sustainably (often or always).
- 67% are willing to spend at least 5% more to reduce their impact.
Clearly, there’s strong consumer interest in eco-conscious travel. And if travellers are happy to spend more to stay greener, that’s a clear incentive for accommodation owners to turn over a new leaf and meet guests’ needs. So, what can you do to appeal to be environmentally focused?
Go green tip #1: Make your place as eco-friendly as possible
68% of travellers intend to stay at an environmentally friendly accommodation in 2018. To make sure your property attracts these bookers, there are practical steps you can take – most of which will also save you money:
- Use eco-friendly soaps, shampoos and cleaning products.
- Offer post-stay cleaning only.
- Ask guests (nicely) to reuse towels and save water.
- Use locally sourced produce in meals.
- Reduce food waste and CO₂ footprint with doggy bags and meat-free meals.
- Choose glass, ceramic or recyclable cups over plastic ones.
- Recycle and compost as much as possible – and save serious money.
- Use LED light bulbs – they’re 80-90% more energy efficient.
- Educate staff on conserving heat, electricity and water.
- Offer free parking for green vehicles.
- Look into getting eco-certified.
Go green tip #2: Organise or promote low-impact, nature-based activities
60% of travellers say their main inspiration to travel more sustainably comes from witnessing beautiful natural sights on their travels. In fact, 40% are happy to skip a destination’s main tourist sights in favour of visiting lesser known gems. You can do your part via your hotel marketing and website:
- Blog about your favourite local nature spots.
- Add photos of alternative attractions in your area.
- Provide bicycle rentals, or promote a local vendor.
- Include walking maps and public transport info.
Go green tip #3: Help guests connect with genuine local culture
53% of travellers would rather buy authentic local products than mass-produced tourist souvenirs. This illustrates that more and more travellers want authentic experiences. You can appeal to these potential guests – and preserve the environment and culture – by promoting eco-certified entrepreneurs on your website:
- Provide information and links to local eco-friendly businesses.
- Add recommendations for restaurants that use locally sourced food.
- Pair up with local entrepreneurs to offer unique guest experiences.
The future of travel is sustainable tourism. If you’re not already trying to be a more sustainable hotel, you could be missing out on extra bookings, big savings and a more positive online image.
A slick, modern website can help you present relevant, environmentally themed content, capture green travellers’ attention, address their concerns, convince them to book and encourage them to promote your property to like-minded eco-tourists.
WebDirect, BookingSuite’s website builder makes these content tweaks easy. If you’re already a Booking.com partner but don’t yet have a WebDirect website, you can learn more here.
And if you’re already a WebDirect partner, why not start optimising your website today? It could make the difference between a good year’s business and a great one.