What does a Green Travel Agent do?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

A green travel agent is a travel professional who specializes in crafting vacations and adventures that are ecologically conscious. By crafting packages that combine ecologically sound facilities with opportunities for volunteerism and eco-tourism, a green travel agent can help provide a service to those who want to ensure that traveling does not come with an ecological impact. This can be a great career for people who want to combine organizational and customer service skills with a passion for the environment.

A green travel agent makes travel arrangements that are designed to have a minimal environmental impact.
A green travel agent makes travel arrangements that are designed to have a minimal environmental impact.

One of the major facets of a green travel agent job involves finding green hotels that cater to eco-conscious clients. This usually requires an understanding of certification processes that ensure that a hotel or in is actually engaging in environmentally safe practices, instead of merely just saying that they do to bring in eco-tourist dollars. Some of the practices that can help a green travel agent pick up a hotel for packages include recycling, organic and locally grown food, and green building resources such as solar power, composting, and the use of sustainable building materials.

A green travel agent might look for solar-powered hotels.
A green travel agent might look for solar-powered hotels.

Choosing hotels to offer to eco-tourist guests is only part of the job of a green travel agent. Just like a regular travel agent, a green travel agent may need to arrange transportation that meets a client's needs. In this area of specialization, this may include finding rental cars that are hybrid, hunting down train trips instead of flights to save on fossil fuel use, or even locating bike or electric car rentals to help green tourists get around town.

With shelter and transportation taken care of, a green travel agent must focus on finding activities for travelers that match an eco-conscious lifestyle. This may include visits to wildlife preserves and organic farms, but may also include activities that let travelers volunteer time to ecological projects. This may include helping local conservationists with research, such as assisting marine biologists with dolphin or whale counts. It may also involve helping a local community start green projects, such as building recycling centers or helping to install better insulation around houses using recycled material.

A green travel agent must be able to offer a variety of tours and services that combine shelter, transportation, food, and activity choices in an assortment of exciting locations. Many may travel to locations to check out the offerings before crafting packages that will bring in tourists. Green travel agents must also be good at helping separate green-catering businesses co-ordinate efforts to provide better services for green travelers. By helping communities connect through green industry, a green travel agent can play an important part in raising awareness about eco-conscious living and creating successful commercial ventures with an emphasis on environmentally safe practices.

A green travel agent can point clients to hotels that are environmentally friendly and that work to offset the property's energy use.
A green travel agent can point clients to hotels that are environmentally friendly and that work to offset the property's energy use.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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Discussion Comments


I haven't gone used a green travel agent yet, but I have read some of the information and promotions associated with Green Tourism Week, and this has me thinking that a green vacation would be something good for my children.

Helping people build homes or helping in nature would show them how fortunate they are to be able to go on a vacation, and this would also teach them the importance of making a positive impact on the world where they live.


Call me a traditionalist, but I work hard and I work most days of the year, so when I go on a vacation I want to relax and enjoy myself. What I don't want to do is work.

The next to last paragraph of this article talks about how a green travel agent can set up activities for you like helping marine biologists count dolphins and whales, or helping local communities build recycling centers, or helping install insulation in houses. If I'm counting whales or dolphins then I'll be doing the counting from a lounge chair on a beach and I'll have a cold beverage in my hand.

And there is no way I am going to be installing insulation or building anything while I am on vacation. After all, I am paying for the vacation.


I'm all for helping the environment any way I can, and going through a green travel agency to book my hotels and my rental cars sounds like a good idea. However, as much as I want to be environmentally friendly, I am not going to pay a lot more money for this service.

With my entire family, vacations are expensive enough when we do our trops as cheaply as we can. If a regular travel agent and the green travel agent can get me the same trip for the same price then I will go green every time.

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