TripAdvisor puts green hotels in the spotlight

Review website TripAdvisor has today (29 July) launched a new online programme that will help travellers around the world plan greener trips by choosing European hotels and B&Bs based on their environmental credentials.

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme has awarded more than 6,000 qualifying accommodation businesses a ‘GreenLeader’ status based on a variety of sustainability practices including energy efficiency, recycling and water reduction.

“We know a lot of travellers in Europe want to be savvy about the eco-friendly choices they make on holiday but they don’t always know where to go to find that information,” said TripAdvisor’s director of responsible travel Jenny Rushmore.

“What makes TripAdvisor GreenLeaders so useful is that we are now providing travellers with an easy way to compare hotels’ green practices alongside the millions of reviews already on the site.”

Gold, silver, bronze

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders was launched in the US last April. The European programme has been developed in consultation with the Carbon Trust, the UK Green Building Council, the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Tourism Partnership.

Travellers are able to tailor their TripAdvisor search specifically for hotels taking part in the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme, with properties ranked Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum based on their levels of participation.

A detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices will be displayed for each location, ranging from linen and towel re-use through to solar panels, electric car charging stations and green roofing. Reviewers will be invited to comment on a hotel’s green credentials following a stay at a participating property, with this feedback expected to be displayed on the website in future.

Room for improvement

The Carbon Trust’s associate director Dominic Burbridge said: “There are a lot simple, cost-effective actions that hotels can take to reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable, by looking at buildings, catering, laundry, staff behaviour and their supply chain.

“Having worked with the hospitality industry for over a decade, we know that in almost every case there are always ways to implement some well-chosen initiatives for creating a greener, more efficient hotel. This results in saving money as well as enhancing the overall pleasurable and memorable experience for guests.”

The UK Green Building Council’s director of policy and communications John Alker added: “For the hotel and leisure sector, going green is not only the right thing to do, it’s just good business. Green should be viewed as another aspect of quality. The GreenLeaders programme will help consumers – and indeed investors – understand who is taking this seriously.”

The European launch of GreenLeaders comes off the back of a recent TripAdvisor survey which revealed that more than a quarter (26%) of European travellers have made eco-friendly travel choices in the past 12 months and a third (33%) are planning to do so in the next year.

The surveyed also revealed that nearly one in 10 European travellers (9%) have chosen to stay at a particular hotel because of its green policies. But nearly half (44%) of travellers believe hotels don’t provide enough information about their sustainability practices.

Luke Nicholls

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