Online travel gets greener

There are undoubtedly varying shades of green. We discussed this in a recent report called "Green Online Travelers
Assessing the Brand Impact of Travelers' Environmental Concerns" in which we determined that, while 42 percent of online travelers agree with the statement that they are concerned about the environment, those "dark green travelers" who have actively consider sustainability in their travel decisions is more of a niche at 7%.

Two new websites have launched aimed squarely at that 7 percent.

Vroom Vroom Vroom offers car rentals offers car rental through major companies and will purchase carbon offset programs for each rental. (Ok, I admit it: I was tempted to telephone directly just to hear someone answer the phone making cartoon car noises.) Green without costing more will certainly appeal.

We also saw the launch of Whole Travel this week, which lets travelers undertake open-ended destination and accommodation searches of sustainable hotels. Hotels have a �whole ranking� based on their (1) Environmental practices, (2) Economic management, (3) Social and cultural support, and (4) Customer interaction.

Both sites will have to establish credibility. Vroom Vroom Vroom will need to establish credible carbon offset information (see our upcoming report on "Identifying Best Practices Promoting Carbon Offset Programs". Whole Travel's rankings are self-reported with plans to use local organizations for verification.

At the same time, both sites offer potential benefits that can extend beyond their green offerings. Vroom Vroom Vroom's lowest rates. Whole Travel has an inventory of unique properties that will appeal to people looking for a different accommodation experience.

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