Going Green To Be Seen

By Larry Mogelonsky President & Founder, LMA Communications | September 22, 2013

Going green is all the rage these days. It's a benchmark we use to categorize modern, chic hotels and brands we want to identify with. And for good reason: upgrading your property to meet the ever-widening list of energy efficiency and resource conscious standards is a very noble pursuit – one that hopefully will be in vogue to perpetuity. These enhancements can take nearly any form, from simple or small to creative or omnipresent, and I commend you for improving your hotel(s) to help curb the rising energy demands and save our delicate ecosystems.

But let's take a step back and analyze why we are engaging in these pursuits and allocating precious dollars to this 'responsible tourism' movement. Whatever actions you take, the motivations fall into three broad categories:

  1. Adopting eco-friendly practices saves big on operational costs in the long run.
  2. Marketing a brand as eco-friendly generates greater customer appeal and empathy.
  3. You are a naturally altruistic manager or owner.

Even though I choose to believe that the third case pertains to almost every hotelier active today – and most people on the planet for that matter – the fact remains that money pervades all decisions. This naturally leaves us with the first two choices as the underlying stimuli for green enhancements to your property.

Rest assured, if upgrading to more efficient processes didn't yielding generous savings, there would be little to none of the widespread adoption like we are experiencing today – no recycling programs, no low wattage light bulbs, no adherence to LEED. As sad as this reality is, someone somewhere has to justify dollars spent on these green refurbishments when the same money could be reallocated towards other worthwhile expenditures.

Luckily this is not the case. Investing in energy efficiency or sustainable development is beneficial for both the property's fiscal state and the community at large. If you are still skeptical, contact your local (or global) environmental consultant. You'll be astounded by the long-term savings from going green.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.