Reducing the environmental impact of hotels and resorts has been an industry priority for decades. And in a world forever changed by the spread of COVID-19, addressing health and environmental concerns has become a critical aspect of hotel operations.
In today’s blog post, guest contributor Beau Peters explores how you can turn sustainability to your advantage, ensuring your guests feel safe and your reputation soars.
According to The Conversation, a recent international study determined that about 33% of consumers prefer to “buy from brands they believe are doing environmental good.” Plus, the idea of proactive health and safety initiatives is especially influential now (for obvious reasons).
So where do hotel operations fit into this? For starters, there are myriad steps you can take to improve your services and make your hotel more environmentally friendly.
But keep in mind that communication is also key: stakeholders and potential guests alike should be made aware of sustainability efforts at your hotel, so that they can make mindful purchasing decisions.
Here’s what savvy hotel managers can do to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental stewardship and public health.
1. Boost your marketing by being transparent and approachable
In a highly competitive industry such as hotel operations, word-of-mouth is of vital importance. And in our modern digital world, the strength of your company’s reputation strongly depends on public perception.
One way to help combat negative reviews and the possibility of an unsatisfactory guest experience is to be accountable, and transparent about your hotel’s policies and procedures.
In terms of environmentalism, your guests should be able to easily access information about sustainability initiatives at your property. This information can be gained via online channels, such as your hotel’s website, or through in-person chats with knowledgeable employees.
For example, if your property’s potable water must be treated because it is naturally high in minerals, be clear about what those methods entail, as well as what you’re doing to prioritize guest health.
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2. Sustainable upgrades can save you money in the long-run
Hard water can impact your guests' health, but it can also cause your bottom line to take a hit. High-mineral water can leave a stubborn residue behind, causing extensive damage to your hotel’s pipes, plumbing systems, and appliances.
Enter water softeners! These devices use a complex process in which positively charged calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged for negative sodium ions. This ion exchange process effectively “softens” hard water, making it safer for consumption without the use of harsh chemicals that may harm the environment.
But water softeners are just the beginning when it comes to making sustainable upgrades to your property. The world’s most environmentally friendly hotels, including Camp Glenorchy in New Zealand and Vietnam’s Luxe Salinda Resort, are outfitted with various cutting-edge features, such as smart LED lighting and solar panels. At the renowned Pikaia Lodge in Ecuador, water is heated via solar energy, and only biodegradable cleaning products are used.
3. Leading the industry in sustainability is a unique selling point in itself
It’s no secret that chemical-based cleaning products are immensely harmful to the natural world, and hotels go through an exorbitant amount of cleaning products every year.
The use of biodegradable, naturally sourced cleaning products is essential if you hope to properly address your property’s environmental footprint. Again, don't shy away from doing this publicly - it not only sets an admirable precedent that other venues will follow, and bolsters your reputation among guests, but can become a reason people visit you in itself.
Consumers vote with their dollars! Increasingly, people are choosing to spend their money with businesses that seem to demonstrate legitimate concern for health and environmental issues. Don't forget that.
When it comes down to it, implementing green initiatives at your hotel is easier than it may appear on the surface. Of course, all the upgrades in the world won’t make a difference to your bottom line if no one knows about them.
By prioritizing sustainability and guest health, and then spreading the word about your hotel’s efforts, you’re likely to see positive results over the long term - in environmental impact, your online reputation, and a great guest experience.
Beau Peters is a writer with an increasingly diverse portfolio and a history in business management. He has a passion for sharing what he has learned with others and enjoys making the world a better place. When he is not tucked behind a cup of coffee and a laptop, Beau likes to meet new people and try new things.
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