According to Hospitalitynet by 2050, hotels will need to reduce emissions per key by 90% to be in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Public and political pressure on the sector is rising to implement drastic changes in the coming years. Many hotel chains are responding, but the path to a clean hospitality industry remains a long one. However, the current pandemic offers a pause that might be able to accelerate a reset. There are so many fantastic touchpoints and opportunities to implement sustainable strategies and initiatives that can not only make a shift towards more circular systems, but also contribute to a memorable customer experience”, says Margaret Steiner, Architect and Project Manager at White Arkitekter.
In a world where sustainability is front-and-center of the global conversation, many parts of the travel industry are taking it upon themselves to decrease their impact and improve lives at the same time. A report by ABTA, published in February, found that sustainable travel concerns are playing an increasing role in booking behaviour. Animal welfare emerges as the major concern for family groups (66%), followed by nature conservation (63%) and the preservation of culture and heritage (61%).
IHG Hotels and Resorts sustainability programme released the results of a global survey of more than 9,000 adults which showed that 82% of respondents said it is important to choose a hotel brand that operates responsibly, and consumers will spend an average of 31% per night more on accommodation that meets this need. Here are other interesting results the survey also showed:
49% of UK adults who travel agree that they care more about doing their bit for local communities and the planet while travelling now than they did 10 years ago.
46% agree that they want to be more environmentally and socially conscious on their travels.
33% agree that they are more likely to support brands with strong environmental and social commitments.
69% say choosing a hotel brand/accommodation that operates responsibly is important to them, 22% say this is very important.
60% said the pandemic has made them more socially and environmentally conscious about their impact on the world when travelling.
57% say they care more about contributing to their local communities and the planet while travelling than they did 10 years ago showing a long-term shift in their thinking.
86% of people say it is important to get to know the local community when visiting somewhere new.
During this pandemic, it’s become clear just how essential tourism is for the global economy, but also how it boosts conservation and enrichment of local communities and ecosystems. While many individuals take a vacation to escape life, to travel with purpose is to gain valuable perspective on how other people live, and how our actions affect global communities, species, and environments. Travel has the ability to open a person’s eyes to a more holistic view of the world and open their heart to a deeper sense of personal purpose.