A home in Ko Samui, Thailand

Travellers booking more eco-friendly Airbnb listings

Asia: A trend has emerged where more travellers are booking eco-friendly Airbnb listings, according to findings by Travel Weekly.

The site said that according to Airbnb internal data, eco-friendly listings have now been booked by over 4.6 million guests worldwide. Over the past year, global bookings have increased by 50 per cent for “environmentally conscious spaces”, while the number of eco-friendly listings has risen by 30 per cent globally.

One of Airbnb’s main challenges right now is mass tourism, having recorded more than half a billion guest arrivals at site listings worldwide since the company’s founding in 2008.

Now, the rental platform is looking to tighten its focus on a community model to help counter the phenomenon of mass tourism as well as overcrowding in eco-friendly homes and locations.

The destinations with the highest percentage of eco-friendly listings in Asia include:

1. Trat, Thailand
2. Sabah, Malaysia
3. Rāmnagar, India
4. South Grafton, Australia
5. Niseko, Japan
6. Gangwon, South Korea
7. Lugu, Taiwan

Destinations that have logged the highest percentage of eco-friendly listings on Airbnb are more often small-town rural locations found far away from urban centres and major cities.

Such listings range from a tree house in a teakwood forest in Thailand to an eco-bamboo hideout in Bali’s Mount Agung, as well as an eco-luxe recycled shipping container in Australia.

Airbnb said in a statement: “We are working to bring environmentally conscious travel to even more people through our Community Tourism Programme that partners with My Green Trip, a growing network of eco-friendly travellers dedicated to organising community clean-ups and sharing sustainable travel habits.”

This year, Airbnb is pledging five million euros in donations to support efforts to ensure that travel becomes more authentic and sustainable.

In China, Airbnb has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Friends of Nature, a prominent NGO which focuses on resolving environmental protection issues. As a result, Airbnb will now work with the NGO to promote sustainable tourism in China, host a series of lectures to educate its community on sustainable tourism, and lead workshops to teach hosts how to maintain sustainable hospitality standards and practices.

For more information, visit the Airbnb website here.

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