WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) announced that Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, has officially joined as a member of GSTC’s global network. Representing a wide range of tourism stakeholders, GSTC members are active drivers for sustainability in travel and tourism and contribute to the important work of the GSTC in promoting the widespread adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles.
Helping protect and preserve destinations around the globe so that travelers can continue to enjoy them for generations to come has been a priority for Booking.com for several years and is one of the key strategic focus areas for the company. Booking.com’s existing sustainability efforts include an employee volunteer initiative, now going into its sixth year, that supports destination improvement projects all over the world, as well as an accelerator program and other funding initiatives that support a wide range of social enterprises and innovative projects in sustainable travel with grants and mentorship to help scale their impact.
As sustainable travel has become a much more relevant and pressing topic in recent years, Booking.com has also been publishing an annual sustainable travel report about the evolving preferences of consumers when it comes to sustainability considerations and their travel.
Booking.com’s 2019 Sustainable Travel Report revealed that global travelers prefer eco-friendly accommodation. According to the research, 70 percent of global travelers say they would be more likely to book an accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not. However, when it comes to recognizing a sustainable place to stay, almost three quarters (72 percent) of global travelers say that they are not aware of the existence of eco-labels for vacation accommodations, while well over a third (37 percent) affirm that an international standard for identifying eco-friendly accommodation would help encourage them to travel more sustainably, and 62 percent would feel better about staying in an accommodation if they knew it had an eco-label. (Read Booking.com’s full 2019 Sustainable travel report here.)
“We are excited to join the GSTC and to collaborate more intensively with their global initiatives to promote new standards for sustainable travel,” said Marianne Gybels, Global Manager of CSR and Sustainability at Booking.com. “We know that our customers want to make more sustainable decisions and that many of our accommodation partners and other service providers are eager to meet that demand. As such, we believe the timing is right for enhanced collaboration with GSTC. Together we believe we can help bring more clarity and transparency to the wider travel industry when it comes to sustainability and ultimately help safeguard the destinations we all love for the long term.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Booking.com to GSTC,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO, “and we look forward to collaborating on pathways for travelers to find and select more-sustainable products. Booking.com’s great reach in the marketplace makes their efforts important and much welcomed to promote travel that is more sustainable by more travelers.”