Sustainability according to OTAs online travel agencies

The global booking.com page reports:

“Research shows that travellers want to take meaningful trips with a positive impact – they just don’t always have know-how.”

This phrase sums up in a somewhat romantic way the results of research carried out by global booking.com in 2020. Some more precise data.

82% of travellers tell us they find sustainability an important issue, but only 50% tell us there is enough choice when it comes to accommodation and 38% aren’t even sure where to look for sustainable accommodation.

<<“This”>>, continues Booking, <<“is a problem we can solve through our partners and our product”>>.

In 2020 Booking.com began collecting information on the sustainability activities of various partners, and so far hundreds of thousands of properties have shared this information. This data started the experimentation on how to make it easier for more customers to choose sustainable places to stay.

At Hotel Loveno, I naturally took this opportunity as soon as it was possible. Since the beginning of 2021, there has been the possibility to enter this data.

I invite you if you haven’t already done so, to look at the green options in the booking.com back office and to take advantage of this opportunity to indicate what your characteristics are.

You may not know that booking.com has been moving in this direction (towards sustainability) for years in different ways. Some examples are:

Through the boost program for tourism startups with not only tourism but also social purpose the booking booster program.

Link https://www.sustainability.booking.com/booking-booster-accelerator-program

Through the collaboration with World Animal Protection. (more information at this link https://www.sustainability.booking.com/)

In 2019, Booking.com began developing wellness guidelines in close consultation with World Animal Protection – a leading international NGO that has been moving the world to protect animals for more than 50 years.

Along with these guidelines, also Booking.com implemented changes that stop the promotion of activities such as swimming with dolphins and riding elephants, on products. In 2019, Booking.com also joined The Coalition for Ethical Wildlife Tourism, an alliance of committed travel industry leaders from around the world working to end cruel wildlife entertainment.

Airbnb was founded in 2007 due to the founders’ famous need to pay rent in San Francisco. In 2021 Airbnb is now much more than that and although the initial spirit in some hosts remains the same, the company has grown a lot and is aware of its role in the tourism industry to change things.

The latest innovation from Airbnb is Airbnb for all.

What is Airbnb for all’s goal?

To make travel more inclusive and accessible to all.

The how is described on the site’s reference page.

Greater accuracy
Guests with disabilities often rely on photos to make sure accommodation is suitable for their needs. That’s why Airbnb asks hosts to provide photos of all accessibility features in their accommodation, which are displayed in a special section of the listing.

Digital Accessibility Standards
Airbnb is working to achieve the digital accessibility standards set by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and investing in automated analysis tools that can help identify additional issues.

More accommodations with accessibility features
Airbnb is working to increase the number of accessible accommodations available on the platform, while helping users find them more easily through enhanced search features, including easier-to-use filters and better photos in search results. It might be interesting to establish local partnerships with local professionals to physically help make buildings more accessible.

Accessible experiences
It is also reported that more accessible Airbnb Experiences, activities offered by local experts, are on the way.

Expedia Group works on many different levels, like Booking.com

Through the Expedia Cares programme, for example, Expedians (Expedia employees) can fight inequality in all forms, help change circumstances and drive change in the places that need it most.

THE PILLARS OF EXPEDIA CARES

Matching Gifts & Volunteer Hour Match;

Global and Local Volunteer Committees;

Global Care Day and Global Care Month;

Global Ambassador Programme.

These are volunteer programmes, projects and events by Expedia Group employees.

https://www.expediagroup.com/who-we-are/community-impact/default.aspx

The keywords of the Expedia group’s sustainability strategy are inclusiveness and diversity. Indeed, with the numbers described in the report

around 18,000 employees in 50 countries who speak 77 languages.

The choice to focus on inclusiveness seems a must.

“To best serve our employees, travellers, partners and communities, we focus on creating work environments that prioritise and value a sense of inclusiveness.

That prioritise and value a sense of belonging, respect and equal opportunities.”

They are particularly proud of what they have achieved in five years.

Since 2015, Expedia Group has set clear gender binary workforce goals resulting in an increase of women in our technology organisation by 6 percentage points in 5 years, and an increase of women executives by 5 percentage points in the same timeframe. These targets have been confirmed by mandatory diversified lists for all managerial roles, as well as a benchmark bonus that pays double for women in technical roles.

This strong focus has enabled Expedia Group to stand out from its peers in terms of recruitment and development of women across the organisation.

We have not been as intentional about racial/ethnic targets in the US, which is why representation in recent years has been stagnant.

To accelerate recruitment and promote a more diverse workforce in 2020, racial/ethnic hiring goals, benchmark bonuses and more have been created.

There is always more to do and work, Expedia is continuing in 2021 to create and sustain an inclusive culture for historically marginalised identities.

Expedia Group’s approach is more classic, but reading the Global report it is clear that issues such as inclusivity, sustainability, accessibility and responsibility have been very important and present in the company’s activities for years, at least since 2017.

This is so even if the most practically described activities are mainly those related to corporate social responsibility described above.

I hope you enjoyed this article! Are you interested in this topic?
Please share your opinion, email me or write to me on social media. I always enjoy reading your comments!

Sara – tourism sector consultant

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