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Who doesn’t like sustainable travel?
Sustainability is key for our future and we have seen how the travel industry has steered in that direction recently, for example, making it easy to carbon-offset your flights directly when you book your ticket, and sharing/pooling airbnb’s to stop waste in accommodation. However, there were almost no initiatives covering the hotel segment, until now.
EcoHotels.com is a new booking platform where travellers can find more than 20,000 sustainably certified hotels throughout 150 countries. The company was founded in Copenhagen in April 2020 as an alternative booking site focusing on true sustainability, fair principles, and low commissions.
The key highlights behind EcoHotels are very interesting:
- One Booking = One Tree. Every time you book a sustainable hotel through EcoHotels.com, they plant a tree in your honour to increase reforestation and eco‑diversity.
- Plastic for Rice. EcoHotels.com fights plastic pollution, one of the most pressing environmental issues, by supporting and collaborating with Plastic Exchange Bali, a non-profit sustainability movement and barter system where communities can exchange Plastic for Rice. The movement is The Biggest Island Clean-up in History.
- Only Certified Hotels. At EcoHotels they only cooperate with hotels that we know are truly committed to sustainability, and have the trustworthy certifications to prove it.
In the past decade I’ve mostly used Booking.com and Hotels.com when making my reservations, and although these days they shed some light and include some sustainability-related details, there is very little incentive to go for the eco-friendly options (usually more expensive or less convenient).
I made a test reservation on EcoHotels.com to see how it works, and searched in my home country to check-up the options. Here are the search results for one night in Buenos Aires:
There were 29 options, and to my surprise, for example, the Hilton Buenos Aires hotel was among the top choices
You get reviews right away, easy to read
The rest is pretty straightforward, select a room type:
And proceed to payment, then you get an email confirmation. You can also choose a few different currencies.
I believe this is a fantastic initiative and definitely a platform I will start using right away for my travels. I will first start checking what are the options and prices in EcoHotels.com and try to use it as the go-to platform. As the platform is growing, small towns and remote places will most likely not have so many options, but this will improve over time. It could be a great option if you aim for big cities with plenty of hotels, and for business travel that you have to book yourself.
The only few things I noticed (my two cents) that could be improved right away are:
- The autocomplete feature in the search engine is slightly slow (e.g. when you type the name of a city)
- Not all room options get pictures yet.
- Some loyalty or gamification component in the platform: Sure, in other platforms such as Booking.com or Hotels.com, you get cash back or free hotel nights as you book more. In this one, you plant trees instead 🙂
What I’d love to see is some kind of retainer program or way to incentivise people to keep booking in a continuous basis. Hotels.com does this by showing a “hotel nights” tracker, and Booking.com has its own loyalty program in development (genius).
Hope that EcoHotels can introduce something like that soon.
You can book using this link and get a 10% discount in your reservation, which they are running as a promotion right now. Looking forward to reading your experience. Hit me up on Instagram or Twitter if you wanna chat and share comments 🙂
Enjoy and safe (sustainable) travels!