It’s almost that time of the year again! Holiday season is just around the corner and we have to start making our plans to have the perfect vacation. After all that’s happened in the past year we all deserve to disconnect from our daily routines and connect with ourselves to start a year full of good energy. If you plan on having a vacation this holiday season, why not make it a “sustainable vacation”?
Most of the people are not even aware that sustainable hotels exist and all the impact tourism has on our environment. The negative environmental impacts of tourism are substantial. This affects fields such as the depletion of local natural resources, pollution and waste problems, stress on local land and communities, increased pollution, natural habitat loss, increase in climate change and so much more. These effects are little by little harming and destroying our environment.
Morgan’s Rock - Nicaragua
Since we all love to travel we want to introduce to you the concept of sustainable hotels and the importance of traveling to them. Remember that you don’t have to give up comfort and luxury while traveling in a sustainable way! We will provide you a complete guide so you start implementing this when you travel and generate a positive impact while doing it.
What is a sustainable hotel?
Let’s start by defining what a sustainable hotel is. Sustainable hotels are businesses that significantly reduce their environmental impact through green best-practices in maintenance, services, logistics, products, and supplies. The core elements revolve around reducing waste, water consumption, saving energy, supporting local communities, consuming local produce and taking care of the environment.
Christopher Hotel - St. Barth
Now let’s talk about the real deal! Why is it so important to travel to sustainable hotels?
According to a new poll from Virtuoso, a global network of agencies that specialize in travel, 50% of the travelers surveyed said it’s important to choose a hotel and a travel company with a strong sustainability policy. 70% said that traveling sustainably enhances their travel experience. It’s a fact, sustainability is a growing trend and we have to recognize the importance and impact this way of traveling has.
According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sustainability in the hospitality industry must be our top priority right now. We are facing a severe climate crisis like never before and at the same time we are recovering from a disruptive pandemic, which makes it a moment of crucial opportunities. We must look forward and create a future where we focus on building low-carbon and nature-positive things that will help us in our economic recovery.
Hermitage Bay - Antigua & Barbuda
We need to step up and change the way of traveling by becoming active sustainable leaders, for the following reasons:
Our natural environment is the beautiful destination we offer guests. Climate change and biodiversity loss are two major issues that have impacted the hospitality industry. Snow is melting, the coasts are flooding and wildlife is becoming extinct. This is only the beginning of the disastrous consequences there could be if we don’t make an immediate change. According to Torrens University Australia protecting biodiversity is also in the interests of every hotelier, animals and the ecosystems in which they live are one of the main reasons for traveling. The hospitality industry depends on a healthy global ecosystem and is uniquely vulnerable to environmental damage.
Las Nubes de Holbox - Mexico
Travelers are thinking more “green”
The pandemic has made people more conscious and aware about the environment. The trend of becoming more sustainable is on the rise and people are starting to change their daily habits. Millennials are particularly conscious consumers, hotels should keep in mind that millennials are also now the biggest market of all consumer age groups.
Sustainable practices in hotels have positive impacts in customer experience and they generate loyalty in customers which makes them more likely to return to their hotel. Going green helps give a positive image about companies and a higher customer satisfaction, but be careful under any circumstance fall into the concept of greenwashing.
Tierra Atacama - Chile
Impact on the Environment
By traveling to a sustainable hotel you will be able to see real and measurable change. This approach can encompass concepts like being zero-waste, following natural design principles and prioritizing restoration. Sustainable hotels follow best practices in order to leave a place better than it was before arriving; this is called regenerative tourism.
For a journey to be truly regenerative, it must contribute to the wellbeing of the land, animals and humans of that place. The regenerative travel experience isn’t just about lowering your carbon footprint or buying local, it is about actively improving the social or environmental conditions of the place you’re visiting.
Vomo Island - Fiji
Last but not least, community is one of the most important factors sustainable hotels take into consideration. Sustainable hotels are deeply involved with local communities, most of their employees are locals or from nearby towns/cities/villages. They support them by providing access to employment, community engagement programs, education initiatives, financial support and health services. The goal is to make local communities prosper, grow and improve by working together with them.
By traveling to a sustainable hotel you will be able to experience the real local traditions and be filled with knowledge of local culture and communities.
Hermitage Bay - Antigua & Barbuda
The main question we must ask ourselves is “how can travel be better and more meaningful while doing less harm?”. Let’s spread the word and promote sustainable hotels so we can create a real change in our planet!