May - Eco-Friendly Practices: Doing Well by Doing Good
The hotel community continues to embrace sustainable development as a means not only to protect our environment, but also to optimize efficiency, realize cost savings, enhance guest satisfaction, improve employee morale, and manage investor expectations. Despite the lack of universally accepted metrics, the leading chains have incorporated eco-friendly policies, procedures, programs and training into their operations - both internally and externally - and their successes have been impactful and dramatic. In addition to more standard implementations such as LED lighting, waste recycling, reusing guest linens, and low-flow water regulators, some hotels have adopted more far-reaching solutions - commitment to the use of renewable energy; use of eco-labeled products; reduction of paper usage; purchasing of locally sourced and seasonal produce; ongoing measurement of carbon emissions; monitoring and analyzing energy consumption, the selection of suppliers and sub-contractors based on their own commitment to protect the environment; and compliance with all international environmental design standards. Remarkably, this comprehensive approach has resulted in enormous savings for some hotel operations. One major chain is projecting that it will realize US$1 billion in savings across the company's portfolio in less than 10 years. In addition, sustainability has become an important factor for guests when choosing a hotel. They want to know that a hotel has made a commitment to sustainable practices, and they expect honest and transparent communication about what steps a hotel is taking to produce a smaller carbon footprint. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are integrating eco-friendly practices into their operations and how they and the environment are benefiting from them. Need to subscribe? Click here!
Rauni Kew

The transition from gas powered, combustion engine cars to electric vehicles (EV’s), and even hybrids, has been relatively slow. However, later this year, new models with lower price tags, sleeker styling and improved batteries with more range are expected. Couple EV improvements and expanding infra structure with looming emissions regulation, the transition from combustion engine to EV is positioned to accelerate in the near future. READ MORE

Robert Allender

Despite decades of effort, hotels continue to use more energy than they actually need to fully achieve their business mission and at the same time fail to extract maximum value from the energy they buy and from the time and effort put into managing that energy use. This article suggests why this is so, and puts forward an approach informed by ideas from Albert Einstein himself. Taking AHLA advice in 1984 would have given the hotel industry 30 years of energy profits; now's the time to avoid a second miss. READ MORE

Kevin Thomas Carter

Guests want to know how they're contributing to sustainability, especially if it's already part of their lifestyle. Keeping guests informed about sustainable operations makes them feel involved in the efforts your property is making to have a low negative impact on the environment. Signage, tours of facilities, and online education encourage sustainable behaviors and help guests understand their contributions to your environmental mission. When guests are involved in your environmental efforts, they are better able to contribute to energy and fuel savings by turning off lights and regulating the thermostat, thus increasing your sustainability success. READ MORE

Heather  Kolakowski

Environmental sustainability and the desire to reduce the amount of food wasted are top trends in today’s society. It has been reported that approximately one-third of hotel users consider the “green-ness” of potential service providers when making their purchasing decisions. Composting is one example of the types of “green” practices that customers such as these resonate with and when implemented into its operations can help to enhance the customers’ perceptions of the organization. The following will detail the benefits and challenges of composting and composting programs as well as provide guidance on how to implement one into your operation. READ MORE

Kjell Mitchell

Glenwood Hot Springs has been an environmental trailblazer since long before terms like “carbon footprint,” “eco-friendly” and “sustainability” became commonplace. It actively harnesses the geothermal energy of the mineral hot springs for snowmelt and to heat domestic water supplies. The Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge was recognized with a TripAdvisor “Green Leaders” award in 2013 for its environmental practices. In addition to harnessing geothermal heat sources on-site, Glenwood Hot Springs has also adopted practices that include the use of state-of-the-art materials and energy-efficient technology that add up to not only dollars saved, but to a cleaner, healthier environment for visitors and the community. READ MORE

Ranee Ruble-Dotts

California’s unprecedented drought led to government mandates in 2015 requiring water agencies to cut residential and business water usage by 25 percent. For hotels, the mandates also include specific rules about irrigation, serving water only upon request, and encouraging reuse of guests’ towels and linens. While the mandates represent a starting point for water conservation, many California hotels are already ahead of the game: finding ways to reduce water consumption without compromising the guests’ experience. They have produced a steady stream of water-saving ideas for hotel bathrooms, laundry, landscaping, and kitchens--all of which are transferable to hotels almost anywhere. READ MORE

Jan Peter Bergkvist

Businesses, including the hospitality sector, often argue that there’s no customer demand for sustainability, so they do not focus on grabbing opportunities to work strategically towards becoming part of the solution. Very few innovations have come from customer demand - on the contrary, innovation and the success that follows, is often thanks to daring leaders, those who can foresee the development of society and really take the lead; in short leaders who show leadership! READ MORE

Taryn Holowka

Think back to the last time you stayed in a hotel. Did you notice anything that seemed eco-friendly – maybe there were recycling bins located throughout the hotel, perhaps there was a towel reuse program or maybe you even saw solar panels on the roof? Fortunately, these scenarios are becoming more and more common as hotels and resorts are catching on to and embracing sustainability practices – practices that are not only in demand from their customers, but that are also reducing operating costs significantly. READ MORE

Lawrence Adams

Major hotel companies realize the enormous benefits that come with environmental and socially sustainable practices. In addition to increasing profits from energy and water conservation, hotels are boosting profits due to an expanding segment of environmentally-concerned travelers and corporations, who make lodging choices based on hotels’ green credentials. As they embrace environmental and social sustainability, many of the major hotel companies have mission statements expounding on their environmental stewardship. In this article, we will look at five major hospitality companies and their approaches, practices and policies in achieving sustainable goals for their hotels and resorts. READ MORE

