ReAlpha CEO Giri Devanur writes that sustainable short-term rentals (SSTRs) are critical to the future of the short-term rental industry. The increase in cost associated with SSTRs is the primary factor inhibiting investment by property managers, but Devanur argues that such investments yield direct and indirect benefits. One advantage is increased business, with Booking.com estimating in 2019 that 70 percent of travelers are more likely to book an accommodation with eco-friendly business practices, and willing to pay more for a sustainable stay. Long-term savings on building expenses present another benefit. As examples, Devanur writes that "by replacing light bulbs with LEDs [light-emitting diodes], a property manager can save around $225 each year for each property. Likewise, using cloth towels instead of paper towels, paper napkins, and tissues could also save you hundreds, as could using a water filtration system instead of providing plastic water bottles." Hosts should make long-term sustainability a guiding principle when converting property into a SSTR, and Devanur says the supply chain is a good place to start, as it is the most significant carbon emission factor worldwide. "If you want to start slow, one way to become more sustainable is through investment in climate initiatives," she suggests. "You could set out a part of your booking fee toward a climate charity or buy carbon offsets to reduce the total carbon footprint of the business."
Forbes (11/17/22) Giri Devanur