The Art of Sustainable Travel

April 20, 2022

Sustainability isn’t just a necessity anymore, it’s trendy. More and more people are becoming aware that it’s not only about recycling or reducing plastic, sustainability weaves into every part of our lives including travel. 

Younger generations, Gen Z and millennials especially, are waking up to the needs of the planet. According to Expedia, two-thirds are more likely to seek an eco-friendly vacation, compared to 40% of Gen X and 30% of baby boomers. 

Guest experience is a vital factor in gaining local, repeat guests, positive reviews, and referrals, plus it’s important to be aware of travel trends and guest demands. And with short-term rental lodging competition being so tough, you need to take every opportunity to get ahead. 

But how do vacation rentals master the art of sustainability to appeal to these demands whilst remaining practical?

Sustainable-Travel-Chart

Five tips on how to tap into the sustainable trend:

1. Reduce impact on the environment – For the travel industry, this is possibly the most important factor to consider. Travelers looking for eco vacations want to visit lesser-known attractions in the local community so that they can contribute to the economy of the area. 

Respect for local culture is on the rise, guests want to immerse themselves in the community, and they’re aware overcrowding tourist hotspots is not beneficial to those who live there. So, they’ll be looking for more sustainable activity options, like hiking a nearby trail or taking a cooking class.

Offer travelers the ability to book activities like these, and find local restaurants and shops, easily with in-room voice-enabled technology, like virtual concierge Xeva.

2. Credentials – Travelers are clued up on the signs of greenwashing, they’re looking for credible, responsible travel providers to book through, trusted lodging providers, and local tours that contribute directly to the local environment.

Boost your eco credibility with guests by partnering with local attraction providers. Building these relationships within the community means you can contribute to the economy, as well as appeal to guests by offering discounted rates for activities.

Booking.com’s most recent Travel Report showed that 64% of travelers want to stay in sustainable accommodation for their future vacations. Ways you can make your properties more eco-friendly include installing a smart thermostat, offering sustainable transportation options, removing single-use plastics, and sourcing supplies locally. These investments will be worthwhile since 3 of 5 travelers are willing to pay more for sustainable travel.

Scooters

3. Grow your portfolio – This might sound counterintuitive when trying to achieve sustainability, but you could expand your outreach and populate new destinations. This would allow you to offer guests experiences in new cultures that haven’t been impacted by overcrowding and benefit economies in need. 

Along with sustainability, vacation rentals are in high demand. Many lodging providers are acquiring new properties. So, if this is also on your agenda, why not expand into new locations and grow your business with the demands of the market.

4. Sustainable destinations – Draw inspiration from the leading countries/states. Or put down roots in up-and-coming eco destinations that focus on reducing emissions. Some top locations are: 

  • Costa Rica is generating 98% of its electricity from renewable energy, and over a quarter of the country has been declared a conservation zone. Rich with biodiversity, Costa Rica is home to almost 6% of the world’s species.
  • Alaska’s wilderness, national, and state parks make it a leading pioneer in preserving natural habitats. It introduced a sustainable program (Adventure Green Alaska) to certify local eco businesses. 
  • Oregon, the state for wine lovers, has a host of organic, eco-friendly wineries as well as produce farms that supply the local restaurants. It also offers beautiful hiking trails and bike routes.

5. Efficiency – Optimize property procedures with smart home technology, that updates you with real-time notifications, such as when a guest checks out. 

These innovations enable you to create an environmentally efficient workforce, as your team can reach higher levels of productivity than ever before and make the most of time and resources. 

Tech, such as all-in-one booking platforms and contactless locks can also free up employees to focus on bettering the guest experience.

You don’t have to rethink how you run your business in order to increase your sustainability. And you don’t have to do it alone either, trusted partners can help you reach success while you help the local economy thrive. It’s a win-win situation that benefits the planet, business, and guest experience. So, what attractions will you offer?

Xplorie

Xplorie is the leading platform in guest acquisition and retention solutions for leisure lodging providers. Since 1996, Xplorie has leveraged local and complementary activities to help lodging providers differentiate their properties, improve guest loyalty and increase top-line revenue. To learn more about how Xplorie enables lodging providers to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience to guests, visit xplorie.com/partner.

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