Many travellers now require higher levels of transparency from companies in terms of their environmental performance, with a recent poll from GlobalData finding that almost 75% of consumers worldwide agreed that sustainability labels on products should be mandatory.
The international data and analytics company notes that these badges help tourism companies to boost transparency, offer responsible alternatives to travellers, and demonstrate positive environmental performance.
Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The adoption of badges that denote high performance concerning environmental benchmarks makes companies’ sustainability claims seem more trustworthy, which will increase demand for their products and services. GlobalData’s 2021 Consumer Survey revealed that 57% of global respondents said they were ‘often’ or ‘always’ influenced by products or services that were trustworthy.
“Eco badges will help win the loyalty of responsible travellers in the short-term and improve brand positioning in the long-term. As a result, an increasing number of travel and tourism companies are attempting to prove their sustainability efforts through the acquisition or creation of eco badges and accreditation.”
Booking.com is an eco-badge pioneer. In 2021, Booking.com announced the launch of its Travel Sustainable badge, a global sustainability measure. Its framework is broken down into specific sustainability practices that properties can implement, including everything from eliminating single-use plastic toiletries to running on 100% renewable energy sources.
Hollister adds: “By creating its own framework and methodology for its sustainability measure, Booking.com has demonstrated the time and resources it has invested in this initiative to provide travellers with sustainable alternatives. It is operating proactively to ensure it is not lagging behind the competition in terms of environmental performance.
“Whether through the creation of independent eco badges or by adopting labels awarded by external accreditation providers, travel and tourism companies need to be working towards gaining these badges of quality that enhance transparency, increase revenue, and promote sustainability.”