How to promote a more sustainable tourist stay in 4 tips?

In this post we explain 4 easy tricks to promote sustainable use of your tourist apartment.

In case you still don’t know us, let us introduce ourselves: we’re ERA architects.
Actually, I’m Esther Rovira, architect and Passive House designer in Barcelona.
Throughout these years I’ve designed tourist apartments, coliving stay and sustainable lodges for individuals and investors.
I’ve also designed and managed, together with my sister Gemma, 2 official tourist apartments in Barcelona since 2008.

In this post you’ll find recommendations to make your stay more sustainable.
I hope it helps you!

1. Positive sustainable communication

When we travel we`re in a better mood, we walk more, we eat better and we take care of ourselves a little more by having more time.
Many people also take this relaxing moment to think about how they can contribute to improving aspects of their lives.
It is a good opportunity to invite them to be more sustainable from energetic and fun optimism.
Thus, all communication channels such as the WEB, previous emails and welcome messages must have a sustainable, enthusiastic and even fun tone!
I give you an example.
Saying: ‘Save water or pay for it tomorrow’ or ‘The planet is dying’ is not the same as saying: ‘YES, I want to save the planet!’
Both are true, but the last one invites you to join the cause.
Nobody likes to go on vacation and find negative or threatening messages.

2. Minimize expenses

Promoting a responsible use of resources from your website will attract more conscientious guests to your tourist apartment.
In addition, they will obtain an experience more in line with their values ​​and you will not see large resource expenses during their stay.
You can also remind them how they can make responsible use of resources.
We give you some easy options to apply:

– decorate the bathroom with a framed poster with a message that helps save water (forget laminated posters!)
– above the towels add a sign explaining where to leave the towels to be reused
– you can also install an LED shower head that makes the water change color when you have been in the shower for a long time

– decorate the exit with a framed sign with a lights out icon
– you can also install a presence detector during the day to turn off lights and air conditioning

– limit the thermostat between 20 and 23º

– add cubes of the same colors as the outer containers
– shows guests upon arrival where the nearest recycling point is

3. Neighborhood tourism

After a whole day walking, ​​many guests prefer to stay for dinner near their tourist apartment.
Promoting your neighborhood and nearby establishments is highly appreciated by guests.
You’ll also provide value and decentralization of tourism (good for you!).
An easy way is to make a MyMaps with the bars, bakeries, greengrocers, metro stops…
This way you can add it to your website and send the link to your guests (and they can easily reach it with their mobile!).
You can also print the map and hang it near the entrance.

4. Eco-clean

Much of the sustainable and ecological tourism certifications focus on what type of cleaning products are used.
If in the long run you want a seal certifying that your tourist apartments are sustainable, a good way to start is to investigate which cleaning products are ecological and where you can buy them nearby or even have them delivered to you. Some manufacturers even use bulk product and collect empty containers.
Using organic cleaning products in bulk and having them brought to you is a good option.
We also like to add a natural air freshener that is not too perfumed to amplify the cleaning effect.

Our professional recommendation:
As Architects in Barcelona, ​​we recommend dedicating efforts to generating a unique experience through the sustainable interior design of tourist apartments.
The reason why I’ve written this post it’s because our experience gives us proof that the value of differentiation is a long-term value in many ways.
Let me give you 5 provable facts:
– our apartments have billed more than the previous year since 2008 (except for COVID of course)
– Airbnb invited us to their San Francisco offices with all expenses paid in 2014 (yes, the two sister-members!)
– we haven’t had 1 single complaint from our neighbors
– we’ve promoted neighborhood businesses that are now popular in Google recommendations (such as the Veiga bar with 366 reviews)


Hope this is helpful!
Best of luck on this adventure.
See you on the next post,


Founder of ERA architects 

P.S. Wanna get FREE tips for your project weekly? Yas! or follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter y Facebook