Tis the season to travel. The hospitality industry is working in full force to prepare for the holidays, as an influx of people travel to visit family or take one last vacation before the end of the year. How will holiday travelers choose where they lay down their heads? While price and availability will take precedent in this busy season, you may be surprised to know that more travelers are considering sustainability in their decision.
A 2015 study by responsibletravel.org shows that tourists worldwide not only look to eco-friendly businesses to work with in the hospitality industry, but have come to expect it even from mainstream hotels. The study shows that travelers are “coming to expect that tourism businesses will become sustainable in the same way they expect free Wi-Fi connectivity in hotels or online check-in for air travel.”
Of those respondents who showed commitment to social and environmental values, two-thirds of consumers were willing to pay more for sustainable brands when traveling. The number continues to grow with younger generations, including Millennials and Generation Z, as they prove to be the most eco-conscious generation while at home and abroad.
What’s even more surprising is that the majority of respondents were quick to say that hotels could do more to market their green initiatives to guests. Most revealed that they rarely or never felt informed about sustainable options at their hotel, and limiting bedding and towel service to conserve laundry service is probably the most commonly advertised green service. While we’d like to believe that most hotels practice sustainability simply for the sake of the environment, who could turn down an opportunity to get more heads in beds?
This holiday season, the hospitality industry has a unique opportunity to use sustainability reporting metrics to attract a larger client base. Fluorescent lamps, including compact fluorescents and batteries that control today’s “keyless” locks are commonly generated wastes in today’s lodging environment. Why not promote your recycling efforts for these as well? Trip Advisor launched Green Leaders in 2013, a rating service to recognize hotels actively promoting sustainable practices. Our friends at Renaissance Arlington Capital View were named a Green Leader in 2015, and received the Virginia Green Travel Star Award for Green Hotel of the Year.
Air Cycle’s suite of simple, sustainable solutions offer key sustainability metrics tracking online, making it easy to market your green results to potential guests this holiday season. Not a part of the program yet? Take this quiz to find a universal waste recycling solution to fit your facility, and begin your holiday green marketing initiative!