Sustainable Travel Report 2023



What it says and what it means for you

The annual Sustainable Travel Report is gold dust for your sustainability and business strategies.

This year, has surveyed 33,000 travellers from 35 different countries and territories about their approach to sustainable travel. As a short-term rental operator, this data is the crucial market research that you need to stay ahead of the game. It tells you exactly where travellers’ priorities lie, and how you can stand out from the crowd.

Wading through a statistic-heavy report consumes precious time and energy. That’s why we’ve done it for you! Read on to find out about the sustainable travel trends of 2023, and how you can use them to your advantage.

The big picture: sustainability continues to dominate travel trends

To put it broadly: the majority of people still care about eco-friendly travel. This hasn’t changed since 2022. In fact, 80% confirmed that travelling more sustainably is important to them, with the highest rates in India, the Philippines, Kenya, and Vietnam.

That’s a significant proportion of travellers who are likely to factor sustainability into their choice of accommodation. At the very least, they’ll see your environmental action as a bonus when browsing rental options.

“The growing urgency that people feel to act now and make more sustainable travel choices continues to be encouraging” – Glenn Fogel, CEO of

This concern with green travel is unsurprising given that 53% of travellers say that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable choices. Amidst warnings from scientists that we’re likely to exceed the 1.5C climate threshold before 2027 (if only temporarily), it’s no wonder that news-savvy holiday-makers want to travel more sustainably.

Sustainable travellers are weighing their conscience against their bank account

The key tension that travellers are facing is between a desire to roam more sustainably, and a concern about the perceived cost of green travel.

74% of respondents believe people need to act now and make more sustainable choices to save the planet (up from 66% in 2022). At the same time, 49% believe sustainable travel options are too expensive. These responses convey the friction that people are experiencing between their desire to travel responsibly, and their concern over ever-rising costs.

This tells us that a key barrier to sustainable travel is perceived cost. In reality, sustainable changes can actually reduce your running costs. Given that 49% of respondents want economic incentives to opt for eco-friendly options, you could choose to pass a portion of these savings onto guests through discounts or reward schemes. 

On the other hand, your environmental action might be part of what makes you a premium property, with premium rates to match. In this case, it’s all about communicating to potential guests precisely why your rental property is worth that bit more. With 43% of travellers still willing to pay more for travel options, there’s a strong chance that you’ll find guests who appreciate the sustainable value you’re offering.

Unsure how best to communicate about your sustainable strategies? Check out our article on the green benefits of digital guidebooks.

The travel industry needs to earn travellers’ trust

Travellers also reported that they struggled to find sustainable travel options, and didn’t feel confident in their ability to verify the claims of supposedly green choices:

  • 74% of respondents want travel companies to offer more sustainable options, but 44% don’t know where to find these sustainable options.
  • 65% would feel better about staying in a particular accommodation if they knew it had a sustainable travel certification, but 39% don’t trust that the options labelled as sustainable, are actually sustainable.

These responses suggest that another key barrier to sustainable travel is the clarity and transparency of the information available to guests. When searching for accommodation, travellers need to be able to access sustainability info that they know they can trust. Currently, many don’t feel that they can, and so they simply don’t book green vacation rental properties.

The good news is that short-term rental game-changers are already working on solutions to this problem. It all comes down to clear communication:

  • is the first major Online Travel Agency (OTA) to introduce eco badges on their listings, allowing travellers to choose hosts who are making efforts to be more sustainable.
  • Certifications such as Sustonica provide a rigorous, recognisable standard which proves to guests that you’re committed to operating more sustainably
  • Travalyst is working to bring consistent sustainability information to consumers, wherever they’re browsing and booking
  • Short-term rental owners and managers across the world are communicating openly and clearly about their Climate Action Plans

Together, with honesty and transparency, we can earn travellers’ trust and encourage them to book with transport, accommodation, and tour operators who embed sustainability at the heart of what they do.

Travellers are already taking their own sustainable action 

Whilst’s data shows that people are still struggling to put their sustainable ideals into action, it also shows that travellers are increasingly committed to their green instincts.

Guests are bringing their sustainable micro-habits into vacation rental properties:

  • 67% turned off the air conditioning when they weren’t in their accommodation
  • 60% re-used the same towel multiple times
  • 43% planned sightseeing so they could walk, cycle, or take public transport

Once they’ve reached their destination, 69% of travellers want the money they spend to go back to the local community. Visitors are really considering how their travel impacts the ecological, social, and cultural lives of their destinations.

You have the power to nudge vacation rental guests towards sustainable travel 

Guests are concerned about the financial realities they face, but this doesn’t mean they’re giving up on eco travel. 47% of respondents would like tips on how to travel more sustainably on a budget. They’re willing to learn to travel differently if this means they can honour their environmental instincts without breaking the bank.

As short-term rental operators, we can capitalise on these eco instincts to encourage travellers to book sustainable accommodations. Guests are asking for clear, reliable information about how to travel sustainably, and we can give that to them.

Use your guest communications – from your website, blog, and listing description, to your email marketing, social media, and post-booking communications – to tell guests:

  • how to travel sustainably on a budget
  • where they can find sustainable holiday accommodation
  • which eco badges and certifications hold the most rigorous standards
  • how best to contribute to local communities
  • what your rental business is doing to be more sustainable, and how they can get involved’s data shows us that people want to travel sustainably, but are still sometimes put off by perceived cost and effort barriers. By paying attention to what those barriers are, we can help to lower them, and entice even more travellers towards eco-friendly short-term rentals.

Drive sustainable change with EnviroRental

If you’re still at the beginning of your journey towards sustainability, not to worry. It’s clear that travellers are increasingly looking for short-term rentals that have robust sustainability strategies in place, and that’s why we’re here to help.

EnviroRental has compiled a treasure trove of resources to help you start to meaningfully green your short-term rental business. From webinars and case studies, to data analysis and podcasts, we’ve got something for everyone.

Our Sustainability Roadmap was developed by short-term rental sustainability experts to provide you with practical, achievable steps towards a more sustainable business. Whatever stage you’re at, you’ll find concrete support to help you move forward. And the best part? It’s all free! Sign up today to start tapping into your guests’ desire for sustainable, responsible short-term rentals.

Get your Sustainability Roadmap today

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