It was interesting to read this article from ABTA discussing sustainability in travel, and the growing number of tourists seeking socially and environmentally responsible travel experiences. The key points I picked up from the article are that creating and maintaining a ‘green’ policy for holiday accommodation not only benefits the environment but also appeals to a growing sector of the market and its decision makers.
”The research also suggests companies that invest in making their business better for the environment stand to gain a competitive edge, with 19% (up 2% from 2010) of consumers saying they are prepared to pay more for a holiday with a company that has a better environmental and social record” (ABTA)
The benefits of adopting sustainable practices in vacation rentals are apparent on several levels. Creating energy efficiency in appliances, lighting and heating is more cost effective; it gives an opportunity to educate rental guests on your green initiatives, and creates a marketing opportunity.
Here’s a few ideas that just sprang to mind:
· Educating guests in turning lights, air conditioning and heat off when not required
· Changing lighting to energy efficient alternatives
· Waste management and Recycling
· Writing and monitoring a green policy for vacation rentals
· Encouraging a buy local policy
· Investment in eco-efficient washing machines
· Encouraging drying outdoors
· Purchasing outdoor furniture made of recycled plastic
· Installing a composter – here’s a bear resistant composter I’ve just purchased
· Working with local tourism providers to promote environmentally responsible policies
I’d be interested to know if you have a published green policy.
Here is the link to the ABTA Supplier Sustainability Handbook where you’ll find a lot of ideas to begin developing your own policy