The hospitality sector is one of the most rapidly growing and potentially sustainable industries. As the world population grows and demand for quality lodging continues to increase, it is important that hospitality businesses think about sustainability and how they can contribute positively to the environment.
There are many ways in which the hospitality industry can reduce its environmental impact and help conserve precious resources for future generations. If you look at the Infographic which was prepared by Killarneyhotels from Ireland you will recognize one thing. The biggest question comes to the end, however, I feel personally we should answer this question first.
It is the key to our future
Hotel sustainability will hinge on using innovative technology, changing attitudes, and moderating expectations. But, with time, new more sustainable travel and hospitality technology will enable hotels to return to operations much like we have today.
- Focus on rewilding
- Reduce the impact of hotels on the environment
- Rediscovering the staycation
- Redefining extravagance
- Moderating business travel
“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck
But let us go further and make a quick look at some facts, what the numbers tell us.
- Over 53% of people want to travel more sustainably in the future.
- Regenerative travel is trending with dozens of companies committing to supporting the future of tourism’s 13 principles of a more ethical and planet-friendly industry.
- Following tremendous losses, according to the WTTC, the industry could regain 111million 2021 travel and tourist jobs in 2021.
- 53% of global travelers are willing to pay more for products that demonstrate environmental responsibility – 13% more than a year ago.
- 2/3 of travelers want their choices to support the destination’s recovery efforts, and more than half want to see how their money is going back into the local community.
Importance of Sustainability Hospitality
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, hotels are accountable for 1% of global emissions.
Beyond the importance of hotels reducing their impact on the environment, sustainability measures also pose an important strategy for attracting new clients.
Accordingly, to a sustainability report by Booking.com, 68% of clients are interested in finding eco-friendly hotels, and 87% of travelers worldwide state that they want to travel sustainably.
Sustainability in the hotel sector is important to create a connection with the local population, while at the same time protecting the surrounding natural environment and biodiversity.
Benefits of Sustainability in Hospitality
The financial benefits of having a comprehensive sustainability program in place can be summed up in two categories: Reduced Operating Costs and Increased RevPAR. The combination of both equates to an increase in profits and profit margin.
Improved Guest Experience
The efficiency and sustainability of a hotel have a significant impact on guests’ comfort, sense of safety, perceptions, and pride.
Most people recognize new technology, such as LED lights and guest room energy management systems, and it shows your guests that the hotel is modern and innovative.
Not only will this improve their comfort, but it can also increase their perceived value of the hotel.
Recognition as Industry Leader
Hotel owners and operators gain recognition as industry leaders through the adoption and implementation of comprehensive sustainability programs.
In addition to earning awards and certifications, hoteliers can also receive positive press attention for major sustainability projects.
Significant competitive advantage can be earned through recognition of their progressive and innovative sustainability practices.
For hotel owners and operators, this demonstrates a strong commitment to the protection of our environment and communities, as well as a commitment to protect the business interests of its shareholders and employees.
Sustainability Trends in Hospitality
- Minimizing water waste and usage
- Reducing plastic products
- Eliminating food waste
- Including allergen-free hotel features
- Monitoring carbon emissions
- Support local producers and vendors
- Use non-toxic environmentally friendly cleaning products
- Embrace automation by digitizing the guest experience
In the infographic below you can find a great illustration of the “PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY FOR HOTELS”. The short illustration gives good ideas from suppliers, food and beverage, and educational elements to waste management and recycling.
What the experts say
I also don’t want to miss sharing a personal experience. For many years I can see hotels ask guests to use a towel more than one time. The reason behind this is clear, washing them on a daily base has a huge impact on water waste and cleaner. But it does not stop here.
In many hotels showering gel, shampoo and conditioner had been replaced by the refillable dispenser. This makes a big difference to reduce plastic waste.
However, there are many other elements where it could make a difference for everyone. It is nice to see complimentary water bottles, however, motivate them to switch to a supplier who provides refillable glass bottles, if you ask for it the hotel will consider it. Let’s listen to some voices of experts and what they say about sustainability in Hospitality.
Don’t be overwhelmed by how much there is to do or become fixated on what you’re not doing; prioritize and commit to those actions you can follow through with and take it one step at a time. Focus on one issue that you can really ‘own’ and get behind that with all your energy. Spread the word far and wide about your commitment to sustainability — the positive response will help keep you and team members motivated.” – Holly Tuppen, Travel expert and co-founder of Bouteco
“Making small improvements and choices that have a positive effect on the environment will help you become a more responsible and environmentally conscious traveler, and the demand for green goods and services continues to rise as consumers become more conscious of environmental issues.” – Ni Wayan, Editor/Contributor at Balipedia