Sustainable Hospitality on the Rise- Key trends in 2023

June 4, 2023
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Most people find it difficult to enjoy a vacation when they are aware that it contributes to the growth of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an extensive accumulation of trash spanning thousands of miles in the ocean. Similarly, the prospect of booking a vacation associated with an organization that neglects the well-being of a local economy leaves people feeling uneasy. The notion of indulging in personal enjoyment while disregarding the fundamental necessities of others is generally regarded as unsettling by most individuals.

Sustainability is increasingly important in the hospitality industry as customers become more concerned about the environmental and social impacts of their vacations. Organizations that contribute to issues like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or disregard local economies face disapproval from potential customers. Preserving natural and cultural attractions, as exemplified by the case of Maya Bay in Thailand, is crucial for long-term success. Leading hotel companies such as Hilton, Intercontinental, and Marriott are actively reducing their carbon footprints and embracing sustainability. This not only benefits the planet but also makes good business sense, as customers prefer sustainable businesses, governments provide incentives, and employees are more engaged in sustainable organizations. The BA(Hons) Hotel and Hospitality Management course equips students with sustainable thinking skills, giving them a competitive edge in the job market. Urgent measures are needed to address climate change, as the hotel sector contributes to global carbon emissions, and many hotels have already implemented sustainable practices to mitigate their environmental impact.

  1. Locally Sourced cuisine:

Sourcing locally from farmers and producers is vital for sustainable food options as it reduces the environmental impact of long-distance transport. Hotels like the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and Hilton San Francisco Union are actively reducing their environmental footprints by providing locally sourced items and implementing food waste prevention strategies. By incorporating locally sourced, nutritious, and sustainable options into their menus, hotels and restaurants can support local businesses while benefiting from lower operational costs. Additionally, travellers are increasingly interested in exploring different cultures through food, seeking out indigenous ingredients that reflect local customs and traditions.

Urban farming has gained momentum during the pandemic, leading to a rise in self-sufficient food sourcing. Tokyo showcases this trend with mini urban farming cubes supplying a nearby restaurant, allowing patrons to witness the growth process while dining. Copenhagen's Østergro farm co-op replaces its rooftop bar with a garden, providing organic produce for the seasonal menu at the Gro Spiseri restaurant. In Mönchengladbach, Germany, PURiNO's urban garden preserves traditional Italian recipes by offering freshly made pasta, vegetables, spices, and herbs.

  1. Cut down on food waste:

Hospitality businesses can implement responsible practices such as developing sustainable menus, offering different portion sizes, and featuring fewer items to minimize waste and storage costs. They should procure fresh ingredients from local suppliers to ensure quality and longer shelf life. Implementing just-in-time purchasing systems and monitoring expiration dates can reduce spoilage and waste. Tracking food waste and training employees on circular economy approaches can improve operational efficiencies. Additionally, hospitality businesses can utilize sharing economy platforms, donate surplus food, or convert it into animal feed, compost, or energy to minimize waste and environmental impact. By promoting responsible initiatives through marketing channels, raising awareness among stakeholders, and fostering closer relationships with suppliers, these businesses can enhance their environmental profile and engage customers in responsible consumption behaviours. Governments and regulatory authorities can provide financial incentives and infrastructural support to encourage sustainable practices in the hospitality industry.

  1. Reducing plastic waste:

Hotels are increasingly recognizing the importance of reducing their environmental impact, with sustainability measures such as reducing plastic waste gaining significance.'s sustainability report reveals that 68% of customers are interested in eco-friendly hotels, and 87% of global travelers express a desire to travel sustainably. Consequently, event organizers are now considering venues' eco credentials, and 75% of companies inquire about green credentials when selecting venues for conferences. While some hotels struggle to transition to plastic-free alternatives, guests can contribute by actively seeking out sustainable options and providing feedback to establishments that fall short. Dolores and Rose Hospitality partners offer luxurious, planet-friendly amenities, supporting a UK business and minimizing their carbon footprint. They provide mini shampoo and conditioner bars in recycled and recyclable packaging, along with a shampoo and conditioner bar duo in a Dolores and Rose tin for guests to take home. Those interested in becoming Hospitality Partners can contact Dolores and Rose via email, social media, or their website to explore packages suitable for different venue sizes and join the journey toward reducing plastic waste and promoting sustainability.

