20 July, 2024
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Four easy ways to find your next eco-friendly accommodation


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Travel is high on the agenda for Australians keen to make up for two lost years of pandemic restrictions, but not at the expense of the environment.

The trend towards eco-travel is driving more Australians to pack their bags for destinations delivering low carbon emissions.

Eco Tourism Australia reported an uptick in the number of accommodation providers applying for ECO Destination Certification in the 2020/21 financial year during the peak of the COVID lockdowns.

Reducing the environmental footprint of travellers is also in the interests of Australia’s tourism industry.

Research by Tourism Australia shows consumers want to visit destinations that are perceived as clean and safe, with wide open spaces and fresh air. Australia is strongly associated with these travel appeals, so it’s in the tourism industry’s interests to reserve the country’s natural landscape and environment.

Travellers are also extremely conscious of the impact of climate change, said Sarah Clark, managing director Australia New Zealand at Intrepid Travel.

“After experiencing some of the most damaging and catastrophic natural disasters in history, it’s clear that the climate crisis is top of mind for many Australians,” she said.

“As a result, we’re seeing consumers become more conscious of how and where they spend their money and the impact this has on people and planet, including whilst travelling.”

Here we look at tips and advice on how to find your next eco-friendly accommodation and experience the feel good factor that comes with a sustainable holiday.

Travellers are more aware of sustainability than ever, says Sarah Clark, Intrepid Travel’s Australia-New Zealand managing director.

Check out the energy star rating

Energy star scores for hotels are calculated on energy and water usage, and are a good indicator of the operator’s sustainability practices.

“As a guide, the higher the rating the more eco-friendly the accommodation,” said Clark.

“In Australia, anything above seven is generally regarded as a strong rating.”

Try off-grid

If you really want to eliminate the carbon footprint associated with your travels or ever wondered what it’s like living without mains power or water connections, try off-grid accommodation.

“By virtue of being off-grid, these options consume far less energy and use alternative methods of waste disposal and water saving which are ultimately better for the planet,” said Clark.

Get off the beaten track

If you’re budget conscious or just want to experience something completely different, why not try a completely different location?

Just be prepared for your friends to ask, ‘Where?’ every time you tell them of your getaway plans.

“Some of the most sustainable options are also the most simple,” said Clark.

“Whether it’s pitching a tent under the stars or doing a home-stay on a small-group adventure, these are all great eco and budget friendly options.”

Check the credentials

Many accommodation providers want to win over their guests with the right eco creds.

It could be certification with Eco Tourism Australia or B-Corp, a body that certifies businesses that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

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