Finding Sustainable Stays For Eco-Friendly Travelers

There is a massive shift in the travel industry towards sustainability changing major vacation elements like travel and hotels. If you are a part of the 83% of global travelers that believes sustainability is vital as eco-friendly accommodations are an important part of sustainable travel.

There is a wide variety of green accommodations that commonly achieve a sustainable hotel certification, but some hotels can be ‘greenwashing’ to attract eco-friendly travelers while not meeting the rigorous standards. Some major hotel chains have added a green initiative for operations including Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, and more. 

Finding truly eco-friendly accommodations can come down to the green hotel certifications that are acquired by meeting a set of industry guidelines and best practices. Each certification program has its own standards and criteria as well-designed certifications can help travelers identify sustainable hotels from others practicing greenwashing.

These standards also ensure these companies continuously improve and become more sustainable over time. Finding eco-friendly accommodations starts with learning about green hotel certifications listed from the most to least reputable when it comes to sustainable standards.

Green Globe is a program measuring the supply chain of tourism and travel businesses containing 44 points of core criteria as Green Globe considers itself as the “highest standard for sustainability worldwide. ”This certification program appoints a third-party auditor that works with clients on-site with multiple points to meet criteria for various tourism-related businesses like resorts, golf courses, restaurants, attractions, and tour operators.

Green Globe offers three status tiers – Platinum, Gold, and Certified – with Platinum being the best tier for green hotels that have operated for 10 consecutive years. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council(GSTC) recognizes Green Globe that adds more credibility to their certification.

The Green Key Global certification program was designed for hotels as well as meeting venues worldwide with 1,600 certified hotels and 350 venues among 20 companies with a majority of the program in North and South America. This certification program is graded using a system consisting of five keys that are scored the highest while providing guidance for hotels and venues on improving their rating. 

Green Key Global is recognized by the GSTC with its program assessing multiple areas of operation like indoor air quality, waste, community outreach, energy, and water. This program also works in partnership with BookDifferent that offers a searchable database of hotels with details on their estimated footprint.

Earth Check is an international tourism advisory board providing the framework for businesses working towards being eco-friendly with the goal of becoming more sustainable. Earth Check offers tourism businesses certification programs, consulting services, and software across 70 countries worldwide. This organization has a reputation for having experience through longevity since its conception in 1992 that is recognized by GSTC and is partnered with BookDifferent.

To learn more about credible green tourism programs, you can check out the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for a list of recognized certification programs. The GSTC programs can be specialized to particular geographic regions like Australia or Europe. You can also start being an eco-friendly traveler by doing your part to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle with small lifestyle changes.