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Google helps hotels worldwide including Belize ‘go green’

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Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2021. 12:44 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: With more travelers demanding sustainable travel – a Booking.com global survey released in June found that some 83 percent of 29,000 respondents said they found sustainable travel to be vital, with 61 percent noting that the pandemic has increased their interest in traveling sustainably – Google is launching a program identify “eco-certified” hotels in its search engines according to Bloomberg.

Half of the survey takers added that finding a hotel with actual eco credibility isn’t easy—and they’re right. Hotels that take sustainability seriously don’t often shout it from the rooftops, while others tout themselves as green just for offering an option to skip daily laundering of linen.

The new feature, launched today, relies on 29 certification programs to do the hard work of establishing a hotel’s green credibility; the property must have an array of sustainability measures audited by third-party experts. It’ll be up to hotel staff, rather than the search engine, to update hotel listings, using the free Google My Business Profile.

The move is intended to offer travelers more transparency against greenwashing, which runs rampant in the hospitality industry. It also responds to increased search volume around eco-travel buzz words. The term “green hotel,” for instance, has quadrupled in search volume since March 2020, according to Google Trends.

A handful of new tools beyond Google can help make it easier to find and book hotels with strong social and environmental values.

Preferred Hotel Group’s Beyond Green Travel portfolio is a network of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that adhere to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Among its members are Francis Ford Coppola’s hydroelectric-powered hideaways in Belize, Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn, and andBeyond Mnemba Island in Zanzibar, a protected nesting site for endangered green sea turtles.

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