The tourism and hospitality industry come hand in hand, and with the number of overnight international travellers is expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), developing sustainable models of hospitality is crucial.
With one in ten jobs worldwide currently supported by travel and tourism, the industry already has a huge influence on the environment, economy and social fabric of communities. Couple this with hospitality’s rapid growth rate, and the need for socially and environmentally responsible practices becomes even more urgent.
In a survey conducted by Booking.com in 2018, 87% of global travellers said they want to travel sustainably, however 48% said they never, rarely or only sometimes manage to travel consciously. Therefore, it is down to the industry to ensure they are operating an environmentally friendly policy in their businesses. Figures suggest that encouraging guests to reuse towels and linens can enable a 300-room hotel to save up to 200,000 litres of water and 1,300 litres of detergent each year.
Working with regional suppliers and hiring local staff throughout your business, is another effective way of implanting a more viable structure. Businesses have a responsibility to give back to the communities that host them, and this is especially true in hospitality – an industry that is based on people and service. This will also help with staff retention, always a bonus when it comes to the hospitality industry.
Embracing sustainability enables the hospitality industry to deliver a better guest experience. Many leading hospitality companies now recognise the need to engage with sustainability as well as the benefits this brings, including reduced costs, increased guest satisfaction and improved staff retention. But there is still much work to be done.
Preparing your staff with the knowledge and skills to create and implement sustainable solutions is essential to ensuring your business is doing everything environmentally, economically and socially it can. By developing an awareness of the industries impact on the environment and cultivating critical thinking and innovative problem solving, staff are prepared to be effective leaders in hospitality, and provides skills that resonate with their values.
Hospitality leaders must see sustainability as a necessity and a guiding principle behind their decisions. Education is key to cultivating this frame of mind, and to transmitting this sense of responsibility to future generations.
So, are you doing everything you can to promote sustainability in your business?