The global community is increasingly embracing a philosophy of care and concern, followed by action, regarding the Earth and its environment. Green initiatives and their implementation are becoming the anticipated standard for hotels worldwide. The expectation of the traveling public is for hoteliers to conserve precious natural resources, while leaving behind a minimal footprint, and being responsible corporate citizens of our planet. Data from many sources; including TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and PhoCusWright; overwhelmingly demonstrate this to be a reality.
Attitudes regarding sustainability among travelers are being transformed, as awareness increases of the impact we humans have on the changing climate of our planet. Younger Millennial Generation travelers in particular are demanding sustainable accommodations from the hotels in which they stay. Millennials more than any other generation lead the way in eco-consciousness and will enthusiastically support, with their growing spending power, brands who operate in a sustainable manner.
Hotel guests who have made lifestyle choices based on green practices at home demand continuity when they travel. They are not willing to compromise the values, which have infused their lives. This applies to all travel segments, including luxury travelers. In the past, luxury travel could quite often become an exercise in overindulgence. The prevailing view being that luxury and sustainability cannot possibly co-exist. But, today’s luxury traveler is in many ways re-defining the meaning of traveling in style. Closely linked to the wellness travel movement, sustainable luxury is now reflected in the evolution of resorts sometimes featuring smaller accommodations in spectacularly pristine locations, surrounded by the natural environment.
Hotels, which adopt sustainable practices going forward, will also benefit in a number ways beyond satisfying the demands of customers. Hotel operation costs can be reduced significantly by cutting waste through the lowering of consumption of energy and precious water resources, for example. Sustainable hotel operational practices can also encourage customer loyalty by improving the overall guest experience, thereby reinvigorating the hotel brand.
In part two we will take a closer look at the specific measures hoteliers can implement in order to create a more sustainable hotel experience for their guests.