BOOKING.COM DONATES SMOKEY BEAR-THEMED HOME TO LINCOLN NATIONAL FOREST IN HONOR OF ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF TRAVEL SUSTAINABLE BADGE
Global Travel Leader is Offering a Fully Sustainable Stay at Travel Sustainable Badge Certified Home in Birthplace of Famed Environmental Icon, Smokey Bear
NEW YORK, NY, October 12, 2022 – Booking.com believes travel is a force for good, with an ability to broaden horizons and bring people closer together, but recognizes it must be done in a way that respects the world’s local communities and environment. Timed to the one-year anniversary of the global travel leader’s pioneering Travel Sustainable badge, Booking.com is upholding its commitment to sustainable travel by making it easier for the 73%* of U.S. travelers who confirm sustainable travel is important to them to search and book sustainable stays, as well as offering a unique experience at one of the platform’s newest badge-certified properties. The two-night weekend getaway at the all-new “Smokey Bear Ranger District House” will take place in New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest, the birthplace of the famed nostalgic environmental icon.
Following the guest stay, Booking.com will donate the sustainable home to the Smokey Bear Ranger District in Lincoln National Forest to serve the important purpose of providing supplemental housing and a place of respite for park rangers and firefighters who dedicate their life’s work to protecting the environment and local communities. Nearly 85%** of wildland fires in the U.S. are caused by human negligence, and while 54%* of Americans consider protecting the natural environment an important element of sustainable travel, and 43%* say that preserving wildlife and their natural habits is critical, there is still work to be done to ensure travelers are educated on even the smallest things that can leave a big impact, such as leaving no trace behind in the destinations they visit.
Created out of recycled, sustainable, triple-bottom-line materials, Booking.com’s sustainable “Smokey Bear Ranger District House” was built using resource-efficient construction methods, and is outfitted with smart home technologies and appliances, plus home energy and water conservation practices integrated throughout, making it a home with less than 15% material waste compared to the more than 25% waste that results from conventional building techniques. In addition to Smokey Bear decor and memorabilia representative of the beloved icon, the home features furnishings, art and more from local businesses, reflective of the culture and community surrounding Lincoln National Forest. The weekend itinerary for the lucky booker will be packed with tours, activities and meals from local guides, artisans and chefs, and even an appearance by Smokey Bear himself.
The one-time consumer stay will open for booking on November 2 at 12 p.m. ET, for a two-night stay occurring from November 5 to November 7 for $19.50, in honor of the year the real Smokey Bear was rescued from a forest fire. A full list of sustainably-friendly, community engagement activities will be offered during the weekend-long stay including:
- Scenic guided bike tour through Lincoln National Forest.
- Private cooking lessons with a local chef using locally and ethically sourced ingredients and organic fresh produce to create a farm-to-table vegan meal.
- Session with a local artisan woodworker who uses recycled wood from Lincoln National Forest to create custom pieces representative of New Mexico art and culture.
- Volunteer activity that helps preserve the local ecosystem, heritage, and culture of the destination.
- Local restaurant experiences with cuisines from Southwestern and Indigenous cultures.
- Meet and greet with Smokey Bear and a park ranger, followed by a visit to the Smokey Bear Museum, built entirely by local volunteers, with a guided tour of the exhibits.
“Booking.com's mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, which includes helping travelers make more mindful and conscious choices,” says Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com. “We aim to reinforce that sustainable travel is easily actionable and that there are sustainable accommodations widely available for consumers to enjoy. Whether a sleek city hotel, a family-friendly beach house or even a Smokey Bear Ranger District House in a national forest, Booking.com offers thousands of Travel Sustainable certified properties making it easy to find and book sustainable stays.”
With 44%* of American travelers saying that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices and 61%* saying they would be more likely to choose a sustainable accommodation, the more than 150,000 properties globally on Booking.com with the Travel Sustainable badge makes it easier to do so. The “Smokey Bear Ranger District House” incorporates 30 of the sustainability measures and practices that a property can implement to receive the badge – from eliminating single-use plastics and implementing 100% renewable electricity, to offering tours and activities from local businesses and more.
Booking.com has also further expanded the number of third-party certifications and labels that automatically qualify accommodations to receive the Travel Sustainable badge. In addition to those officially approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Green Tourism and the EU Ecolabel, this now also includes Green Seal, Nordic Swan Ecolabel, Green Hospitality Ecolabel, Ibex Fairstay, Fair Trade Tourism, LEED and Edge.
For more information on Booking.com’s sustainable stay at the “Smokey Bear Ranger District House” visit https://www.booking.com/hotel/us/smokey-bear-ranger-district-house-a-travel-sustainable-property.html. To learn more about Booking.com’s sustainability efforts, visit Sustainability.Booking.com.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 30,314 respondents across 32 countries and territories (1,000 from USA, 958 from Canada, 1,009 from Mexico, 1,001 from Colombia, 1,003 from Brazil, 1,017 from Argentina, 1,000 from Australia, 486 from New Zealand, 998 from Spain, 1,003 from Italy, 996 from France, 495 from Switzerland, 980 from the UK, 998 from Germany, 1,014 from the Netherlands, 991 from Belgium, 985 from Denmark, 984 from Sweden, 964 from Croatia, 976 from Russia, 1,008 from Israel, 1,002 from India, 1,004 from China, 925 from Hong Kong, 1,006 from Thailand, 988 from Singapore, 1,002 from Taiwan, 1,004 from Vietnam, 1,004 from South Korea, 1,003 from Japan, 1,006 from South Africa and 504 from Kenya ). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and must be planning to travel in 2022, and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in February 2022.
**2000 - 2017 data based on Wildland Fire Management Information and U.S. Forest Service Research Data Archive.
Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world whenever it’s safe to do so again. By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, Booking.com seamlessly connects millions of travelers with memorable experiences, a range of transportation options and incredible places to stay - from homes to hotels and much more. As one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for both established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes, Booking.com enables properties all over the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses. Booking.com is available in 44 languages and offers more than 28 million total reported accommodation listings, including more than 6.6 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, Booking.com makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.