GreenGo and Flockeo, alternatives to Airbnb for sustainable tourism are growing

Fair and committed, responsible alternatives to Airbnb are multiplying. Environmental assessment of accommodation, measurement of the carbon footprint, support in the transition to a sustainable model… GreenGo and Flockeo, two French platforms, are building the future of the sector. Throughout the week, Novethic explores the paths towards more sustainable tourism.

They are rooted in the habits of many travelers. Tourist rental platforms, such as Airbnb or Booking, are enjoying resounding success despite the turbulence caused by the health crisis over the past two years. 2021 was even a record year for Airbnb, which saw its turnover increase by +32% in the last quarter.

However, the tourism giants are now facing growing opposition from the authorities and residents. The latter point the finger at their responsibility in the ever more intense development of mass tourism, itself accused of weakening historical and natural sites, while weighing on local infrastructure. Faced with this observation, ethical rental platforms are multiplying, advocating a more sustainable, humane and environmentally friendly tourism. And the French market is not left out.

Committed hosts and customers

Among the most recent is GreenGo, launched less than a year and a half ago and whose rapid growth was confirmed in June by a fundraising of 1.2 million euros. “Our goal is to highlight the treasures of our regions, rather than the end of the world and to promote more local, less carbon-intensive travel“explains Guillaume Jouffre, co-founder of GreenGo.

For this, the startup only references accommodation located in France. But it doesn’t stop there. Each host is evaluated using a grid of more than 100 ecological criteria, such as proximity to public transport, water management and building insulation. In addition, a carbon footprint measurement tool, designed in particular based on the work of Ademe, is made available to them.

This assessment responds to a growing demand for information on the impact of travel from customers. To go further, Flockeo, a Toulouse start-up which also offers a selection of accommodation, but also agencies and more sustainable tourism activities, has developed a map of the world with indicators such as the rate of urbanization and pressure on water resources. Awareness of travelers which aims to “better distribute tourism“, according to Cathy Sahuc, founder of Flockeo.

A model that encourages transition

These are all criteria that attract holidaymakers who are increasingly aware of their ecological impact, but who are also looking for a more authentic experience that promotes human exchanges. “Through GreenGo, we bring together a community around common values, such as consuming less but better, local, eco-responsible…“, observes Guillaume Jouffre.

An approach that aims to be eco-responsible, but also fair. For instance, “Green Go is remunerated with commissions on reservations, but they are almost half as high as on competing sites, such as Booking. This is part of our mission: to offer fair compensation for hosts, at a fair traveler price.“, emphasizes Guillaume Jouffre. A model that is attracting more and more guests: “we have multiplied by twenty our network of hosts in barely a year“, he adds.

But the transition to more sustainable activities is not always easy for many hosts and tourism stakeholders. To support them, Flockeo has developed a community for sharing best practices between professionals in the sector. “Every month, we organize a one-hour videoconference on a subject related to sustainable development. For example, inclusive tourism, animal welfare, CSR… Some are already very committed, others more traditional, would like to transform”, explains Cathy Sahuc.
Fanny Breuneval and Florine Morestin

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GreenGo and Flockeo, alternatives to Airbnb for sustainable tourism are growing