Did you know that globally over the past five years, 85% of people indicate that they have shifted their purchase behaviour towards being more sustainable?
When it comes to hotel sustainability, it’s clear that customers care. In the hospitality and travel industry, sustainability is an essential purchase criterion for 62% of consumers according to one study.
These changes in consumer behaviour facilitate emerging trends and impact the future of hotel sustainability.
If you haven’t already checked out our blog on tips to make your hotel more sustainable, go give that a read. Besides tips, that article covers what makes a hotel sustainable and why hotels should become more environmentally friendly.
If you’re interested in learning more about how hotel sustainability is changing, keep reading!
The Rise of Eco-Conscious Guests
Data shows that consumers are increasingly more conscious of their environmental impact and are putting their money into this priority.
One-third of consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products. The results mean hotels need to take action sooner rather than later to meet guest expectations.
Younger generations are known for being more environmentally conscious should also be considered. Millennials and Gen Z are taking up an increasingly more significant portion of the consumer demographic, and the demand for sustainability will only continue to rise.
Repercussions Of The Pandemic On Sustainability
The role of the pandemic on consumer behaviour may surprise you.
Research suggests that the global pandemic has also been a catalyst for driving more sustainable travel trends.
It seems that during adverse times, people reflect on their values and what’s important to them. During the pandemic, humanity’s relationship to the planet and the fragility of our existence were put into the spotlight. When it comes to travel, it’s easy to see why consumers started to place a higher value on sustainable hotels after the shocking experience.
“I think the pandemic has given people time to consider travel and sustainability and how they want to do things differently going forward,” said Louree Maya, founder of Kynder, a website that showcases sustainable and ethical hospitality establishments.
A report from Bookings.com found that 53 percent of global travellers wanted “to travel more sustainably in the future as Coronavirus has opened their eyes to humans’ impact on the environment.”
Travelling closer to home because of travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic is now a norm.
The term “staycation” is typically used to describe a vacation close to the traveller. Whether that means staying at a hotel in the same city or same country, the theme of travelling close to home may not just be a trend brought on by the pandemic. Long flights are huge culprits for CO2 emissions, and lowering the amount of plane travel is sustainable and helps travellers reduce their carbon footprint.
Marketing staycations to consumers is an intelligent way for hotels to bring in local business during the pandemic. It can also be marketed as a sustainable way to vacation – even after the pandemic ends (if it ever does).
Enhancing The Guest Experience With Sustainable Initiatives
There are ways hotels can, and have, made sustainable features a part of their guest experience.
Let’s look at beehives as an example. Bees are a crucial member of the ecosystem because of their role in pollinating fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, their population is declining.
In response, some hotels have launched programs to help out the honeybees by tending to hives on their property. Whether hosting a beekeeping workshop or serving honey for guests to enjoy, these hotel initiatives are undeniably creative.
Other hotels have put thought into implementing sustainable initiatives relevant to their surrounding area. For example, sourcing local food, protecting surrounding coral reefs, or growing produce in their garden, there are plenty of ways hotels have taken the initiative to enhance the guest experience with sustainable initiatives.
There’s a lot to unpack about hotel sustainability. Younger generations are making sustainable travel a higher priority, while the pandemic seems to have amplified eco-friendly sentiments. In response, hotels should improve the sustainability of their hotels for the sake of their business and the environment.
At the same time, the future of hotel sustainability looks bright. Hotels have been creative with eco-friendly initiatives. These emerging trends, coupled with higher demand, all lead to a more sustainable future for the hospitality industry.