Updated: Mar 8
Sustainable travel, Responsible travel, Sustainable tourism.
We hear these keywords more and more, but it's not easy to be sure that it's not gonna be the usual greenwashing. Responsible travel means taking into account all the various dimensions linked to sustainability while planning and experiencing a trip. It's not only about eco-tourism, volunteering or ethical travelling, but also about a real journey to adopt more conscious ways of travelling.
Sustainability has to be taken into account for its 360-degree dimension, which means considering the three pillars:
- Contribute directly to the local economy without the need of foreign intermediaries such as international hotel chains or tour operators that ensure the destination minimum benefit from the tourism expenditure
- Eat and buy local
- Sleep by locals or choose locally owned accommodation structures
- Choose local tour operators, guides and service providers
Social & Cultural
- Respect the local culture and traditions
- Be in contact with the locals, learn from them and be ready for a real cultural exchange
- Take part in the social development of the destination and learn about the existing conflicts and social issues
- Support projects and initiatives on site with a specific social engagement
- Create a valuable experience both for visitors and locals
- Respect the environment, the various species of animals and plants in the area
- Choose low carbon means of transport when possible (train, bike, on foot...)
- Don't waste natural resources and pay attention not to leave wastes in nature
The tourism sector is responsible for about 8% of the global carbon emission, and this is why it's more and more important to be aware of the impacts that we have when we travel. Every choice that we make has consequences, for example by choosing to stay in a responsible structure, we have the guarantee that there's a real engagement to share the tourism benefits within the local community, to provide a real experience and to help preserving the environment. Some intenational labels as Green Globe, Green Key and Travel Life can help you to understand if the structure has an eco-friendly approach. As for camping, this is another responsible solution that we can opt for while dicovering a place!
Here some websites and platforms that will help you to find responsible accommodation for your next trip!
EcoBnb proposes a great selection of bio hotels, tree houses, bed & breakfast on
the beach, scattered hotels in quaint villages, organic farmhouses surrounded by nature, amazing castles and so more. As they write on their site ''Ecobnb is a journey undertaken to change the way we travel'', which means respecting nature, the economy and local communities.
EcoBnb promotes responsible tourism with low environmental impact: preferring organic food, environmentally friendly routes, slow traveling, the exploration of nearby and authentic places. The concept is 0% carbon emissions and 100% Clean Energy. Servers of Ecobnb are powered 100% by renewable energy produced on-site. The website also gives the possibility to become a eco-host or to suggest a responsible itinerary.
Definitely a sustainable choice!
GreenGo Voyages was born during the global pandemic, a context that gave us the opportunity to re-think our lifestyle and travelling habits in order to reconcile humans with the environment. The aim is to guarantee a fair remuneration to the hosts and a fair price for travellers, while promoting the principles of sustainability to face the environmental and climatic crisis. GreenGo Voyages sets commissions two times lower that many other accommodation platforms as AirBnb or Booking.com!
The four pillars? Honesty, Justice, Excellence & Humility.
''To be a man is precisely to be responsible. It is to feel, by laying your stone, that we help build the world.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This is the quote used to introduce Ethik Hotels on their website. Clément and Anne, two passionate travellers, decided to apply the sustainability principles to their holidays and to become real exploractors. This is why Ethik Hotels was born: to unify the passion for travel, the willingness to discover other cultures and the wish to reduce the ecological footprint.
Since sustainable tourism is not easily accessible, they decided to start listing all these structures and to give the opportunity to their community and friends to give their contributions. Among the most important criteria there is the presence of water tanks, a local food network, the ban of single-use plastic products, recycling, the encouragement of local employment and the use of renewable energies. At least 3 of them have to be met for a structure to be listed.
At the moment, they're present in 50 countries, so ready to make your responsible choice?
Solikend is a solidarity website which allows travellers to choose a hotel and to decide a specific association to support among its partners. The ''charitable hotels'' will offer hotel nights without any charge in case of vacancies in unoccupied rooms, so the price paid by the customer will go directly to the association. The concept is based on the fact that very ofter hotels have available rooms that can be filled through this kind of staying. At the moment, it is possible to choose accommodation only in France.
What a nice idea to give more value to our trips!
Vaovert has become a real reference for sustainable travel in France. The idea is to create a platform to list eco-friendly accommodation in the country with the aim of offering an authentic and enriching experience while respecting the environment. You'll find all kind of accommodation: hotels, camping, cottages, unusual structures and shared rooms by locals depending on your tastes! The listing is based on various criteria: habitat, energy, sharing, gastronomy and the 3R (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse).
The perfect site for a responsible choice when visiting the Hexagone!
FairTrip is an app dedicated to fair and sustainable tourism. This inclusive and shared map will show you all the addresses around you that are engaged to have a positive social and economical impact on the destination. 5 simple and effective criteria: Authentic, Green, Local, Social and Fair.
Some addresses redirect you to their official websites, for the others you’ll have to look for them on the internet. The list includes hotels, restaurants, NGO programs, shops and experiences. The perfect app for a responsible itinerary!
Feelingo has a special mission: to transform e-tourism in more responsible sector for men, women and the environment. The platform highlights the engagement of tourism professionals concerning sustainable travel and at the same time it helps tourists to find the perfect structure for their staying. The core concept is to buy less, but better and in a more conscious way while building a relationship based on respect between the local community, travellers and the environment.
One of the short-term objectives is to obtain many international certifications as B Corp and Travelife to give a further guarantee to travellers when making a responsible choice. At the moment, Feelingo proposes destinations in 5 European countries: France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal!
I hope this list will help you to find a responsible accommodation solution for your next trip and to be more conscious while travelling!
I'll update it for sure, do you know any other website or apps of this kind?