Global initiative launched to drive industry best practice for sustainability

Worldwide: The short-term rental industry has announced the launch of a new initiative to promote responsible hospitality and continued best practice growth in terms of sustainability across the sector.

The Global Short-Term Rental Sustainability Research Project has been created to develop a ‘united voice’ and will assist the industry in determining where they are at in terms of sustainability best practice. Associations involved in the project include The Australian Short Term Rental Association [ASTRA], The Association for Short-Term Rental Homeowners [ASTRHO], The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers [ASSC], The European Holiday Home Association [EHHA], The UK Short Term Accommodation Association [STAA], and The Vacation Rental Management Association [VRMA].

Each association, which is made up of short-term rental property owners, managers and hosts working together to advocate for fair and effective regulations and licensing for short term rentals, will leverage industry insight collated via a survey to help establish a robust set of objectives and guidance, to be used as the go-to resource for short term rental business owners for sustainability benchmarking.

Historically, the hospitality sector has had a dramatic environmental impact through energy and water consumption, use of consumable and durable goods, and solid and hazardous waste creation. As the threat of climate change looms ever larger, businesses face increasing pressure to reduce their environmental impact and cut carbon emissions.

Viktorija Molnar, interim secretary general of the European Holiday Home Association [EHHA], said: “The European Holiday Home Association fully supports this initiative. Together with the short- term rental market leaders, we aim to understand the global awareness on sustainability aspects in the short-term rental market and what collective outputs are needed to accelerate the already existing and new sustainable practices.

“The short-term rental ecosystem is made of diverse market players of different sizes and shapes: individual owners, nano, micro STR property managers, entrepreneurs, property managers [SMEs], online platforms, and other business owners who cater to the STR sector.

“All of them contribute to providing short-term rental accommodation offerings that are widely dispersed across European towns and regions, and to funnelling the economic benefits of travel into wider communities by encouraging local spending and contributing income to STR providers.

“The European Holiday Home Association encourages and invites all short-term rental accommodation players to respond to the short questionnaire. Your response will contribute and support the STR industry’s sustainable way forward,” she added.

Project facilitator Diane Lloyd, associate director of Quality International Assessment Services [the project’s sponsor], said: “Working with resources already available to achieve exciting new opportunities, different ways of doing things and offering more choices are in the DNA of anyone working in the short-term rentals industry. The leading global short-term rental associations coming together to offer one place where the industry can gain information, guidance and work towards shared goals is what is driving this initiative.

“It is about having a united voice to help guide the industry to a more sustainable future,” she added.

Tim Rosolio, VP partner success, Vrbo [part of Expedia Group], supporters of the global initiative to drive industry best practice for sustainability, said: “Expedia Group recognises the environmental toll that today’s travel industry often has on the planet and is committed to mobilising its vast network of travellers, partners, and peers to innovate more sustainable business models and empower travellers to make more responsible choices.

“According to our data, we know a growing number of travellers are also looking to minimise their impact to the environment – even when doing so requires extra investment. Three in five travellers want environmentally friendly lodging and will pay 38 per cent more for sustainable options and our vacation rental partners can play a part in this effort.

“We encourage our vacation rental partners to consider sustainable practices in their businesses including switching to renewable energy, investing in smart home technology, landscaping that reduces water usage, offering recycling and composting options and sustainable cleaning products,” he added.

The project is starting with a global questionnaire to understand where the industry is at currently. The questionnaire is open to  property owners, property managers and suppliers to the industry to share their views.

To give your feedback below are links to the questionnaire: