As the global climate crisis rises, people are making informed decisions on mindful travelling to create a better future for the environment and societies.
The Sustainable Travel Report 2022 released by Booking.com reveals that 81% of travellers cited sustainable travel as a priority for them in an attempt to protect natural habitats and give back to the local communities. Eco-friendly, responsible tourism and sustainable hospitality are more than a trend as they are globally embraced by travellers for a positive tomorrow.
With a global shift in desire to travel sustainably, following sustainability principles has become crucial for the success of the hospitality sector. So, how significant is sustainability to the overall growth of the hospitality industry?
What is the importance of sustainability in the hospitality industry?
The hospitality and tourism industry has a tremendous impact on the environment through water and energy consumption, waste management, and utilisation of other essential resources. The uncertain climate changes and depletion of resources pose a negative threat to the hospitality industry and may hinder its workflow in the future.
Promoting sustainable practices in the hospitality sector leads to resource conservation and minimal impact on natural habitats.
The Sustainable Travel Report 2022 suggests that 78% of global travellers intend to stay in sustainable properties while travelling. The reasons behind this surge in sustainable hospitality preferences are an attempt to reduce environmental impact, experience local cultures, and the belief that sustainable hotels have a better community relationship.
As one of the major consumers of natural resources, the hospitality industry must follow sustainable practices to protect the environment and be socially responsible. Also, because growth and development depend largely on consumer preferences, it is important to stay updated with what travellers demand, i.e. sustainability.
What are the key aspects of sustainability in the hospitality industry?
The hospitality industry can maximise its efforts to create a positive environmental and social impact by increasing its commitment to reduce the use of non-sustainable resources for operation. Here are some of the key aspects of sustainability in the hospitality industry:
Efficient energy usage, water conservation, green building designs, and waste management come under environmental conservation activities.
Reducing energy wastage by encouraging employees to switch off electronic devices when not in use and maximising efficiency by converting to solar panels and LED lights are the best ways to conserve energy. Implementing water-saving technologies and encouraging guests to use water responsibly can help with water conservation.
You can also encourage recycling programmes, minimise single-use plastic usage, and reduce food wastage from the kitchen to have better control over waste management. Constructing buildings using sustainable materials is also a great way to become sustainable.
Procuring locally sourced, organic, and sustainably produced goods and services, including food, linens, and cleaning products, and reducing carbon footprint through practices like using renewable energy, offering public transportation options, and encouraging guests to offset their travel emissions are effective methods of sustainable resource management.
Supporting and collaborating with local communities through job creation, partnerships, sourcing, promoting and preserving local cultures and traditions, educating guests about them and supporting local charities or community initiatives through donations or volunteer programmes can help foster a sense of community engagement which is a top priority in sustainability in the hospitality sector.
Incorporating these aspects of sustainability into the operations can help the hospitality industry reduce its environmental footprint, enhance its reputation, attract eco-conscious guests, and contribute positively to the communities in which it operates.
What are the benefits of sustainability in the hospitality industry?
The hospitality and tourism sectors are one of the major contributors to the environmental crisis that is going on. Here are some of the reasons why the hospitality industry should focus on sustainability:
Reduced environmental impact
Researchers point out the adverse effects of hotel operations on the environment and climate conditions. Pollution, carbon emissions, and improper waste management affect biodiversity and become a leading cause of climate crisis.
By promoting sustainable practices, hospitality businesses can contribute to the preservation of natural resources and the protection of ecosystems thereby helping stop the climate crisis.
After the pandemic, travellers are more concerned about sustainability practices in the hospitality and tourism sectors than before. As more and more people are looking for methods to cut down their negative impact on the environment, hospitality businesses should adopt sustainable measures to ensure guest satisfaction and build loyalty.
Customer loyalty means reputation enhancement which will draw in more guests and growth.
Sustainable practices often lead to reduced energy, water, and waste management costs. Investments in energy-efficient technologies and resource conservation measures can pay off in the long term.
Sustainable thinking and practice start with the right educational foundation and that is where the BA in Hospitality Management and Leadership course offered by the London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) comes in.
The Hospitality Management and Leadership programme at LCCA covers relevant topics in the hospitality sector with a focus on sustainable practices. The leadership training offered in the programme enables you to successfully manage hotel businesses while upholding sustainability and protecting the environment. You will graduate as a responsible individual with sustainable values and ethics.
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This article is written by Anu Augustine and edited by Candice McDowell