Many travelers now require higher levels of transparency from companies in terms of their environmental performance, with recent poll finding that almost 75% of global consumers agreed that the introduction of sustainability labels on products should be mandatory.
Industry analysts note that these badges help tourism companies to boost transparency, offer responsible alternatives to travelers, and demonstrate positive environmental performance.
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. The 2021 Consumer Survey revealed that 57% of global respondents stated that they are ‘often’ or ‘always’ influenced by products or services that are trustworthy.
Eco badges will help win the loyalty of responsible travelers 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.
In 2021, the eco-badge pioneer, 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.
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 travelers 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.