We hear the word everywhere, but what does it really mean for hospitality business owners and why should we try and incorporate sustainability in a guest’s experience?
The aim is to position your hotel as someone who cares about its customers, the environment, locally sourced food, and engagement with the local community.
The easiest way to understand sustainability is to measure the impact of tourists on the economy, environment, and on society and cultures.
So, what measures can you implement, to be sustainable?
1. Reducing meal sizes in Restaurants
Per meal, it is estimated that 20% of each diner’s plate is wasted. Food wastage is bad for the environment, but it also is an unnecessary expense for business owners. Consider reducing your plate size, or putting a sign up at the buffet, letting diners know that they can return as many times as they like. Studies have found that diners are much more likely to reduce food wastage when they are aware that they can return for
food as many times as they need to.
2. Make available recyclable aluminum drinking bottles
Guests can reuse and fill up their water bottles whilst out and about on day tours. It is also good practice for hotels to have water stations available on site for guests to fill up. This will cause less impact on the environment and guests can travel with good conscience, reducing their plastic use.
3. Installing energy
Efficient lighting and equipment around the property- Efficient lighting systems not only reduce energy consumption but improve the working environment, increase safety, and enhance staff well-being. If energy lighting practices are adopted, energy use can be reduced by up to 82%.
You do not want to preach to your customers, but you do want them to be aware of the measures you are putting in place. So where should you communicate to get the message out? Social Media works well. Make it simple, visual and relate facts and figures. Charity initiates are an easy way for guests to get involved. Be sure to let them know about staff involvement and fundraising initiatives you are currently working on.
5. Create a Rooftop Fruit and Vegetable Garden On-Site
It is vital for any Restaurant or Hotel to play your part in investing in sustainable food systems. You will be able to offer guests healthy, fresh meals straight from the garden while reducing food wastage, greenhouse gas
emissions, water usage and eliminating pesticides.
6. Create a Charity that your guests can donate
With proceeds going towards an initiative to teach and support disadvantaged youth in the local community, how to obtain meaningful employment and explore the opportunity’s available to them in the tourism industry.
So how can we measure performance of the new projects we have put into place?
Get your staff involved
Survey your guests
Measure and Refine
Gain recognition for your hotel
What are some of the main challenges we might face with tourists around sustainability and how do we overcome them?
Lack of knowledge or understanding
Public perception that schemes are not transparent
By simply informing your guests why it is required, and what benefit it gives to the environment or society, participation rates are much higher, and guest satisfaction increases. Consistency is key. If you are running an initiative, make sure to remind guests via email once they return home. Keep them updated with your progress through social media channels and your website. Offer fun activities that guests can get involved in and show results through facts, figures, and real-life images of projects.
By implementing sustainable efforts and authentically local experiences, you will start to see an overwhelming level of support from your guests. Clever design is about making the desired behaviour the easiest and most convenient choice. This is the way of the future and leading by example will put you at the forefront of the competition.
This article has been written by guest writer Kristen Delugar.
About the Guest writer
Kristen is the Founder of Travel Addicts Worldwide. With ten years of Travel Industry experience, her days are filled inspiring travellers through her website and social media channels.