|Hospitality & Travel|
Eco-Hotels - A Great Way to Travel
Hotel operators recognize there is a movement where their guests are going green and eco-travel is gaining in popularity everyday. There was a time when hotels simply asked guests to reuse towels, however travelers are now demanding much more. It's becoming travel with a conscience.
Whether it is an eco-farming adventure in Costa Rica or a stay at the five-star Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver, Canada, it is clear that hotels are taking notice. Public beaches from Barbados to Nice and from Tahiti to Costa Rica have clearly marked recycling containers for the public's use.
With such a personal interest in eco-travel and going green, I mentally evaluate properties for their earth-friendly practices. Naturally, I am looking for the basics:
and, I can generally tell if eco-friendly cleaning products have been used or not.
I would be even more impressed, and I believe it would lead to more return bookings by guests, if hotels provided information on some of those features that may be hard to see. For example, a list of green features might indicate if these features are present:
Smaller lodges or hotels with some land might also:
Of course, if the hotel offers restaurant facilities there are many opportunities for dining based on organic foods and adhering to principles based on the 100 Mile Diet book (buying all meal products within 100 miles).
In the USA Today, Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association is quoted as saying, "Probably the #1 trend is the greening of the hotel industry. Every hotel company has an environmental specialist, and we're working with them to develop a certification program in the next 90 days. It will involve an inspection, not just trusting self-reporting eco-programs. Inspection results may be tied to be AAA ratings."
Green Checks: How is Your Hotel Going Green?
RING! RING! RING! It's another reservation inquiry. "Hello," you answer. After some discussion, the voice on the other end asks, "How is your hotel going green? Are there any resources available so I can learn about your eco-friendly features and sustainable policies?" You think to yourself, This is another caller today asking these same questions.
If you're not sure what to say to such questions, this Green Hotel Checklist may help. Though you may be savvy of other environmentally friendly strides your hotel has (or maybe hasn't) taken, use the following to help you understand what it is eco-conscious guests want to know.
If hotels want to keep up with today's guests' demands, then it's imperative to recognize "green" innovations in hotel design, energy use, preservation and services.
THE GREEN HOTEL CHECKLIST
Whether your hotel was built from the ground up with "green" in mind or not, guests want to know what is different (and therefore better) about the design of your hotel. The following may or not apply depending upon your type of property, for example, single-story resort bungalows versus concrete, highrise city hotels.
When we throw away less, less trash is made. With less trash, we not only save room in the overflowing landfills, but also reduce the energy it takes to dispose of it. Saving our resources for the future ensures that going green is not a fad but a favorable fate.
Is your hotel property preserving our planet's resources with any of these ideas?
The services the hotel provides guests should be both eco-friendly and simultaneously useful. The resources available to the going green-conscious guest reflect the hotel's serious effort in making sustainability just as important as the bottom dollar.
and eco-friendly hotel management practices.
About the author:
Terry Hollowell is a green enthusiast and considers the going green genre to be one of his favorite niches. Terry is co-owner with his twin brother of Twinlance writing services and Journey Beyond Travel, providing guided, customized and set-date eco-friendlier tours of Morocco, N. Africa (where he lives for months at a time). When Terry isn’t working, he enjoys running marathons, hiking, biking, rock climbing, surfing, tennis and the great outdoors.