The Long-term Impacts of Fukushima on Hotels & Tourism Worldwide

By Steven Ferry Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers | September 18, 2011

Is it or isn't it?

Fukushima.

Is it a non-issue for all but those living around the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, as governments and obliging media have been saying; or are the meltdowns spreading invisible tentacles of radioactive death around the world, as some are insisting and others are wondering, a sense of unease at our prospects for the future. How, then, would these tentacles impact hotels and tourist destinations as news radiated into the consumer consciousness and people changed their eating and travel habits?

Well, sorry to disappoint those who like a good drama to chew on, but the government and officials happen to be right on this one, once the science is understood.

PR mishandlings have resulted in (mostly unnecessary) loss of hospitality business in Fukushima and surrounding areas, including Tokyo; but no impact has been felt in other countries (with one exception, which has seen a big pick- up in business); and no future impact is to be expected from the feared-by-some collapse of all living systems.

If you had doubts about which way it would go, read on, put them to rest: There are enough real issues in life without being distracted by invented ones.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.