a startup that evaluates and certifies short-term rentals based on sustainability
criteria, has partnered with Booking.com to help bring more visibility to those properties
on its platform.
founder and CEO Vanessa de Souza Lage said that properties that have received
the Sustonica certification will now show a “Level 3+ Travel Sustainable” badge
at the top of their listing on Booking.com.
founded in 2022, evaluates properties based on criteria from the United Nation’s
Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the
Travalyst framework and looks at things such as energy efficiency, waste
reduction, water conservation and community impact.
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Souza Lage said her company is the only one dedicated exclusively to
sustainable certification for STRs, but she would not disclose how many properties
Sustonica has certified. A check on Booking.com for “Level 3+ properties” in a
handful of cities showed more than 100 properties in Barcelona (Sustonica’s
headquarters), Madrid and London and several dozen in Rome, Berlin, Paris, Los
Angeles and Chicago.
are extremely proud to be the first dedicated sustainability program for
short-term rentals accepted by Booking.com,”
de Souza Lage said.
eagerly await similar steps from other major [online travel agencies]. It’s critical for the
short-term rental industry to refrain from creating their own non-audited,
unverified labels, given the existing confusion and lack of credibility
surrounding sustainability in travel. Sustonica stands out as the solution
because we conduct professional audits of short-term rentals worldwide at scale.”
to Booking.com’s 2023
Sustainable Travel Research Report, based on a survey of more than 33,000 people in
35 countries, 65% said they would feel better about staying in an accommodation
that had a sustainable certification or label and 59% want to filter their
options for properties with such a certification.
short-term rentals, de Souza Lage said one of the biggest challenges is that property
owners perceive the cost of sustainability practices as a barrier, when in fact
many changes can be made with no or minimal added cost. Examples, she said,
include switching to recycled products for toilet paper and paper towels,
attaching a “flow restrictor” to showers, leaving a basket so guests don’t need
to use plastic bags and providing a list of locally-sourced food stores.