Sabre Holdings launched the Sabre Eco-Certified Hotel Program, an industry first program that provides clear and easy access to sustainable travel offerings throughout Sabre’s portfolio. The program addresses travelers’ growing desire for environmentally responsible accommodations and includes more than 4,700 hotels certified by globally-recognized certification programs.
The Sabre Eco-Certified Hotel Program builds upon Travelocity’s Green Hotel Directory, launched in 2009, and extends the program company-wide to recognize hotels that are certified as sustainable according to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s guidelines. Travelocity is still the only major online travel company that helps users find green hotels with an eco-friendly tag.
The 4,700+ hotels participating in the program will be clearly distinguished in Sabre’s Global Distribution System (GDS) and reflected in other Sabre platforms. Specifically:
* In Sabre Red Workspace, the more than 180,000 users can shop and book eco-certified hotels using current amenity search functionality that includes an easy-to-spot icon and a unique amenity code.
* Nearly 2,000 corporate and agency customers are able to specify eco-certified hotels during the RFP process by using Sabre Hotel RFP tool.
* Travelocity Business designates eco-certified hotels to help agents and travelers shop and book participating hotels.
“With leadership comes responsibility,” said Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network. “Sabre is keenly focused on the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the travel industry and we are committed to providing our customers with products and services that help them promote these same long-term values throughout their businesses.”
According to a recent PhoCusWright study, 66 percent of U.S. travelers believe their travel choices can make a difference to the environment, and more than 51 percent of meeting planners will hold meetings only in sustainable venues (GBTA and Imex Global survey 2010). For suppliers, the Sabre Eco-Certified Hotel Program provides hotels a new and innovative way to differentiate themselves, reinforce their brand, and tap into the growing number of travelers and travel planners looking for sustainable hotel options.
Hotel guests list “certification” as the top preference in sustainable offerings, and more than 40 percent of respondents looked for third party certification to verify that a supplier is truly environmentally friendly (Cornell Hospitality Institute Research 2011). The Sabre Eco-Certified Hotel Program will continue to hold the line against “greenwashing” by only accepting hotels that have undergone a third party audit and are certified by a program aligning with criteria set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, a global coalition of U.N. bodies, research and academic institutions, social and environmental NGOs, and certification programs.
Sabre is committed to work across the industry to establish and implement environmental standards that will help drive sustainable travel into the mainstream and works diligently with partners and customers to advocate for pan-industry standards. The company’s efforts with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and their use of the GSTC criteria are a testament to the value of cross-sector and cross-industry collaboration in developing and promoting necessary global frameworks.
In addition, Sabre’s resolve that standards are important for the travel industry directed an industry-leading path for standards with the introduction of carbon calculation and reporting tools for airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. These tools, which are now available in a web service for their customers and partners, were an important step in recognizing the need for a single industry standard for calculating and reporting travel emissions. Sabre is collaborating with partners, associations, and competitors alike to employ a single, globally recognized methodology so that the travel industry’s footprint, whether in business or leisure travel, can be reported on with accuracy and consistency.