  1. Conserve Energy:

The hotel industry has rapidly embraced eco-friendly practices in response to the growing number of green travellers worldwide. By adopting these practices, hotels can effectively market their brand while also contributing to environmental conservation without incurring significant costs. The emphasis on sustainability has become a crucial aspect of the hospitality industry, with guests themselves prioritizing environmentally-conscious choices. To improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, hotels can establish an energy management program and designate a team responsible for overseeing conservation efforts. Setting efficiency targets, conducting regular energy assessments, and identifying opportunities for energy savings are essential steps. Moreover, raising employee awareness through training programs and implementing green initiatives across departments can foster a culture of energy efficiency. By evaluating costs and payback periods, hotels can strategically invest in eco-friendly technologies that not only save money but also enhance the guest experience. Ultimately, the transition to sustainable practices requires the involvement and cooperation of all stakeholders, including staff, industry partners, investors, and guests. Start implementing green practices in your hotel today with our comprehensive, fully integrated hotel management solution.

  1. Create a paperless hotel:

The adoption of effective Property Management System (PMS) technology, such as Stayflexi, is driving the transition towards paperless transactions in the hospitality industry for sustainable practices. Stayflexi's advanced PMS technology enables seamless digitization of various processes, reducing the reliance on paper documents. By leveraging Stayflexi, hotels and resorts can streamline their operations, including reservations, check-ins, and invoicing, all while minimizing paper waste. The implementation of a paperless transaction system reduces the environmental impact associated with traditional paper-based processes, such as deforestation and carbon emissions from transportation. Additionally, Stayflexi's PMS technology offers secure online payment gateways, ensuring the safety of financial transactions without the need for physical cash handling. By embracing a sustainable approach through paperless transactions, the hospitality industry can significantly contribute to environmental conservation and promote a greener future. Stayflexi's efficient PMS technology serves as a catalyst for this positive change, leading to improved operational efficiency and reduced ecological footprint for hotels and resorts worldwide.

  1. Integrate sustainability into the hotel architecture:

Integrating sustainability into hotel architecture is crucial for promoting sustainable hospitality practices. By designing hotels with sustainability in mind, we can minimize their environmental impact and create a positive guest experience. Architects can incorporate various eco-friendly elements into the design, such as energy-efficient lighting systems, renewable energy sources, and water-saving fixtures. The use of natural materials and green building techniques can also contribute to reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier environment. Sustainable architecture in hotels can further enhance the guest experience by providing ample natural lighting, indoor air quality, and spaces that connect guests with nature. Additionally, integrating renewable energy systems can help hotels reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, leading to cost savings and a smaller carbon footprint. Ultimately, the integration of sustainability into hotel architecture is a significant step toward creating a more environmentally responsible and enjoyable experience for guests

  1. Achieve recognition as Eco friendly property:

Currently, there is no universally accepted set of standards to officially designate properties as eco-friendly. However, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has taken the initiative to establish The GSTC Industry Criteria and Suggested Indicators for Hotels. This endeavour aims to achieve a common understanding of sustainable tourism by consolidating the criteria found in various green hotel certification programs like Green Key and Green Star Hotel Certificate. The GSTC Criteria represents the minimum requirements that a hotel or any type of built accommodations should strive to meet. For properties seeking formal recognition as eco-friendly, they can explore the option of engaging with one of the numerous GSTC-accredited certification bodies spread across the globe.The significance of eco-friendliness has transitioned from being merely desirable to becoming an essential priority for an increasing number of environmentally and socially conscious travellers.

According to a study conducted by The Nielsen Company on millennial consumer behavior, sustainability is a key consideration for this influential generation that frequently engages in travel. Remarkably, 66% of respondents worldwide expressed willingness to "pay a premium for products and services offered by companies committed to positive social and environmental impact" (Nielsen, 2015).Similarly, a global survey by TUI revealed that two-thirds of vacationers are prepared to make "lifestyle trade-offs to benefit the environment" (TUI, 2017).Embracing environmentally friendly practices allows a property not only to appeal to and attract present-day eco-conscious travelers, but also to enable its guests to contribute positively to the environment without compromising the quality of their travel experience.

Sustainable hospitality has become a rising trend in 2023 as people increasingly prioritize the environmental and social impacts of their vacations. The hospitality industry is recognizing the importance of sustainability, with leading hotel companies actively reducing their carbon footprints and embracing green practices. Sourcing locally, reducing food waste, minimizing plastic waste, conserving energy, adopting paperless transactions, integrating sustainability into hotel architecture, and seeking recognition as an eco-friendly property are key strategies being implemented. By embracing sustainable practices, hotels and restaurants can attract environmentally and socially responsible customers, enhance their brand reputation, and contribute to a greener future. Ultimately, the shift towards sustainability not only meets the demands of conscious travelers but also allows guests to contribute positively to the environment while enjoying a high-quality travel experience.

Happy World Environment Day :)

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