More and more guests are now turning to sustainable tourism. But what exactly is it? How can you get started and adapt your short-term rental to sustainable tourism? In this guide, you will discover how be more sustainable and attract more guests.
Many tourists are looking to reduce their carbon footprint during their stay. These guests will lean towards travel destinations easily reachable by train or car and to an sustainably-minded accommodation with an owner who promotes good values.
Everyone has their own definition, but the World Tourism Organization (WTO) defines sustainable tourism (or responsible tourism) as follows:
“Tourism that takes into account its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts by meeting the needs of visitors, professionals, the environment and host communities.”
More and more tourist accommodations are switching to sustainable tourism and seasonal rentals can be a part of this too. To adapt your rental to sustainable tourism, you can see it as a 3-step plan:
Encourage locally conscious actions
In your Guest Guide for example, you can indicate and share your favorite addresses: favoring local producers or restaurants who source their supplies from the nearby region, local crafts and souvenirs, etc. This will encourage the local economy and responsible purchases.
Inform guests of local initiatives you are sensitive to
Let’s say you love the sea and participate in environmental actions? Or you are sensitive to food waste and are part of a local action to avoid it? Or perhaps it’s the preservation of a native animal species that motivates you? Maybe you donate a percentage of your vacation rental profit to a local organization? Tell your guests about it, put it in your Guest Guide and make them aware of your interests. This way you create a connection with them.
Energy is becoming more and more expensive. To mitigate these energy expenses and make your vacation rental less energy consuming, you can start by equipping it with low consumption light bulbs. You can also review the insulation to avoid energy losses. You will find more tips and tricks in our guide “How to save energy”
Adapting your short-term rental to sustainable tourism also means sorting waste. Install different containers for paper, plastic and glass so that your guests can sort easily and efficiently. In your house rules or Guest Guide, you can add some sorting instructions and indicate the external recycling garbage cans available nearby.
For a more responsible water consumption, you can add a water reducer to your shower to lower the flow and therefore use less cubic meter of water per year. Also, advise your guests to run the dishwasher, for example, only when it is full and to turn off the taps after each use.
In the case of short-term rentals with a garden or green space, you can easily install a water collector to water your plants and flowers later.
Once you learn, you never forget! Make bicycles available to your future guests. You can rent them out and cross-sell them or simply make them available to your guests for free. They will appreciate being able to ride a bicycle to discover the local heritage or natural sites if applicable to your local area.
By the way, don’t hesitate to recommend itineraries to your guests via the Guest Guide.
Use local businesses
If your seasonal rental needs a little freshening up or more structural work, think of local craftsmen and hire their expertise. This will help the local economy.
For the cleaning of your rental, you may use local service providers as well.
Encourage local consumption
A welcome gift is always welcome and will make a difference in the eyes of your guests. In this case, why not offer a few local specialties from the local artisans and promote them in the process.
If you use social networks to promote your rental, you can also share your favorite addresses in your posts and share the local hot spots.
You can gradually move in the direction of sustainable tourism and implement various steps to reach your goals.
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