NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Horsham, PA, United States, 2009/12/16 - Green Key Global, the exclusive provider of the Green Key Eco-Rating Program (“Green Key”), and Travelocity have partnered to recognize “green” hotels and resorts.
Travelocity, the popular online travel website, will include Green Key members in its Green Hotel Directory; likewise, those hotels will also be tagged with an “Eco Friendly Hotel” symbol within Travelocity’s hotel shopping path.
Green Key, the first program of its kind to rank, certify and audit hotels and resorts based on their commitment to sustainable “green” operations, is a joint venture between LRA Worldwide, Inc. and the Hotel Association of Canada. Green Key has been in operation in Canada for more than ten years; it launched in the United States in September of 2009. Currently, Green Key has more than 1,200 member hotels throughout the United States and Canada.
“We are very excited to include Green Key as one of the official certification programs for our Green Hotel Directory, as the program is highly-respected within the sustainable travel community,” said Alison Presley, Manager of Travelocity’s “Travel for Good ®” program. “A hotel’s environmental practices are an area of interest to our customers, so recognizing Green Key membership on our site provides more value to the consumer.”
A recent study by the U.S. Travel Association and Ypartnership indicated that nearly 60-percent of consumers consider a hotel’s environmental practices when making a booking decision, and a smaller subset of that group is willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly lodging options. In addition, the same study indicated that less than one-third of the respondents feel it is easy to find out about the environmental initiatives of travel and hospitality companies; the partnership between Travelocity and Green Key is designed to make this information more readily accessible to consumers while they are shopping for accommodations.
The Green Key evaluation itself is a comprehensive 140-question audit that is self-administered by the staff at the participating property. The audit covers the following operational areas and sustainable practices:
• Corporate Environmental Management;
• Food & Beverage Operations;
• Conference & Meeting Facilities;
• Energy conservation;
• Water conservation;
• Solid waste management;
• Hazardous waste management;
• Indoor air quality;
• Community outreach;
• Building infrastructure;
• Land use;
• Environmental management.
Upon completion, the answers are tabulated and the property is awarded a ranking of 1 to 5 Keys and a corresponding display plaque. The property also receives a comprehensive report that includes recommendations, best practices and potential areas for improvement and savings. Unlike other programs of this nature, Green Key includes random, on-site verification of audit results, mitigating the risk of score inflation.
“We are always looking for outlets to recognize Green Key members and their sustainability efforts,” explained Zach Conen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Green Key Global. “Travelocity fits the bill perfectly, as they have been on the leading edge of providing information on responsible, sustainable tourism to the consumer.”
The Travelocity Green Hotel Directory currently has 700 members globally; in addition, Travelocity is the only major online travel agency that designates green certified hotel properties in its hotel shopping path. The “Eco Friendly Hotel” symbol is integrated into the master Travelocity hotel search database.
About Travelocity Global
Travelocity® is committed to being the traveler's champion -- before, during and after the trip – and provides the most comprehensive and proactive guarantee in the industry (travelocity.com/guarantee). This customer-driven focus, backed by 24/7 live phone support, competitive prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity one of the largest travel companies in the world with annual gross bookings of more than U.S. $10 billion. Travelocity also owns and operates: Travelocity Business® for corporate travel; igougo.com, a leading online travel community; lastminute.com, a leader in European online travel; and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation, a world leader in travel marketing and distribution.
About Green Key
The Green Key Eco-Rating Program (greenkeyglobal.com) is the first of its kind to rank, certify and inspect hotels and resorts in North America based on their commitment to sustainable “green” operations. The program was originally developed for the Hotel Association of Canada by a leading environmental engineering firm with funding from the Canadian Government. Designed specifically for hotel operations, the Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a comprehensive environmental audit that will allow each participating property to benefit on several fronts – cost savings, increased bookings from environmentally conscious consumers and meeting planners and responsible corporate citizenry. In the United States Green Key is a joint partnership between the Hotel Association of Canada and LRA Worldwide, Inc.