Sustainable Hotels on Track to Become the Norm
(3Bl Media/Justmeans) – Sustainability in the hotel industry is no longer an optional incentive. As travelers continue to become more aware and take the potential environmental impact into account before choosing a hotel, it is clear that sustainable hotels are fast becoming the norm.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide recently announced plans to double its “Element” brand portfolio in North America by the end of 2018, with 22 new openings scheduled for the U.S. and Canada in the coming years. The brand is experiencing dramatic growth due to the increased demand for sustainable hotels.
Brian McGuinness, Global Brand Leader for Specialty Select Brands at Starwood, pointed to a key shift in attitude among hotel guests. He said that guests want to stay at an Element hotel for its range of energy-saving options, sustainable programming and eco-conscious room offerings. There really is no limit to where Element is planning to expand, which makes it perfect for all markets, according to McGuinness.
Penn State School of Hospitality Management director Donna Quadri-Felitti credits the millennial generation for propelling the sustainability trend. For many younger travelers, it is not just about celebrating something symbolically on the Earth Day, but it is about living that value system.
Element hotels provide numerous opportunities for guests to live by that value system. Each hotel offers the Bikes to Borrow program with biking maps unique to their city and terrain, whether urban or suburban. Every hotel also has a Restore pantry, with local flavors and treats shaping some of the selection.
As the sustainability movement becomes customary, guests are also likely to notice a growing number of dual-branded properties. According to McGuinness, dual-branded hotels are seeing a boom because developers know they need to build brands that speak to different travel personas. For example, a business traveler may want to stay at Element Boston during the week for work, but then stay for a long weekend and move over to the Aloft Boston right next door for cocktails, live music and a scene.
Source: Travel Pulse
Image Credit: Flickr via drbertdelgado