European buyers more likely to feature sustainable hotels

Travel buyers and procurement specialists in Europe are more likely to encourage their travellers to stay in hotels with sustainability credentials than their counterparts in North America.

A survey of travel management and procurement leaders in both Europe and North America, conducted by corporate travel platform HRS and the GBTA, found that two-thirds were currently looking to prioritise “green” hotels in their online booking tools.

The poll also found a gap between Europe and North America with 78 per cent of European-based buyers more likely to feature hotels with validated sustainability or green credentials in their programmes, whereas this number was only 61 per cent on the other side of the Atlantic.

The majority of buyers across both continents (59 per cent) said they would “elevate” hotels with certification such as LEED or HRS Green Stay in the displays on their corporate booking platforms to encourage their travellers to choose these options.

More than one-third (36 per cent) of buyers said that sustainability would have either a “moderate” or “major” impact on the hotels included in their accommodation programmes; another 36 per cent said it would have a “minor” impact, while 28 per cent said sustainability would have “no impact” on decisions.

The research was revealed this week ahead of the GBTA’s first Sustainability Summit which is being held in Brussels on Tuesday (8 November).

Martin Biermann, chief product officer at HRS and a member of GBTA’s Sustainability Leadership Council, said: “The global megatrend of sustainability is accelerating in the everyday discussions taking place today that are reshaping the priorities of corporate lodging programmes.

“It’s encouraging to see both corporate programme leaders and hotel suppliers leverage technology to support this important cause at this crucial moment.”

Delphine Millot, GBTA’s senior vice president of sustainability, added that sustainability considerations were driving “long-lasting changes to hotel procurement and booking”.

“GBTA is highly engaged on sustainability to provide more research, advocacy, tools and educational events for our members – such as this week’s Sustainability Summit – to play our role in helping the business travel community seize upon best practices and technologies to help our industry reduce its carbon footprint,” said Millot.

Learn more about The Journey Towards Sustainable Business Travel by reading BTN Europe’s exclusive report on the topic.

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