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Global Hospitality Industry Taking Green Steps

Government agencies, developers, and operators in the hospitality industry have numerous opportunities to jump on the green bandwagon, found Ernst & Young in Global Hospitality Insights (pdf).

Highlights from the report:

In Asia, resort brands and boutique hotels are developing green concepts, such as Shanghai-based URBN, which calculates the total amount of energy the hotel consumes and purchases credits to offset its footprint via an agreement with Emissions Zero. Hotel guests can also buy carbon credits from the program to offset their own flights.

The Caribbean lodging sector has more Green Globe certified hotels – primarily all-inclusive resorts – than anywhere else in the world. Though small scale, luxury ecotourism resorts modeled from what some believe to be the first “ecotourist resort” (Maho Bay Camp in St. John) continue to be successful within a niche market.

Boutique hotels in Europe are embracing “green” as a differentiator and enjoy cost savings from guest’s conservation measures like towel reuse. European tour operators and agencies often favor environmentally responsible brands. Regulatory planning restrictions, however, limit green building projects.

In India, where nearly a third of energy and water consumption is from commercial buildings (e.g., hotels) the government is stepping in to boost sustainable initiatives with certification mandates.

Nature-based tourism in Latin America is growing. Explora Hotels and Tours in Chile, for instance, provides an educational and unique experience and interaction between guests and nature. Still, in most countries the green movement is still largely undeveloped.

Luxury resorts in the Middle East, such as the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, are pioneering the movement, but the region’s first environmental-friendly budget hotel is expected to open in Dubai by 2009.

The emergence of mandatory greenhouse gas and energy reporting across Australia and New Zealand and the development of emissions trading schemes is pushing the development of greener hospitality industry in Oceania.

In the US, lodging companies are building green and operating green, focusing on legislation and certification (e.g, LEED), and introducing green brands. Last year several US hotels began green initiatives.

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