The changing guest behavior
Hospitality is transforming as Guests are increasingly looking for physical and emotional connection with nature and improve their immune system by opting for ‘healthier’ products and experiences, including farm to table dining. For mental health and stress management access to outdoor activities and greener environments, or indoor solutions in the form of garden restaurants and greening of public spaces is a must. So are Spa destinations for inside-out wellness that includes anti-ageing programmes and cruelty-free products through the traditional healing practices such as Ayurveda, Chinese medicine and homeopathy.
Transition to a more paperless environment, as a result of Covid-19 protocols, through contactless technology and digitalisation. Green laundry programmes are no longer a luxury, as are recycling bins and energy-saving initiatives.
And most importantly, the increasing attention to environmental issues, and their willingness to stay and to pay is also dependent on the environmental practices adopted by hospitality establishments as hotel guests are increasingly recognizing the importance of environmental awareness and expect hospitality companies to follow more environmentally friendly practices.
Sustainability is intrinsically linked to social, political and economic governance, diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies are also something that guests want in hospitality establishments to put in place to combat labor exploitation and create more and strive for a fully inclusive culture.
Economic sustainability strives to ensure access to essential resources for global communities; and for businesses and finding ways to contribute to and enhance the local economy.
The cost and benefits of switching to an ethically sustainable operation
Many guests feel that Sustainability could have adverse effects on the luxurious experience which might be challenging in terms of implementation of sustainable practices in the luxury hospitality establishments, however the introduction of new practices and technology means that consumers can continue enjoying their luxurious experiences without having to compromise their expectations of comfort and service
Moreover, guests are looking for exposure to different environments and cultures, for life-enhancing and changing experiences, and offering sustainable choices to tick all these boxes, studies conducted by the International Hotels Environment Initiative (IHEI) showed that 90% of hotel guests prefer to stay in an environmentally friendly hotel, and in their study, Amatulli et al show that a sustainability-oriented communication (versus a customer service-oriented) in the context of luxury hospitality is leading to a higher willingness to book a room because it enhances consumers’ perception about the luxury establishment’s integrity
Many studies analyzing the relationship between environmental performance and the economic performance of tourism enterprises have proved that adopting environmentally friendly practices is worthwhile. The adoption of sustainability practices has positive effects on the performance of organizations at numerous levels including employee satisfaction, reputation, image, and key stakeholders’ loyalty, which in turn provides long-term competitive advantages.
The benefits of sustainability for companies can be tangible benefits in the form of reduced costs and risks of doing business as well as through intangible benefits in the form of increased brand reputation, increased attractiveness of talent, and overall increased competitiveness and organizational performance
Eco friendly practices in luxury hospitality
Water Consumption reduction practices
Using thermodynamic solar panels which generates hot water up to 55◦ without sun exposure and even during the night. Low flow taps and showers are used throughout the hotel along with flushing cisterns with selection of flush quantity. In addition to using water purification systems, and reusable water bottles.
Energy Reduction Practices
Using LED lamps for indoor lighting, in room card-key system in which the lighting only comes on when the card is inserted in a base of its own and switches off automatically when the card is removed from that base, as per the outdoors, using twilight switches which are only activated in the absence of natural light. Lastly, some establishments turn off their refrigerators in the low seasons to conserve energy, as these appliances are highly efficient but highly demanding at the same time.
Using different kinds of bins that are suitable for the varieties of waste that hotels produce. Disposing and recycling your waste correctly helps the environment and hotels save money, time and resources.
To decrease food leftovers conducting a Food Waste Audit, avoiding wasting ingredients before they’re prepared, creating a plan for leftovers, harnessing awareness and engaging F & B Teams, composting any leftovers and using it as fertilizer.
In addition to Prevention of CO2 Emissions practices, laundry and opting for ecological friendly products, and most importantly helping raise awareness for sustainability related issues amongst less environmentally conscious guests, as the hospitality industry must play an educational role as to preserve and improve the nature, culture and heritage of the locations it promotes so the guests can feel that they are part of protecting the destinations they would like to visit.
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