World Panel
Viewpoint29 October 2019

Who makes hospitality sustainability happen: Governments, Industry, Consumers?

Sustainability in Hospitality

— 17 experts shared their view

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This viewpoint was created by
Willy Legrand , Professor of Hospitality Management at the IUBH International University
Aurora Dawn Benton
Founder & CEO, Astrapto

First off, we have to stop doing research that pits sustainability against price, location, safety, and cleanliness. Just because it's lower on the list does not mean it is not wanted or preferred. Second, we cannot pit sustainability against features that are far easier to filter and judge on the majority of platforms out there (not counting 'self-assessment' based "green" box on some platforms or the complete dedication to "green" of other platforms). The focus on these features or criteria is what gives hotel owners the justification they are looking for that 'consumers don't care.'

Third, if we focus on end consumers as the lever, we miss the opportunity to move the market towards sustainability through business travel and events (where changing a few minds can have a massive impact). I've trained hundreds of professionals in this space and here's the reality: buyers want it and always say "we don't ask for it because we don't know what to ask for" and suppliers say "we have sustainability but only bring it up when they ask" (both of these observations are anecdotal from my experience but EIC has research that shows the "no one is bringing it up" phenomenon). Should we not focus on the few key players (e.g. Concur, Cvent, etc.) and decision-makers (e.g. large consulting firms' hotel RFPs) that mediate this space and see what they can do to drive change in the B2B space? 

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