What really makes a luxury hotel sustainable?

In recent years sustainable hotels also known as eco or green hotels have emerged across the globe, serving eco conscious #holiday makers who prefer more sustainable building, planting gardens with fresh produce and constructing grey #water #recycling facilities, along with abandoning traditional in-room extras such as plastic water bottles, toothbrushes, and shampoos. These increasingly sophisticated consumers demand for exclusive location and more authentic and eco-friendly experiences.

But what really makes a luxury hotel sustainable?

The official definition suggests that sustainable hotels are businesses that significantly reduce their #environmentalimpact through green best practices in maintenance, services, logistics, products, and supplies. The core elements revolve around reducing waste, saving energy, and cutting down on water usage.

While it is true that most of us associate sustainability with protecting the environment, it is really much more than that. Being sustainable means looking at the economy, the community and of course the environment and therefore refers to the ability to preserve the planet, support the people and maintain the profit.

In the luxury hotel sector customer’s concerns over the #climatechange and the planet’s resources, their increasing demand for integrity and commitment to #sustainability, and their desire of getting involved in the building of a sustainable mindset and culture have only recently persuaded many businesses to react more visibly to sustainable practices. As stated by booking.com research (https://globalnews.booking.com), two-third of travellers wants their choices to support the destination’s recovery efforts and more than half want to see how their money is going back into the local community.

Staying on top of hospitality industry trends and providing an excellent guest experience while keeping costs low is key to the survival of any hotel. The good news is that becoming an eco-friendly hotel is good for the balance sheet as well as your image as many sustainable practices involve streamlining operations and improving efficiency (www.aperto.com). Besides, the most important question for hotel companies nowadays may not be what can be done to become more sustainable, but rather how this can be done.

And some sustainable brands have undeniably implemented and become pioneers of green policies. Great examples are demonstrated by @thepigatcombe which showcases upcycled furniture across the property or those of the world leader hotel group in the sustainable travel practices - @Soneva – which conserves water and preserves the fragile ecosystem by filtering, mineralising, alkalizing, and providing bottled on site in reusable glass bottles (https://soneva.com). A percentage of revenues from @SonevaWater funds over 500 clean water projects in more than 50 countries, providing clean water to over 750,000 people via charities such as Water Charity and Thirst Aid (https://theluxurytravelexpert.com).

It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. #MahatmaGandhi

Planning for the future of tourism requires thinking beyond business success and building a solid, holistic foundation (https://www.futureoftourism.org). Securing the future of tourism via a more “#regenerative travel” that leaves a place even better than what you found when you arrived, requires investing in the long-term health and vitality of all the different elements that comprise the destination as whole. An effort that requires the inclusion and active participation of all: private and public businesses, communities and travellers (https://hospitalityinsights.ehl)

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Angela, MD