A leading energy efficiency consultant has called for a transformation in the way landlords operate short-let holiday accommodation, saying this housing sector needs to reduce its carbon footprint urgently to address guest needs and increase bookings.
James Tanner, who runs his is own eponymous consultancy, tells LandlordZONE that climate change is now beginning to impact people’s holiday choices with recent research showing 78% of travellers intend to stay in a sustainable property this year, a 10% increase from last year, that 76% want to be in nature and 50% want to walk to activities.
According to Sykes Holiday Cottages four of the top five activities guests want is to walk, cycle, be in the countryside or by the coast.
And as global warming is continuing to progress there will be an increase in demand for sustainable travel, he says.
“This summer’s litany of forest fires abroad in places like Greece, and other European countries; flooding in Asia and the US; and the unusual weather we’ve had in the UK are making people more aware that their holiday and travel choices need to be greener,” he says.
Tanner says global climate warming will only make this more important – and pressing – for the holiday accommodation sector as people seek to find properties that help offset rather than contribute to the problem of too much carbon being released into the atmosphere.
“Given that around 20% of emissions globally and in the UK come from homes, the short lets sector can play an important role in reducing carbon emissions,” he adds.
Tanner is calling on short-let landlords to help guests by ensuring their properties meet the highest eco-friendly standards in terms of heating; offering sustainable travel options; reduced waste and recycling; the availability of locally-produced, low-carbon food; and 'no carbon' activities nearby such as walking.
“This may all sound something that will be needed in the future, but as the weather is demonstrating, the challenges for the environment and those who live in it are becoming apparent now and the huge short-lets holiday accommodation sector needs to play its part,” he adds.
“The time for change is now - caring about sustainable travel and the environment will soon become something guests from all walks of life adopt as the signs of environmental change become more obvious.”