Your next hotel stay may be better for the planet. This is the way

Idea tourism can be “green” making many people skeptical.

Flying business class on a gas-guzzling plane doesn’t necessarily mean giving Mother Nature love and hugs. Also no housekeeping came every day to buy new towels and bed linen. But nowadays the topic of sustainability cannot be avoided when it comes to hotels and airlines.

The question remains: What is being done about it?

Only 1 in 10 travel companies make sustainability a top priority in their business, slip reportAccording to a study this week from the Association of Global Travel Business and Transportation & Environment.

However, the World Travel & Tourism Council this month kicked off the latest version of its Hotel Sustainability Basics program, which includes 12 criteria ranging from programs Reuse of linen for the benefit of the community. Hospitality companies such as Accor, Radisson Hotel Group (which includes Radisson affiliated hotels outside of the Americas) and Melia Hotels International are part of the startup group.

The CEOs of Marriott International, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Four Seasons signed on to the Sustainable Hotels Coalition earlier this month as part of their latest effort to make significant cuts — even complete cuts. total — carbon emissions over the next few decades.

A key component of WTTC’s Hotel Sustainability Basics program is to show how simply a hotel owner or guest can go green, regardless of location. any.

“Any global plan faces challenges with respect to individual metrics because the issues are context specific. Environmentally, water is a different issue in Scotland than it is in Egypt. Similarly, people and cultural contexts around the world are different,” said Virginia Messina, senior vice president of advocacy and communications at WTTC. “As such, it is important to define criteria and measures that are globally applicable.”

Tweak green for your next vacation

Many of the recommendations are already current practice at hotels, such as changing sheets less frequently during their stay (although guests can always request new towels or change sheets more often). more) and eliminate single-use plastics.

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Yes, your home bathroom may look luxurious with small bottles of shampoo and conditioner from the luxury hotel you stayed at last winter – but the bulk bottles are refillable. would be much better for the environment. This is increasingly common in mid-range hotels, but even high-end brands like Six Senses and some properties of Park Hyatt are doing this, too.

“When I went to our groups and said we were going to get rid of disposable toiletries, which we all do now, they said, ‘You can’t do it. [at] luxury hotels’,” IHG CEO Keith Barr said last year during a roundtable at New York University’s hotel conference. “I would say, ‘Well, we do it at Six Senses, and we charge $5,000 a night for these hotels.”

Barr is one of the CEOs to join the Sustainable Hotels Alliance, based on IHG’s own Journey to Tomorrow sustainability initiative that targets all of the company’s new-build hotels to operate at very low or zero carbon emissions by 2030. The company also plans to achieve a 46% reduction in carbon emissions from its existing hotels by the same deadline.

Marriott has announced plans to reduce net worth at its hotels by 2050, and all major brands, like Hilton and Hyatt, have their own plans to dramatically cut carbon emissions.

Step by step (blue)

Guests can immediately spot a number of eco-friendly changes taking place, from getting rid of plastic water bottles in favor of glass to hotels encouraging you to reuse towels. his bath. But property owners sometimes falter on behind-the-scenes initiatives to go green.

Many of these initiatives aim to demonstrate that sustainability is not a significant drain on hoteliers’ cash supply. Instead, it’s step-by-step progress: Install solar panels a year while you can wait to replace your old boiler with a more energy-efficient condenser.

Grow a vegetable garden to turn your on-site restaurant into a “farm to table” and perhaps you’ll make even more money in the process. In return, guests get a dining experience that is significantly enhanced compared to the bland hotel restaurants of the past. After all, who doesn’t love posting a plate of fresh veggies or honey from the rooftop bee sanctuary to their Instagram feed?

Other initiatives, like giving back to the community, seem to have matched the growing demand for lifestyle hotels, a concept built to better fit the surrounding neighborhood and relies more on bars and restaurants serving more locals than upstairs guests.

Pack it all together, and future hotels will certainly care a little more about the world around them.

“It’s a kind of logic that goes into this,” Messina said. “How can we tackle the smaller players? How can we come up with something that will at least get everyone on the same level and also create consistency and cohesion?”


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