An excellent hotel stay used to be characterized by overindulgent buffet, luxurious Olympic-size pools and sauna bath, and luxurious mini-bars. However, is there evidence to suggest that business travelers are starting to look for healthy breakfasts, yoga classes, topnotch gym facilities, and an overall environmentally friendly energy policy?
In the midst of commercial properties adapting to the demand for venues to be more environmentally aware and health conscious, these venues are slowly starting to adjust to people’s adjusting needs.
According to Gary Diedrichs from Green Traveler Guides, a number of urban hotels are taking concrete steps to reduce their carbon footprints. However, these are not obvious all at once to business travelers. As it is, the clamor to publicize these environmental efforts is not loud enough just yet.
According to a survey of 1,000 business travelers last 2008, 95% of the respondents believe that the hospitality industry should start taking green initiatives seriously. 38% said that they thought hotels are already doing this.
More recently, in the 2012 Canadian Travel Intentions Survey among business travelers, it was found that 42% of respondents indicated that green practices such as energy efficiency and recycling are important in choosing a hotel. That’s a 5% increase from last year. The same number of respondents also said they were willing to pay at least $1 more to even out their carbon footprint during their stay in the property.
In last year’s World Travel Market, it was sustained that hotels need to be sustainably designed. Measures must be in place to save energy and conserve waste.
Diedrichs also enumerated the number of ways by which a hotel can reduce their guests’ carbon footprint and promote environmentally conscious practices. Some of these include washing out chemicals that leave toxic residue, using organic food in the restaurant, and integrating the plan in the overall management strategy.
Indeed, the attitudes are slowly but surely changing towards the green standard. The only question remains: is your hotel ready for it?