Sunday, 6 May 2018

Book holidays direct to help the local environment

You may not know but as well as writing this green blog and trying to live my life in as a green as way as possible, I also run an eco-friendly gite (holiday cottage) in Normandy called Eco-Gites of Lenault.  And on the back of that I have been working hard, recently, on building up a Facebook group and page called Book Your Holiday Direct with the Owner ... and this does have a green ideology behind it as booking your holiday direct with the owner leads to benefits for the local environment.

Let me first explain why I work so hard to help owners get more direct bookings.  The alternative is to use one of the many large online booking agencies (OTAs) such as Owners Direct, Airbnb, TripAdvisor etc but when you do this the OTA charges a hefty booking or service fee to the guest and commission to the owner - sometimes up to 20%+.  This is money that the holidaymaker and owners can no longer spend locally ... and money spend locally is likely to be better for the local environment.

Book Direct to help the local environment

Studies have shown that if you buy from an independent local business ie a holiday cottage owner, far more of your money is then spent on other local businesses ie restaurants, tourist attractions, food shops etc.  However when a holidaymaker has had to pay a booking fee that money is never spent locally.  It  simply makes the far off CEOs and shareholders of the OTAs richer and they don't do anything to help the local environment.

Once local businesses start to thrive the whole local economy benefits with added eco-advantages.  With more local money available people are, for example, more likely to spend out of more expensive organic goods or locally produced crafts/hand made items from other local businesses.  More local shops will open and meaning local residents do not have to travel so far to get what they need.  Local businesses often support others locally so an independent restaurant will buy from a local farm shop and a holiday cottage owner will supply locally produced foods in their welcome baskets.  All this brings wealth into the area where the population is then more likely to make more expensive, but more sustainable, purchases.

Local business owners of all types and especially holiday home owners provide high quality services because they are passionate about they sell and they care about the satisfaction of their customers/guests.  When they lose money to faceless corporations in commission they have less money to offer the very best service.  Maybe they do not now feel they can provide such a generous welcome basket with locally produced foods and instead stock up on a couple of cheaper items bought in bulk from the out of town supermarket?  This serves only to take even more money away from the local economy. 

In contrast when holidaymakers buy from small independent businesses they will be supporting businesses that often source locally, use less packaging than large retailers, pollute less, have lower transport mileage and less waste.  All this makes for a better local environment.

This all may all sound a lot to attribute to a few extra direct bookings.  I disagree because we all know that all the small steps together add up to big changes.  To paraphrase a well know supermarket - every extra direct booking helps.

If you want to find out more about our gite, Eco-Gites of Lenault in Normandy please visit our website here for more details.

To join a Facebook group where you can choose from over 1000 holiday rentals that can all be booked direct join Book Your Holiday Direct from the Owner.

A Green and Rosie Life


  1. Great post Rosie. I'm a big fan of small local businesses - most especially food. Always try to buy local when possible #GoingGreen

  2. We use booking dot com when booking accommodation, mainly because we can claim airmails and because often when using search engines it's difficult to know whether they have good reviews or not. Using a booking agency gives us peace of mind and has in the past resolved issues when I arrived in Cape Town alone on one occasion they claimed not to have my booking and I was stranded at 9pm. Booking dot com sorted it out for me and found me a new hotel and ordered a taxi to take me there. However we often stay in the same places for repeat visits and then we will book directly with the owners. I like the idea though of the facebook book page and it is something i would consider using next time we go somewhere new. #goinggreen

  3. Great idea! We always try to book directly and with smaller independent accommodation where ever we can. I read an article that said, in the UK spending with a multinational means only 45p in the £ stays in the local economy, where as with a local independent business around 65p in the £ stays in the local economy. This fact helps motivate me to make the effort to use independent businesses where ever I can. I hope the Facebook group is a success. #GoingGreenLinky

  4. We always try and book direct, because it saves us money and I usually feel that we are getting a better service and it's more personal too. I am a big fan of supporting small businesses! #goinggreen

  5. What a great idea and positive thing to be working on. Whenever I buy anything online I always try to buy it directly from the company rather than a third party. #GoingGreenLinky

  6. Great idea (and lots of hard work!) I ran my parents holiday cottage for 9 years all without external agencies. This page would have been really useful! #GoingGreen