Sustainability takes centre stage at the VRMA Conference 2023

Join Sustonica’s CEO Vanessa de Souza Lage at the grand opening session ‘The Future of Vacation Rentals’ and book a meeting to get one-on-one advice


1. The VRMA Conference in October is a must-attend event for vacation rental professionals

The Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) Conference is one of the most important events in the vacation rental industry calendar. This year it takes place from 22nd to 25 October in Orlando, USA. It brings together over 2500 industry professionals to learn about trends and insights during 60+ educational sessions.

At past VRMA conferences, sustainability did not feature on the agenda at all. This year, that has all changed. The industry now recognises that sustainability must be addressed. Its impact is being seen from so many angles:

  • shifting guest expectations towards more eco-conscious travel
  • increasing global warming-related natural disasters in so many regions around the world
  • a growing interest among hosts and property managers wanting to contribute to sustainability efforts

Consequently, at this year’s VRMA Conference, the agenda will include discussions on sustainability-related topics. This will help owners and property management companies to demystify ‘sustainability’ and understand how it brings real business advantages and a sense of purpose.



2. Hear from our CEO at The Grand Opening session

Sustonica CEO, Vanessa de Souza Lage will be on stage for the Grand Opening session of the VRMA Conference: ‘The Future of Vacation Rentals. Vanessa will join four other industry thought leaders: Andrew McConnell, Founder and CEO of and VacationFutures; Danoosh Kapadia, Generative AI Strategist and Advisor, Danoosh Kapadia Consulting; Dennis Schaal, Executive Editor, Founding Editor, and Chief Storyteller, Skift; Amber Carpenter, Vice President of Product, Vtrips.

The discussion will examine a number of issues that are of extreme importance for the future of our industry. From redefining what a vacation rental is as well as better understanding owner and guest personas. Then, of course, there are other factors that play a crucial role in the future of our industry. These include technology and external pressures from communities together with increasing regulation.

Vanessa will show how sustainability impacts all areas of running a vacation rental business. In particular, she will give advice about the following issues:

> Guest expectations

Countless industry surveys reveal that travellers are concerned about climate change as well as social justice. They are actively looking for more sustainable places to stay, but are finding it hard to identify them. This trend is particularly strong in Europe but is set to increase in the US, particularly with the current administration’s focus on a clean energy future.

> Regulation

In increasing numbers of destinations, there is rising resentment against short-term rentals from local residents and businesses. Some municipalities are even introducing regulations to decrease the number of rental properties and tightening up on licensing. Being a responsible rental owner and contributing to the local economy can bring much-needed positive recognition.

>Increasing extreme weather events

Particularly in Europe and North America, we have experienced unprecedented heatwaves and wildfires alongside storms, floods and water bombs. These extreme weather events are devasting destinations and livelihoods. Among these will be vacation rental businesses. There is no doubt it is within all our interests to protect the destinations we are promoting. The important thing to understand is that there are so many small actions you can take to be part of tackling the climate crisis. And many of them will save you money. In addition, being part of climate action will show that you care.

>Save money by being more sustainable

So many of the sustainable actions you can take are easy to do and will save you money. Think about reducing waste by introducing recycling and banning single-use plastic. Alternatively, switching out lightbulbs to LED or buying guest body washes and soaps in bulk for refilling smaller containers. There are countless actions you can take which will start you on your sustainability journey. These sustainable actions and more are part of the Sustonica verification criteria.

>Be welcomed in your destination

As already mentioned, there is growing hostility to vacation rentals, particularly in cities that are already suffering from over-tourism. If you actively contribute to your hosting community by showcasing local businesses and offering well-rewarded employment, you are more likely to be welcome. Also, this approach massively enhances the guest experience by providing them with memorable and unique opportunities.

3. Learn from our CEO at “Sustainable Hospitality: Building, Marketing, and Profiting from Eco-friendly Properties

As well as appearing in the VRMA Conference Grand Opening session, Vanessa will also be taking part in one of the Business Strategy Breakout Sessions on Tuesday 24th October from 11.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. She will be joined by the primary presenter, Jeff Illoulian of HostGPO, Jamie Lane of AirDNA, Eric Bergaglia of, and Bob Zev of Los Angeles Luxury Furnished Housing.

During this session, you will learn why it is so important to incorporate sustainability into your business model. You will receive practical advice on these areas:



4. Visit the Sustonica booth for 1-on-1 advice, giveaways and enter our award

Come and meet us on Booth 206 and pick up a stylish Sustonica pin and magnet!

You can try the Sustonica Test to see what score your property gets and how easy it is to be verified and receive your Sustonica badge. It’s a great way to find out all the simple sustainable actions you can take to become more eco-friendly.

We would also love to hear your plans and give you 1-on-1 advice for starting on your sustainability journey. Just book a meeting with us to secure your slot.

Lastly, for those of you who have already had the foresight to make sustainability one of your brand pillars, leave your details to be informed about the launch of our exciting new Star Award!





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