I am very happy to share with you my interview with the lovely Sophie – founder of Holiable. Holiable is a digital platform indexing tourism businesses that are involved in sustainable and responsible travel. Holiable was designed to make eco-friendly travel easier, helping you to find places to stay, eat and enjoy that match your sustainable lifestyle. So if you love to travel but want to make your future trips more environmentally-friendly, read on to find out how…
Hi Sophie. It is great to have the opportunity to talk to you and learn more about Holiable and your role in sustainable travel. Could you please introduce yourself and tell us more about Holiable?
I’m Sophie Castelain, the Founder of Holiable
We’re a travel planning website helping people with a conscious lifestyle to find eco-friendly accommodations, restaurants and activities for their travels.
We list lodgings, food businesses and leisure activities that are all active in sustainable tourism.
That’s so amazing! I love the idea of eco-friendly travel accommodation and facilities! Where did the idea to start Holiable come from?
Having an eco-friendly lifestyle myself, I did not want to leave my principles at home while travelling.
Be it in my own country (France) or abroad; I faced numerous challenges to find eco-friendly places to stay on my holidays. It can be time-consuming to learn about what makes a hotel or a restaurant truly sustainable or making sure your stay will benefit the local populations and economy.
The information isn’t centralised and sometimes challenging to understand. That’s how the idea of Holiable came up.
Our mission is to make it easier to travel eco-friendly around the world and give visibility to the tourism businesses that have sustainable practices.
That’s so inspiring! It’s great to hear how you’re now able to share your passion for sustainable living in your working life as well. So, how does it work? What is the process of planning an eco-friendly holiday with you?
We index places to stay, eat or discover that have sustainable practices around the world.
Travellers can read about what makes them eco-friendly and what they do in their location to preserve the environment, the cultural heritage or what they have implemented to benefit the local community where they are based.
They can read reviews and give their own opinion, save their favourite places to go and contact the owners directly to plan their visit.
They can also view reviews from the Holiable Team or ambassadors, who test some of the businesses that are listed.
We all know the environmental benefits of being more eco-friendly, but what many of us are probably less aware of is the cost of eco-friendly travel. Is eco-friendly travel accessible to all budgets? If not, how do things differ?
Sustainable travel is gaining momentum in the industry, and there’s a variety of accommodation styles or restaurants that are implementing actions to have a positive impact.
Two of the most common misconceptions people have on eco-friendly travel is that it’s only for higher budgets and only about eco-tourism or limited to nature destinations if you prefer.
The good news is: there are options for every budget. From camping or glamping to hostels as well as luxurious resorts on pristine private beaches, there’s a choice for any travel style and price points.
And the other good news is that you can find eco-friendly places to stay in a variety of destinations, and also in urban destinations.
It’s not because you’re booking an eco-friendly hotel that you’ll be downgraded on the service or the amenities. You’ll probably see less plastic, for example, and also learn about innovative practices to reuse water or heat the building for example. Some of which you might dream of being able to implement in your own home.
Indeed, that is great news! It’s good to know that there is such an extensive choice available to us!
What aspects of travel contribute to making a business trip or a holiday more eco-friendly?
Being a sustainable traveller is all about having a positive impact on the people and places we visit.
So from the start of your journey, to how you consume once you’re there, the activities you choose to do, every part of your holidays has an impact.
Do you have any advice or quick tips on how to travel more sustainably?
There are many things you can do to travel more sustainably. It’s not only about preserving the environment and the biodiversity, but it’s also about making sure what you spend goes back to the benefit of the locals and the local economy.
The best tip is that if you already are eco-friendly at home, and have ethos on what you consume, where it comes from, where and how it is produced, or are conscious on reducing your waste, you should take those good practices with you, wherever you travel.
Being a responsible traveller is also about respecting the culture and the traditions, or the dos and don’ts of the destination.
Another essential tip is to limit your carbon footprint, not only of your transportation (even if that represents a significant part ) but also of your plate. So if you have travel alternatives to flying you should prioritise them and you should consume local and seasonal produce, ideally sustainably produced.
Those are just a few examples. We share numerous tips in the news section of our website, to help travellers better understand how to be a sustainable traveller.
How can a person benefit from travelling eco-friendly?
Travelling is an excellent form of education. Travelling sustainably and having a positive impact on the people and the places you visit will reward you with a more authentic experience and we’re pretty sure you’ll create memories of a lifetime.
Thank you very much to Sophie and the Holiable team for taking part in this interview. You can follow Holiable and book your sustainable travel experience here: