Today we can see guests expecting hotels to operate some kind of sustainability program, but the industry still remain motivated more by price and convenience than concern for the environment, according to recent studies.The connection between
a sustainable hospitality approach and customer satisfaction is still weak compared to guests satisfaction drivers like quality rooms and food and beverage choices. Very often what happens is that guests want green hotels, but they're not going to support
initiatives with paying any extra. In addition, if those initiatives cause inconvenience, they will get angry and ultimately consider other choices. So, how to embrace sustainable operations while saving money and keeping guests happy at same time? This is
a question that poses a great threat to operations.
Below some of the best practices coming directly from leaders in the industry:
Green hotels shall measure everything:
Guests nowadays understand that serious sustainability requires a great level of knowledge and planning in hospitality operations and they ask specific questions about hotel practices.
That's why hotels need to provide real figures in numbers, by conducting a proper assessment of waste, energy and water usage, which means all green efforts in place should be measured.
In this way it is possible for guests to have a comparison when data are public between hotels practices related to energy and water usage, responsible consumption and wastage reduction practices. By reducing electricity consumption by 10 percent, a full-service hotel has same financial benefit as increasing the room rate by $1.35 according to recent studies.
Green hotels should also think small:
The public perception of a sustainable hotel involves very large improvements that are visible to guests, such as native plantings or rooftop solar panels, but the most popular sustainability programs involve small, low-cost changes, such as low-flow shower heads installation, LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances low-flow toilets.
Costs and benefits of certifications:
Hotels can earn various certification by adopting green practices, usually during preopening and for new constructions. A recent study by Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research suggests that certified hotels perform better than non-certified competitors, for at least the first two years after certification. “This is a good indicator that shows how guests now choose their hotels based also on the sustainable practices in place there.
Green hotels should reward guests:
"Green" guests choose to participate in sustainability efforts when they receive something in return, such as loyalty program points.
It doesn't have to be always and only a monetary reward. Significant are the results obtained by a business eco-hotel in Mumbai, where when a guest presses a button, the air-conditioning temperature rises by two degrees, and a certificate of appreciation is granted to the guest. This is a very simple, effective strategy that saves the hotel money in the long run and at same time make the guest feel part of an important strategy.
Many restaurants are looking for new opportunities and innovation. While some operators may be launching a new menu or investing in a new marketing strategy, others are looking to incorporate sustainability into their businesses. Now more than ever, consumers want their food sustainably and ethically sourced. They’re making their preferences known in social media and word of mouth, using their purchasing power to support businesses aligned with their values. Here are some of the trends in restaurant sustainability:
Food Waste Awareness
Food waste is one of the fastest-growing problems in the industry. Businesses and farms spend $218 billion a year in US only for processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten. Consumers are not confident where their next meal will come from. We can expect to see more awareness of this global issue, as the industry attempts to solve it through prevention, recovery, and recycling efforts.
Shelf-life Extending Products
Restaurants have an opportunity to create less food waste by investing in products like shelf-life extenders. New technologies are emerging and shelf life extenders are more and more often used in the supply chain during packing and shipping. We should expect to see more of this type of innovative, waste reduction technology in restaurants and grocery stores.
Elimination of Single-use Plastics
As restaurant operators can expect to see more regulations on plastics materials, it is wise to invest in reusable alternatives sooner rather than later.
The Ugly Produce
Fruits and vegetables often go unpicked in fields or get thrown away because they don’t meet certain standards. Many companies are now offering consumers the convenience and savings of produce that would have been discarded, and give these items a second life. Restaurants suppliers will find ways to utilize produce that may not be the most good-looking one and use these items in sauces, soups, or other menu items where the flavor of the ingredients is more important than the appearance.
By donating to communities in need, restaurants can help reduce food waste and hunger. Many local food banks pick up food donations free of charge. Not only this practice would improve restaurant sustainability, but patrons would be more willing to choose a restaurant knowing that a portion of their spending will go to help people in need.
The future of our oceans and entire species depend on humans eating fish caught sustainably. Diners who enjoy seafood are paying more attention now than before to which fish they are choosing.
More Vegetables (Less Meat)
Having more vegetarian options on the menus doesn’t mean that diners want to go vegetarian or vegan; probably they just want to change up the proportions on their plate. Dishes with a variety of nutritious vegetables and smaller portions of animal proteins are healthier for the consumer and better for the planet. Some of the most popular food trends are now vegetable-based, making it easy to incorporate more veggies into the menu.
What is sustainable tourism?
Tourism helps in generating revenues and improving local economies. However, factors like loss of heritage as well as ecological degradation can have a negative impact on the ecosystem and socio environment of the destination. Sustainable tourism ultimately is an industry aiming to generate employment opportunities and ensuring at the same time that negative impacts on environment and local communities are to be minimized. In simple words, sustainable tourism takes into account probable or possible negative consequences of tourism on the social, environmental and economic structure of the destination while taking measures to conserve the biodiversity and cultural heritage of that particular place. It aims to pursue sustainable development goals that have a positive impact on locals, tourists and tourism industry. Here certain goals that can be achieved:
▪︎ Preserve and conserve This involves appreciating the purity of the environment and reducing any kind of pollution including air, water, and sound.
▪︎ Preserve the biodiversity Placing efforts to reduce the impact on the ecological balance of the place minimizing the negative impact on wildlife or natural surroundings.
▪︎ Utilizing the available resources Using renewable and non-renewable resources in an efficient and effective way; encouraging locals and tourists in regards of responsible consumption and waste prevention.
▪︎ Increase employment Generating opportunities for people to get employed.
▪︎ Creating awareness Increasing awareness about the positive impacts on cultural and natural heritage by personally committing with various sustainable tourism practices.
Tourism can get economy improving and at same time, if not properly
managed, can damage social systems and natural resources; for this reason, sustainable tourism education and awareness contribute in maintaining a proper balance between the above factors.