Canadian Survey IdentifiesTrends with Respect to the Environment Which Hoteliers Should Note
Green Certified Hotels and Hotels Promoting Eco-friendly Practices Are of Increasing Importance to Guests
For the past six years, the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) has conducted a comprehensive survey of Canadian travel trends and intentions for the upcoming year. Unveiled during HAC’s Annual Conference and Trade Show in February, the results of this year’s survey revealed several important insights of great value with respect to a hotel’s sustainable initiatives.
Relating specifically to the question of the “Importance of Environmental Initiatives” at the hotels they frequented, 42% of business travellers and 44% of leisure travellers placed this as a priority, which increased year-over-year by 6% and 7% respectively, despite of the recent economic uncertainty. Leading the way were travellers from Quebec, with 54% of business travellers and 51% of leisure travellers indicating environmental issues being important to them.
“The environment is at the top of the list of issues that are important to Canadians today,” said Tony Pollard, President of the Hotel Association of Canada. “Our survey goes on to show that travellers are willing to pay a premium to support the environment when staying in our lodging facilities; it’s great to see that Canadians will support more of these efforts.”
Another question very important to note was the “Importance of Environmental “Amenities”. This question asked both business and leisure travellers if certain amenities were important to them when selecting (booking) an accommodation. On the business side, 34% of travellers considered hotels with an environmental rating certification as being important when booking. Twenty-one per cent considered hotels offering the ability for them to purchase carbon offsets to “offset” their hotel stay important. An additional 34% considered hotels offering “green products” important.
The leisure results were similar, with 22% placing importance on an environmental rating, 30% on availability of green products, and 15% considering a carbon offset program important. Most strikingly were the numbers from Quebec and Atlantic Canada, where just short of 50% of those surveyed considered a hotel participating in an environmental rating program as important to their booking selection process.
On the business side, another question was formulated around whether those surveyed were aware if their company/organization had in place a ‘green’ accommodation policy as part of their travel directives, which should be used whenever possible. This was a very important trend, as the percentage of respondents who indicated ‘yes’ doubled year over year, from 5% to 11%. As more companies move towards ‘green’ accommodation programs, this is an important trend for hoteliers to be aware of.
Finally, the survey examined the concept of a “carbon offset” offered by hotels and a guest’s willingness to participate/contribute to such a program. The results found that 52% of business travellers and 41% of leisure travellers were willing to participate in a “carbon offset” program, which would involve the voluntary contribution of between $1 and $5 per guest per night. Interestingly, a full 11% of business and 7% of leisure respondents indicated they would pay $5 per night towards “offsetting” their stay.
Overall, the results of the annual Travel Intentions Survey indicated that the importance of environmental initiatives among both business and leisure travellers in Canada continues to rise, even in times of economic uncertainty.
The sixth Annual Hotel Association of Canada 2010 Travel Intentions Survey polled 1,004 leisure travellers and 520 business travellers in December 2009 and January 2010. The overall margin of error was +/- 2.5%, at a 95% confidence interval.
Hotel Association of Canada | The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is a professional industry association representing the lodging industry in Canada. Its membership encompasses the provincial and territorial hotel associations, the corporate hotel chains, independent hotels, motels and resorts and the many suppliers to the hotel industry. HAC’s objective is to assist both its national and international members as they endeavour to enhance their competitiveness and achieve their bottom line. The HAC accomplishes this through the collection and dissemination of information, research, advocacy, education, and operational support services designed to assist its members. The Hotel Association of Canada represents more than 8,400 hotels, motels and resorts across Canada .
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