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2023 12 21

Novaturas introduced more sustainable hotel options for travellers

Novaturas is the first major tour operator in the Baltic States to offer customers the option of selecting hotels based on sustainability labeling. In addition to location, room type, and other amenities, customers can now choose accommodations that operate responsibly and focus on managing social and environmental impacts. These hotels are marked with the “Sustainable choice” label on the company's renewed website. Currently, these hotels already make up over a third of the company's total offerings in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and the selection is set to expand even further.

Growing demand for sustainable hotels 

Novaturas has relied on a third-party certification and labeling system to select accommodation that operates responsibly. This means that “Sustainable choice” hotels have a sustainability label recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

“Our goal is to offer travellers the opportunity to select hotels that prioritize nature conservation, waste reduction, community support and cultural heritage preservation. These seemingly small steps mark the start of a journey towards creating a sustainable environment that benefits the hotel and its surroundings. Although these may seem like small steps, they are the beginning of the story and help to create wealth in the environment in which the hotel operates. We hope that this innovation will contribute to our strategic goal of increasing travel sustainability by empowering customers to make informed choices,” says Audronė Alijošiutė-Paulauskienė, Head of Sustainability at Novaturas Group.  

These hotels, which aim to reduce their environmental and social footprint, already account for over 30% of the tour operator’s hotel offering at group level. In the 2023–2024 winter and 2024 summer seasons, the company offers a range of more than 950 sustainable accommodation options. 

“A survey conducted by Euromonitor International earlier this year found that nearly 80% of travellers would pay a 10% premium for more sustainable travel. This indicates that an increasing number of travellers are environmentally conscious and actively seeking ways to travel sustainably. Our own experience confirms this trend, as we have observed a growing interest in sustainable travel.,” says Ms Alijošiutė-Paulauskienė.

The sustainability expert points out that all winter and next summer destinations of the company include environmentally friendly hotels, and the range is constantly being updated. The largest share of sustainable hotels currently offered in winter destinations are in Maldives, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Indonesia (Bali), and in next summer season offer – Indonesia (Bali), Portugal, Spain resorts.

Tourism is inseparable from sustainability

According to Ms Alijošiutė-Paulauskienė, more sustainable travel is a conscious and responsible way of exploring new places, firstly by becoming more aware of the ways in which environmental impacts can be reduced, and also by taking the initiative to do so. While sustainable tourism is not a new concept, there is currently a growing interest in sustainable hotels and other responsible travel options. It is important to note that environmentally friendly behaviour encompasses more than just addressing climate change; it also involves considering our relationship with nature, local communities, and their quality of life.

“Sustainability changes in tourism are becoming more apparent, although not yet universal. In the future, we can expect to see more alternative modes of travel, as well as the development of sustainable aviation fuels and electric airplanes. Additionally, many hotels are now implementing sustainability changes and seeking credible sustainability labels. Significant changes take time and require cooperation between travellers and travel programme designers.,” says the expert. 

Earlier this year, Novaturas Group presented its strategy for 2023–2025, with sustainable travel as one of its focus areas. In addition to sustainable  hotels, the company aims to reduce the impact of its operations on climate change and expand its cooperation with partners who are committed to sustainable goals. There will also be the focus on educating travellers about more sustainable travel choices. 

Everyone can travel more sustainably 

For those who want to take the first steps to reduce their impact, Ms Alijošiutė-Paulauskienė advises taking public transport to the airport or using the carpooling option. “Choose direct flights in economy class, and when on holiday, walk as much as possible, instead of using motor vehicles. If it’s a long-haul destination, make a point of staying in one place for longer, not only to reduce your footprint but also to have a good rest.”

When travelling, it is advisable to choose locally sourced produce, try local cuisine and otherwise support local businesses: “This boosts the local economy and reduces the need for imports, thus reducing the impact on climate change and the environment”. 

“Conserve water and other natural resources, and avoid activities that could harm vegetation or scare animals. If you see signs indicating noise or movement restrictions, follow them, as this may be a place where particularly rare species of wildlife are raising their young. Avoid tours of captive wild animals. In addition, carry reusable water bottles or cups, shopping bags and avoid single-use plastics,” reminds the Head of Sustainability of Novaturas. 

Activities that have a lower environmental impact, such as hiking, camping, local cultural and historical excursions, visiting sustainable farms, bird watching, volunteering in protected areas and others, are also recommended.

For more information on how to find a sustainable hotel on the website of the company, click here:

Also, information about the selection of Sustainable choice hotels will be provided by the agencies which are partners of Novaturas.