December 9, 2021
Travelers Are Clear: They Want More Sustainable Hotels — And More Transparency
The hospitality industry’s race to embrace sustainability became a full-on sprint in 2021.
This fall Marriott International, which manages the second largest number of properties in the world, announced its intentions to zero out its greenhouse gas emissions, becoming the latest hotel group to join Race to Zero, a global campaign to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Caesars and Wynn Resorts have also committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Worldwide have made promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s no mystery as to why hotels from big to small are going green: travelers are demanding it. An extensive new sustainable travel report from Booking.com underscores just how top-of-mind sustainability is for today’s travelers. 83% of global travelers now say sustainable travel is vital, with 61% reporting the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably from now on. 73% of travelers would be more likely to choose hotels that have implemented sustainability practices.
The report also suggested there’s a large, eco-conscious contingent that isn’t being served by the current market. Nearly half of travelers (49%) say there still aren’t enough sustainable travel options available. Another 53% reported that they are “annoyed” when a hotel doesn’t meet their basic expectations of sustainability, for instance by not providing adequate recycling.
This has created a clear opening for hotels to distinguish themselves on sustainability. To take advantage, hotels that are meeting travelers’ sustainability expectations need to better communicate it.
According to the Booking.com report, “While three out of four accommodation providers say they have implemented at least some kind of sustainability practices at their property, only one-third actively communicate about their efforts proactively to potential guests.”
Google has heard travelers’ concerns. In September, Google began marking hotels that met sustainability standards from organizations like EarthCheck or Green Key with an eco-certified badge next to their listings on google.com/travel.
But it isn’t just vacation travelers who want more information about hotels’ sustainability. Corporations are also aggressively trying to reduce their carbon footprint through travel practices, with more than 90% of the world’s top global companies stating sustainability goals, according to JLL research. Some of those efforts focus on what’s called Scope 3 emissions, a category that includes purchased goods and business travel.
Those efforts have driven a surge of corporate travel buyer requests for hotel sustainability information over the past year, Business Travel News reports. Marriott International reports that the number of inquiries about its hotels’ carbon footprint has nearly tripled over the last year or so. Bookers want to know about everything from how hotels reduce food waste to their anti-human trafficking efforts, the publication reports.
For now, however, most business travelers are still getting information about a hotel’s sustainability through intermediaries. A Business Travel News survey showed that 70% of business travelers rely on travel management and booking partners to provide data and information about sustainable travel strategy, further underscoring the need for hotels to better publicize their sustainability efforts and successes. The bottom line is if your hotel is going green, travelers want to know.
It Starts With Recycling
One of the simplest ways for a hotel to promote its commitment to sustainability is with up-to-date and functional recycling bins. Commercial Zone has multiple lines of recycling bins that elegantly complement any hotel décor, including lines made from recycled products and recyclable stainless steel.
Elegantly designed and fully customizable, EarthCraft™ Series is built with UV-resistant recycled plastic material and recycled plastic lumber, while the PolyTec™ line is made from recycled polyethylene that won’t rust, dent or chip under harsh weather conditions.
Add a bit of elegance with a recycling center from the Precision Series®, stainless steel containers that add a touch of class along with projecting a strong sustainability message.
Learn more about the innovations available from Commercial Zone — which include more than 600 unique products in a wide variety of materials and finishes — at commercialzone.com. Or call 800-782-7273 to talk with a member of our team of trained experts, who can help you integrate them.