Overview: Who are Today's Green-Oriented Travelers?
By Jeff Slye Senior Consultant, Five Winds International | April 29, 2012
I have two questions I'd like to pose to the hospitality industry, particularly to the hotels, hotel management companies, and investors that do not have a sustainability or green platform for their property or properties:
"What data or additional information do you need to hear or read to
illustrate to you and your stakeholders that investing in 'green' is
critical to your revenue stream and attracting and retaining customers?"
If there is consistent information from 3rd party survey data, direct
customer feedback, and comments from your competitors that tells you that
your customers and prospects are actively searching out and spending money
with green hotels, would you make the investment to go 'green?'
The above two questions are the primary ones hotel companies should be asking themselves in this economic climate, regardless of the other business benefits that come from 'green' programs such as operational efficiencies, cost savings, employee values connection, marketing, and improved public relations. This article will help answer these questions and will use hard data and real case studies to demonstrate the growing influence by today's green-oriented travelers (which include corporate, individual, and group business). In Business Evolution Consulting's work assisting companies in developing their green and sustainability strategies we have seen first hand that there is real money currently being lost or gained in this space and it is directly connected to a hotel's environmental commitment...or lack thereof.
Over the past several years more and more surveys have been done by 3rd party and trade organizations to try and capture and understand the growing trends around the green-oriented customer. Within the past 2 years, they are consistent in expressing that travelers not only have an interest in green hotels, but more importantly actively seek out these hotels. In reviewing these data points, hotels and companies need to ask themselves where they would fit in these respondents' hearts and minds.