Eco hotels are not just an increasing travel trend. They are quickly becoming a priority for the hospitality leaders and hotel businesses around the world to protect and heal our home and what´s in it. According to the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, tourism contributes about 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and they expect it to grow by 130% by 2035.

Aguas Claras hotel in Costa Rica

In the past five years, the global hotel industry has grown approximately 2.3%, said the IBIS World in 2018. At the current pace, more than 80,000 hotels will join it by 2050. The hospitality industry needs to find a way to grow, and at the same time reduce the sector’s carbon footprint and the negative impact a lot of times tourists leave in the places they visit. 

As the concern about sustainability grows, many travelers are now looking to stay in an eco hotel. Many hotels and resorts around the world are now adopting greener practices to not only satisfy customer demand, but also to save money in the long-term and support the local communities and the environment. According to Paula Vlamings, chief executive of Tourism Cares, “if big hotels can make small changes, the ripple can be huge”. Going green is not only good for the world, it´s also good for bringing in the hotel guests of today, that care about the environment and want to build a better world for the next generations. 

Cuixmala Sustainable Luxury Hotel in Mexico

The U.N. World Tourism Organization predicted that by 2020, there would be 1.6 billion eco-inspired trips taken. Sustainable practices are evolving from a nice complement or a trend, to a must-have priority for a growing number of environmentally conscious travelers. A study on millennial consumer behavior, conducted by The Nielsen Company, found that they will pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. 

For now, to harmonize all the criteria found in many green hotel certifications, and be recognized as an eco hotel the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the body that manages the global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, created The GSTC Industry Criteria and suggested some indicators for hotels in an effort to have a common understanding of sustainable tourism.

Find the full list of GSTC global standards for hotels here.

Isla Palenque, a luxury sustainable hotel in Panama

There is a lot of work to be done when we talk about sustainable tourism. Every effort the hotels around the world make of course counts, but there’s still a long way to go. Eco hotels of the world are not just following a trend, they are trying to help the environment and the communities around them. So the next time you travel take into consideration what your destination is doing to help the world.


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