Faith Taylor

Good business is about seeking out opportunities to create value. As our social, economic and environmental landscapes continue to change, we need approaches to adapt and evolve our business practices in order to manage risk and create market value in new ways. Increasingly, consumers are looking for companies that are socially responsible, and ones which understand that there is a need to give back to their communities. In addition, there is an increase in the focus and attention to sustainable operating practices from investors, guests, partners, and employees. People are looking to do business with companies that understand their global footprint READ MORE

Nicki Noble Bean

The Nonantum Resort is located right on the water in Kennebunkport, Maine – just a half mile from Dock Square, and an easy scenic stroll or bike ride up Ocean Avenue to Walker’s Point, summer home of the Bushes. Situated on the Kennebunk River, with the breakwater and the ocean within view, the resort has its own lighthouse and an array of classic Adirondack chairs set out on its spacious back lawn – making it an idyllic coastal retreat. Built in 1883 by a local sea captain, and opened on July 4, 1884, the Nonantum kicks off its 132nd season of operation READ MORE

Michael Matulick

We all accept that the manufacture and transport of any products to customers generates carbon and other greenhouse gases which is then released into the atmosphere – this, in turn, has most agreeing that it is the root cause for global warming and severe weather patterns. To reduce, and in some cases eliminate, our negative environmental impact as a business we decided to offset our greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. our carbon footprint) by financially supporting various carbon reduction projects around the world through purchasing carbon offsets. Business has a fundamental duty and obligation to act in a way that reduces its environmental impact. READ MORE

Jennifer Moon

While there are still US Senators who insist climate change is a hoax , the planet is less patient when it comes to winning or losing that argument. The effects on the ecosystem of human-driven activity to date are being felt now and will only intensify in the coming years. There’s an increasing amount of media coverage around climate change topics that all emphasize a sense of urgency and near doomsday-like outlooks for many industries and destinations: warmest winters ever experienced, faster rising sea levels, and global food insecurity. In the private sector, we find the rhetoric is shifting towards strategically addressing climate change issues. READ MORE

Patricia  Griffin

I attended the “Re-Think Waste” Massachusetts recycling meeting, and was absolutely blown away by a session on textile recycling. I’m sharing with you what I learned, and hope you too will consider making textile recycling as important as we all make paper, aluminum, plastic and glass recycling. Fleece, flannel, corduroy, cotton, nylon, denim, wool and linen. What can you do with these fibers when you’re finished wearing them, sleeping on them or draping them over your windows? One way to benefit both your community and the environment is to donate used textiles to charitable organizations. Most recovered household textiles end up at these organizations. READ MORE

Andrea Pinabell

Every day, each of us make what seem like routine decisions that actually have a profound impact on our planet. Among these decisions are our choices in food and beverages – specifically seafood – which have much farther reaching implications than one might imagine. The kinds of seafood we select affect the health and diversification of rivers and oceans as well as the economic well-being of fishermen and their families, especially in remote resort areas, creating a ripple effect on our human health, river, reef and ocean ecosystems, our communities, our local economies and our business. READ MORE

Gaynor Reid

Do you change your bath towels and bed linen every day at home? Most people don’t. Today, it has also become normal for guests to reuse them for two to three days when staying at a hotel. More than half of guests are in favour of reusing their towels, especially if some of the money saved in doing so is reinvested in planting trees for the benefit of the local community. This is according to a survey carried out by AccorHotels aimed at measuring changes in guest habits, current awareness of sustainability issues and their expectations of hotels in terms of sustainable development. READ MORE

Sarah Harkness

“Oh great,” you must be thinking. “Another article about Millennials. Haven’t we exhausted this topic already?” Trust me, as a Millennial I understand your frustration. Feeling like you are consistently labeled as lazy, entitled, distracted, and a contributor to the demise of the English language isn’t good for one’s self-esteem. I am not here to argue with whatever preconceptions that you may or may not have about my generation, instead I want to tell you what I do know, and why it is important for you as a travel brand to at least try and understand the collective “us”. READ MORE

DJ  Vallauri

A lot has been said and written about the “millennial traveler” and how “different” their travel and hotel needs are. How connected and ambitious they are, the young movers and the shakers in the modern business world. In fact, nearly every major hotel brand believes millennial travelers are seeking new places to stay when traveling, new experiences, new ways to connect, new ways to stay healthy while on the road and so on. New millennial brands continue to launch onto the scene. Brands like Marriott’s Moxy, Hilton’s TRU, Starwood’s Aloft and Hyatt’s Centric all seeking to be positioned to grab the growing share of millennial traveler. READ MORE

Carolyn  Childs

Globally the influence of Millennials on travel and on marketing has been profound. In the US, Millennials are as large a generation cohort as Baby Boomers . In China, they are a smaller generation numerically thanks to the one child policy. But as the first generation to benefit from China’s astonishing economic growth, 80s children (as they are known) are a wealthy and high-consuming group. The word Millennial has almost become synonymous with youth. But that is about to change. READ MORE

Jonathan Bailey

There are roughly 80 million millennials in the United States, and each year they spend approximately $600 billion. Clearly, marketers have recognized this group and are scrambling to reach out to them, connect in a relevant way and convince them of brand relevancy. Some are missing a big opportunity for success, however, because they are operating under the false assumption that all millennials belong in the same gigantic group. There is more than meets the untrained eye here, and properly targeting millennials is a multi-faceted, complicated effort. If you’re like me, you are inundated with articles, webinars and conferences READ MORE

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.