Over the past decade, sustainability has become something of a buzzword within the hospitality industry. More than ever before, consumers are switched on to their environmental impact, and it’s no surprise that this newfound eco-consciousness is now extending to tourism.

However, these new developments are bringing plenty of unexpected benefits to hoteliers everywhere, helping to boost brand image, engage more authentically with guests, and even make cost reductions.

The challenge is to ensure that the sustainability measures you take within your hotel are more than simply greenwashing. So, to help you along the road to going green, we’ve listed a few of the ways that you can boost your hotel’s image through sustainable and eco-friendly measures that are sure to pay off in the long run—both for your hotel and the planet. 

Improving Guest Experience

As previously mentioned, guests are now more eco-savvy than ever before, and improving their experience during your stay is just one of the ways you can boost your hotel’s image through sustainability. However, this concept goes way beyond simply listing the ways you’ve made your hotel more sustainable, and it can bring a touch of class to any room.

Perhaps the first place to start is with your disposable toiletries. These complimentary items can quickly and easily be swapped out for refillable containers and dispensers. Not only will you save money on buying in bulk and simply refilling, but you’ll also drastically reduce plastic consumption and waste. Additionally, adding classy dispensers to your rooms can enhance the décor and show guests that you’ve taken the time to make things homely.

You can also look at other complementary items such as single-use water bottles. Removing these from your rooms and replacing them with decanters gives you the chance to improve the guest experience. Add a little mint or lemon or simply provide a selection of natural flavorings to complement your decanter. If guests want to take water out of the hotel, provide branded, reusable bottles that they can keep. That way, guests will still have a memento they can take home, only it will likely last many years.

Boosting Your Brand

Boosting your brand through sustainable practices is much easier than it sounds. It can be as simple as promoting and sharing your existing sustainability profile with guests and ensuring they’re on the same page. Today, eco-credentials are just as likely to be an attractive USP as that sea view or central location. Transparency is to sustainability what a decent bed is to a hotel room—it’s the very core of your service.

On your website or in your literature, ensure you detail your approach to sustainability. This can include your recycling initiatives and waste management practices, your commitment to minimizing single-use plastics, and your adoption of energy-saving electronics and appliances such as light bulbs or heating systems.

Boosting your brand through sustainable measures can also be done in the kitchen, and designing a seasonal, locally sourced menu for your hotel is a great way to showcase your commitment. If your hotel restaurant is also open to the public, you might also find that a well-thought-out sustainable menu increases bookings and keeps people coming back for more.

Finally, engaging your guests with your sustainability practices will help to further reinforce your brand. Provide simple yet detailed instructions on recycling within each of your rooms, ask guests to save energy wherever they can, reach out and involve your guests with your sustainability plans for the future and get feedback on how you might improve. However you go about it, engaging guests with your transparent approach to sustainability will ensure that their stay is firmly imprinted on their minds.

Staying Legal

Perhaps one of the big benefits of adopting sustainable practices today is that, as we move into the future, there will be increasingly stringent laws, legislation, and regulations imposed on the hotel industry. Taking the initiative today will not only allow you to be prepared for whatever the future holds, but will also ensure that your hotel won’t have to spend money reaching compliance further down the road.

The benefits of striving to meet regulatory standards today will lend increased weight to sustainability practices too. Certificates issued by regulatory bodies can be displayed in the same way you would display your health & safety certificates. Additionally, for those hotels that push the envelope when it comes to sustainable practices,  registering with organizations such as B-Corp will give you another advertising outlet designed to reach potential guests at the cutting-edge of eco-tourism.

When it comes to sustainability in your hotel, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each building and/or organization will require its own set of guidelines, and designing a comprehensive plan is the first place to begin.

However, by doing this, you can take several essentially free measures that are likely to bring greater cost-efficiencies and boost your brand at the same time. The future for hotels, just like the rest of the world, is green—and the sooner you start planning for this, the more likely your hotel will be to stand out from the crowd.

Related article: 4 Key Components of IPM for Green Lodging

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About the author

Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Hotel Marketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert that specializes in creating effective digital customer experience offer for hotels while growing and scale customer acquisition and revenue.

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