Ecological and green initiatives have been around for awhile now in the hospitality industry with select hotel chains, car rental companies and airlines introducing programs to attract attention. Existing hotels, which haven’t already made the conversion to eco-mindful, will find the competitive landscape even more challenging in the year(s) to come. There is some worry that the recession may hold back some eco-initiatives, because in many cases, green travel choices are usually more expensive. For example: high speed rail, which is low in emissions but often more expensive than a low-cost flight.
However, by many accounts, the future has never looked greener. Mainly because creating a more a sustainable economy is not an option, but a necessity – perhaps a reflection of this year’s political message from the Obama administration of everyone needing to take on personal responsibility? It’s also due to younger generations, which are growing up in a culture of environmental awareness. It’s also taking root with boomers, who are increasingly showing brand loyalty to eco-friendly companies and products. “We anticipate that as time goes on, more and more boomer shoppers will simply expect brands to be eco-friendly. Rather than this being a point of brand differentiation, it will be a price of entry.” Heather Stern, director of marketing, Focalyst.
So build your green market share now if you haven’t made serious inroads already. In fact, “green hotels” is one of the most popularly searched terms in the industry, showing that geo tourists abound, and we all want and need their traveling dollars.