The (Green) Recovery Imperative: Hospitality Re-Set Or Bouncing Forward?
— 15 experts shared their view
COVID-19 has exposed many of the weaknesses in our industry in terms of risk and hazard management, contingency, and resiliency plans but also in the way we blindly deal with our environment. Crises, as damaging as they may be, trigger opportunities in product, service, and systems innovations. Investing now in climate resilience is an enormous economic opportunity as governments and the industry are looking into economic recovery. From clean energy to carbon-neutral buildings and from farm to fork strategy, the hospitality industry has the unique opportunity to be at the core of this transition, helping to shape the transformation and leading to a new, sustainable post-COVID-19 normal. So is the industry ready and willing to bounce forward into a green recovery or rather bounce back to the pre-COVID-19 norm? What components and resources are necessary and how do we go about activating a 'green recovery' in hospitality?
Founder, Agentur Auf!
Readiness and willingness are only two aspects to a “build back better” turnaround to sound eco-friendly and sustainable hospitality industry. Even if both exist, we'll often see a lack of expertise on how to deal with biodiversity and ecosystem services in a manner that makes the difference between greenwashing and responsible business development. Planting a few trees and use recycled paper is just not enough. (Nature) tourism depends heavily on intact ecosystems and their services. Not only because nature makes good scenery for a nice vacation, but because hotels and resorts depend on ecosystem services such as cleaning air and water or providing healthy and diverse food. If we had protected rainforests in Asia instead of seeing them as a free supermarket for natural resources – n-COVID-19 would never have emerged. Biodiversity protection is our greatest challenge – we should all take it seriously.