TripAdvisor today announced the launch of the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme in Europe, allowing travellers to search for green hotels.
The programme was first rolled out in the US and so far over 6,000 properties around the world have been awarded TripAdvisor GreenLeader status.
Increasingly eco-conscious travellers
The good news for us and all green hoteliers is that TripAdvisor believes that travellers are increasingly making green choices. A TripAdvisor survey revealed that more than a quarter (26%) of European travellers actively made eco-friendly travel choices in the last 12 months, and a third (33%) plan to do so in the next 12 months. The survey also revealed that nearly one in ten European travellers (9%) say they have chosen to stay at a particular hotel because of their green policies.
Jenny Rushmore, Head of Responsible Travel at TripAdvisor goes on to explain, "French travellers were the most eco-friendly in the last 12 months: nearly a third (31%) said they had made eco-friendly travel choices in that time – with one in ten French travellers (10%) choosing to stay at a particular hotel because of their green policies in the last 12 months. By contrast, Germans are the most likely to find alternatives to air travel to make their trips more eco-friendly – 8% have done so in the last 12 months."
We asked TrpAdvisor why they think travellers are making more eco-conscious choices. A staggering 77% of respondents that had made eco-friendly choices in the last 12 months said it made them feel more positively about their trip. But Jenny adds, "Often, properties with high sustainability standards are best in class in other areas of service too, which can mean that for many travellers the overall experience of a green trip is more enjoyable than it may otherwise have been."
Hotels need to do more to market their green practices
The survey also revealed that hotels might need to do more to market their green practices. Nearly four in ten European travellers (42%) admitted to finding it difficult to research the eco-friendly practices of hotels, and nearly half (44%) said hotels don’t provide enough information about their sustainability practices.
“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. 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,” says Jenny Rushmore.
Developed in consultation with the Carbon Trust, the UK Green Building Council, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the International Tourism Partnership , qualifying hotels and B&Bs are awarded TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status based on the green practices the property has in place. Whilst GreenLeaders is not a certification scheme or full environmental audit, it is an excellent channel for hoteliers to market their green efforts to travellers.
How TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Works
Travellers are able to tailor their search on TripAdvisor for hotels participating in the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme, and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices that they can expect at each location. TripAdvisor’s community of travelers will also be invited to comment on a hotel's green credentials following a stay at a participating property, and in the future their feedback will be displayed on the site. So far over 30,000 reviews have already been submitted by members which specifically highlight the green practices on offer at winning properties.
The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme considers a property’s holistic approach to green practices and ranks them based on four levels of participation, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum, which will be shown prominently on the property’s listing on the TripAdvisor site. A comprehensive list of eco-friendly practices are evaluated, from linen and towel re-use, recycling and composting through to solar panels, electric car charging stations and green roofing. The more green practices a hotel has in place, the higher its TripAdvisor GreenLeaders level.
TripAdvisor GreenLeaders first launched in the U.S. in April 2013. Hotels participating in the programme range from small, independent establishments through to multinational brands including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Select Registry.
Since March 2014, TripAdvisor has also been accepting applications from hotels and B&Bs in 19 new markets, including UK & Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Since then, more than 2,000 new properties have been awarded TripAdvisor GreenLeader status, ranging from independent hotels to multinational brands, including Accor Hotels, Red Carnation Hotels, and Macdonald Hotels in the UK. Their award badges are now displayed on TripAdvisor for consumers to see and search, joining the over 4,300 U.S. accommodations already awarded TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status.
Congratulations to the 35 hotels and B&Bs in the UK that have already been awarded the Platinum GreenLeaders badge including previous Green Hotelier case studies Green House Hotel  and Bryn Ellytd Guest House .
You can learn more about TripAdvisor's GreenLeaders programme here  and hoteliers interested in applying for the GreenLeaders programme should go to green.tripadvisor.co.uk . Follow this link to read more articles about policy and certifications .