TripAdvisor has announced its plans to extend its TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program into Australia for the first time as a way of promoting environmentally-friendly travel.
Developed in consultation with the United Nations Environment Programme, Ecotourism Australia and Earthcheck, the program highlights hotels and B&Bs that employ green practices that help preserve the environment.
First launched in the US, Canada and Europe, rewards qualifying hotels and B&Bs with the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status, based on eco-friendly practices the property has in place, with properties tiered between Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum awards.
Each award is then prominently displayed on the listing on TripAdvisor.
For the first time, hotels and B&Bs in Australia are able to apply for TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status, joining markets such as New Zealand, US, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Eligible businesses can apply now at no cost, by going to www.green.tripadvisor.com.au.
Each application will then be assessed against a universal set of environmental criteria, including practices ranging from linen and towel re-use, recycling and composting through to solar panels, electric car charging stations and green roofing.
The more green practices a hotel or B&B has in place, the higher the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders level it can achieve.
In Australia, a number of hotel chains have already agreed to participate in the program, including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Best Western International, and Accor Hotels.
TripAdvisor GreenLeaders first kicked off in the US in April 2013, and since then has awarded over 7600 properties in 21 countries the GreenLeaders status, making it the largest green hotels program of its kind.
Hotels participating range from small independent establishments to multinational brands, with a recent TripAdvisor survey showing that 81% of travellers place importance on properties that engage in eco-friendly practices.
“With so many travellers placing an importance on the eco-friendly practices of the places they visit, hotel and B&B owners stand to gain a real competitive edge by promoting their environmentally friendly practices,” TripAdvisor GreenLeaders’ director Jenny Rushmore said.
“Our TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program will enable businesses managing their environmental footprint to highlight their commitment to millions of travellers around the world, at no expense to their business.”