Looking for a hotel that believes in sustainability? Congratulations, you’re probably a millennial or Gen – Z. According to data expert Statista, 56% of Gen- Z and 51% of millennial travelers believe that choosing an environmentally friendly travel option is a top priority. However, sustainable travel isn’t just about being eco-friendly. Overtourism, for example, is the phenomenon where the popularity of a travel hotspot starts causing it harm and, continues to decimate the communities that depend on the area’s resources. The upshot of this is that unless we start traveling consciously, we won’t have anywhere left to go.
Laurence Wall, Director of International Customer Success at the award-winning booking and technology platform, Profitroom says, “Increasingly we are seeing more guests keen to take responsibility for their travel habits and help ensure that our beautiful planet stays Instagrammable for generations to come.”
If you want to put your travel bucks where your mouth is, concerning sustainability, you’re going to need to learn how to spot hotels that believe in sustainability as much as you do. Here’s how:
Location, location, location:
South Africa is a big place, and some areas are more environmentally sensitive than others. Look for hotels that are situated in or near natural areas, like national parks or game reserves. These hotels are more likely to have a vested interest in protecting the environment.
A hotel’s website and third-party certifications can help you determine whether it is green. The company is likely to have a section devoted to sustainability efforts because they’ll always be proud of their achievements.
Wall says, “It’s a good idea to look for third-party certifications, like the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme (HERP) or Fair-Trade Tourism. These certifications are awarded to hotels that meet certain environmental and social standards. If you see a hotel with one of these certifications, you know they’re committed to being eco-friendly.”
You are what you eat
Any hotel restaurant worth its sustainable salt will likely have a focus on local and ethical ingredients. Look for menus that highlight farm-to-table sourcing or seafood caught using sustainable methods. And if you see game meat on the menu, make sure the restaurant can tell you where they got it from.
Respect the local community
Remember that while you swoop in and leave, there are a whole bunch of people who live in your favourite tourist destination permanently. So, respect them by not littering or defacing the national treasures. When looking for a sustainably minded hotel, try to find out where the staff are from and what initiatives the hotel employs to improve the community that it relies on.
Reduce, reuse, recycle:
In 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started a program to reduce hotel water consumption called the H2Otel Challenge. In addition to installing new equipment, such as water-efficient toilets, faucets, and shower heads, hotels are encouraged to give guests the option of reusing their towels and sheets with those little signs that have become ubiquitous across the world. You know, the ones that read “HELP SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT. You can show your respect for nature and help save the environment by reusing your towels during your stay.”
This is a small way we as guests can contribute to lessening the use of electrical appliances like washing machines and tumble driers when staying at a hotel.
Look in the right places:
There are a lot of scams out there and despite the most diligent detective work, it can often be difficult to find out if a hotel is who they say they are. Profitroom does its utmost to work with hotels that operate with a sustainable ethos and off green, so how does one spot a Profitroom partner? Well if you have ever wanted to camp near the feet of the Drakensberg Mountains, people watch in Camps Bay or meet Arctic Animals over Christmas, then you have just come across a few Profitroom partners already.
When you take the right steps, traveling sustainably can be easy, fun, and immensely rewarding. All it takes is a little bit of research and you can ensure that the destination that gave you the time of a
When you take the right steps, traveling sustainably can be easy, fun, and immensely rewarding. All it takes is a little bit of research and you can ensure that the destination that gave you the time of a lifetime, lasts many lifetimes.