“Guilty travel": the rise of the eco-conscious traveler

How to accommodate the growing number of environmentally-friendly guests

By:

Laura Beier

Published:

November 28, 2022

Sustainability has (rightfully so) been at the forefront of the hospitality industry for a while now. Questions continue to arise about the necessity of amenities like smaller travel-sized shampoos and housekeeping services every day, as well as the overall energy efficiency of new hotel complexes. 

Nowadays, as people are now used to traveling less after a year or two of the industry stalling, they’re coming back with some guilt about the environmental responsibility of their travel. Make these guests at ease by following sustainable practices and utilizing hospitality messaging to ensure they’re aware of your efforts.

The sustainable traveler 

Green travel, traveling sustainably, the eco-conscious traveler… all these terms refer to the same thing, but what does it mean for hotel brands? 

Sustainable tourism is often defined as supporting goals such as protecting the environment, preventing climate change, minimizing single-use plastics, and being mindful of economic development in communities where tourism is popular. 

In other words, acknowledging both positive and negative aspects of tourism, and minimizing the negative. Eco-conscious travelers are looking for less-popular destinations, fewer environmental impacts in their travels—taking a train instead of a plane, staying somewhere that’s energy efficient, etc.—and supporting local communities.

Not factoring in sustainability to hotel practices can polarize this growing group of travelers, and look pretty bad on a global scale, as more and more efforts to curb climate change are spreading across just about every industry. In fact, studies show that one in three travelers prefer sustainable brands.

How to accommodate 

So, how can hotels ensure properties are operating sustainably, and that guests know about it? 

There are lots of ways hotels can implement environmentally-friendly practices at each location, and across a portfolio. Efforts usually revolve around managing waste, saving energy, and reducing water usage.

Starting simply, guests can reduce water usage by implementing rewards for reusing towels and water bottles. Providing refillable water stations in the lobby and installing towel hooks can encourage guests to be mindful of their water consumption and save the hotel thousands of gallons. 

On a guest services level, processes can be made more efficient by providing digital check-in and check-out, as well as hotel text messaging systems to communicate—eliminating the need for key cards, excessive paper usage, and cars idling (and polluting) outside. 

Taking it at a room-by-room basis, there are tons of ways to decrease emissions and water, as well as broadly furnishing accommodations sustainably. From signs encouraging guests to take shorter showers, to installing smart thermostats that automatically adjust temperature, to reusable dishware in the room, there are a million ways to be creative and be more eco-conscious.

Hotel messaging can help

Communicating with guests to let them know about environmental efforts and offerings is key to repeat bookings and higher guest satisfaction. After all, if no one is aware that a hotel is sustainable, efforts are wasted.

Hotel texting services allow staff to let guests know all about their efforts and customize each guest’s stay to their sustainability practice preferences. For example, guests can request housekeeping only when it is needed via hotel guest messaging, instead of wasting daily services.

Or, guests can request extra items such as towels or toothpaste at their leisure, instead of unused products getting thrown away after their stay. Communicating about check-in and check-out schedules via hospitality texting can also make the process more efficient and ensure staff time isn’t being wasted. 

Staying sustainable isn’t just important for guests that care about being environmentally friendly—it’s just plain better for the Earth. Learn more about how hotel messaging can help hotels accommodate eco-conscious travelers or schedule a conversation with our team today.

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