Earth Day (April 22nd) reminds us of the importance of being good stewards of our environment, including water conservation. With that in mind, we wanted to share these tips on how hotels can reduce their water consumption. It’s no secret that hotels use a lot of water.
Eco-friendly travel has been around for decades, but as consumer’s interest in sustainability has grown so has green tourism. Today’s tourists prefer destinations that take initiatives to protect and preserve the environment. According to Booking.com, 68% percent of tourists prefer to book an eco-friendly accommodation. A Washington Post article reported a study by market research firm Mandala Research found that 60% of U.S. travelers have taken a “sustainable” trip in the last three years and that these travelers spend on average $600 per trip, and stay three days longer than the average guest.
Another survey by the Singapore-based online travel agency Agoda.com found that nearly 40% of travelers are willing to spend an extra $10 a night to sleep in a sustainable resort.
Who’s Booking Eco-Friendly Accommodations?
Baby boomers have more discretionary spending and time on their hands making them the backbone of the current travel industry. Having grown up in the world’s environmental awakening, they are looking for options that help to protect the environment.
No surprise, the sustainability fixated millennials also favor green travel. In an interview with South China Morning Post, Diana Verde Nieto, co-founder and CEO of Positive Luxury said: “Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues, and expect brands to not only manage their impact but communicate it.”
According to a report from GlobalData, the higher the household income, the greater the likelihood to book an eco-tourism holiday. Specifically, 16% of Americans with a household income between $20,000 and $34,000 per annum were likely to book an eco-tourism trip, the figure increased to 25 percent earning $60,000-$99,000, and leaped to 57 percent in those whose income exceeds $150,000.
Sustainable Responsible Travel
Practically everyone today is aware how fragile our environment is, and the critical impact each of us has on it. As our natural resources are continuously depleted, travelers are grappling with what they can do individually to help. Many are choosing eco-friendly alternatives that reduce their carbon footprint in efforts to do their part in preserving our threatened environment. Travelers believe that sustainable travel is more responsible and an even more rewarding, authentic travel experience. Green travel is about moral travel.
What Makes a Hotel Green?
Truly green hotels support the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmental, social and economic. Several organizations certify and accredit green hotels such as Green Key, TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders, AAA’s eco-certified icon, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the U.S. Green Building Council, which oversees LEED certification.
There are a host of options hotels can implement in efforts to go green and increase sustainability. For example farm-to-table dining, composting, alternative energy sources like solar or wind power, energy saving lighting, recycling , option to decline daily cleaning services, occupancy sensors in guest rooms that control lights, electronics, blinds and temperature setting, low-flow showerheads and toilets and green cleaning products.
Green travel might have once been a niche market but no more. The U.N. World Tourism Organization predicts there will be some 1.6 billion eco-inspired trips taken by 2020. The benefits of green travel for hotels are significant ranging from cost savings to gaining competitive advantages and risk management.
To learn how hotels are saving up to 80% water and 50% energy in their laundry operations with Hydrofinity, click here.