In recent years, the short-term rental industry has experienced unprecedented growth, providing travellers with unique experiences and homeowners with lucrative opportunities. However, as we witness the impacts of climate change and increasing environmental concerns, it is crucial for companies like us to take a proactive stance towards sustainability. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of adapting to more sustainable practices in the short-term rental industry and highlight the valuable resources and accreditations offered by Qualmark, Sustonica, and EnviroRental.

The Urgency of Sustainable Practices

The demand for conscious and sustainable tourism was already on the rise prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, but its growth was exponentially accelerated as a direct result of the global health crisis. According to a study by Airbnb, “Conscious travel in Asia-Pacific gained popularity among the consumer class with 9 out of 10 travellers being willing to pay more for sustainable travel”. We believe that businesses in the short-term rental industry must recognise the urgency of adopting sustainable practices. By doing so, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to a greener future. The environmental impacts of the travel and hospitality sector are undeniable, including excessive energy consumption, waste generation, and water usage. As responsible industry leaders, we have a moral obligation to address these challenges head-on.

The Role of Qualmark

Since its establishment in 1993 by Tourism New Zealand and the Automobile Association, Qualmark has focused on quality assurance in the tourism sector. Over time, they introduced the Sustainable Tourism Business criteria, which includes health and safety, and reward members with Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditations. They have evolved further by introducing Service Delivery and Qualmark Specialist teams for operational support using the sustainable criteria.

Sustonica: STR Accreditation

The Sustonica certification program evaluates vacation rentals based on sustainability practices aligned with seven United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This includes energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, and social responsibility. The certification is awarded to properties that meet at least 12 out of 40 guidelines and is valid for one year. Sustonica aims to promote eco-friendly accommodations and help vacation rental providers enhance their environmental practices. The program benefits property owners and hosts by providing a credible way to showcase their commitment to sustainability and attract environmentally conscious guests.

EnviroRental: Free resources for Hosts empowers short-term rental hosts and managers to create a sustainable future, offering a roadmap and resources to lower carbon emissions without sacrificing comfort or quality. Enhancing guest experiences, satisfying eco-conscious visitors and cultivating richer five-star reviews. Thanks to their partners and sponsors, they offer invaluable resources free to subscribers.

Embracing sustainability in the short-term rental industry requires the active participation of property owners, property managers and guests/travellers. By implementing small steps such as energy conservation, water management, waste reduction, and guest education, we can collectively make a positive difference and create a more sustainable future for the industry.

Together, with the support of organisations like Qualmark, Sustonica, and EnviroRental, and the commitment of individual stakeholders, we can build a thriving short-term rental industry that not only provides exceptional experiences but also respects and preserves our environment for generations to come. Let's unite our efforts and create a greener and more sustainable future. Reach out to any or all the organisations in this blog to start your sustainable journey.