Thursday, May 9, 2024
Hotels and tourists team up for eco-friendly travel.

Hotels and tourists team up for eco-friendly travel.

Accelerating the Decarbonization of the Hospitality Industry for Sustainable Travel

The global push for achieving net zero emissions by 2050 presents a unique opportunity for the hospitality industry to lead the decarbonization efforts in the travel and tourism sector. As tourists become increasingly aware of climate issues, investments in sustainable hotels often prove to be profitable. However, there is still a need to boost the pace of progress in this area. To achieve global net-zero goals and create a more sustainable travel industry, it is crucial for travelers, hotels, and platforms to collaborate in the following ways:

1. Recognize the Realities for Travelers

A recent study by reveals that travelers are torn between their desire to travel sustainably and their need to be mindful of their spending. While 76% of respondents express their intention to travel more sustainably in the coming year, an equal proportion believes that rising costs of living and the global energy crisis impact their travel plans.

To address these concerns, the industry must make sustainable travel options more affordable. Almost half of the respondents (49%) believe that sustainable options are too expensive and would appreciate discounts or incentives to choose climate-friendly alternatives. More than 40% of travelers would be influenced to travel sustainably if they could earn rewards or loyalty points.

Furthermore, there is a need for greater visibility and access to sustainable options. Many travelers (44%) simply do not know where to find these options. As such, companies in the tourism industry should make sustainable alternatives more readily available and increase the variety of choices.

2. Empower Hospitality Entrepreneurs to Pursue Sustainable Practices

In order to achieve net zero emissions, sustainability efforts need to extend to the accommodation sector, which contributes about 10% of the total annual emissions within the travel and tourism industry. The advantage for the accommodation industry lies in the adoption of existing technologies rather than waiting for technological breakthroughs.

The World Travel and Tourism Council has already taken steps to guide hotels in implementing sustainable practices. However, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face challenges in pursuing decarbonization due to limited resources and expertise. It is necessary to provide financial support and guidance to SMEs to help them achieve net zero emissions. Methodologies such as the marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) can be effective in streamlining the decarbonization plans of hotels.

3. Match Supply with Demand to Accelerate Action

It is crucial for travelers seeking sustainable options and hospitality entrepreneurs offering them to easily find each other. Online travel platforms play a significant role in connecting these two groups. These platforms can introduce internationally recognizable badges to identify properties that have adopted independently verified sustainability practices, thereby making it easier for travelers to choose sustainable options.

Regulations and standards also have a role to play in promoting sustainability. The EU Commission’s draft directives on empowering consumers for the green transition and on green claims seek to establish trust in environmental labels and discourage greenwashing. By implementing smart regulations, investments in sustainability can be encouraged, leading to greater scale and impact.

Collaboration among travelers, providers, platforms, and regulators is crucial to achieve sustainable travel goals. While the tools and technologies necessary for achieving net zero emissions are available, concerted effort and cooperation are needed to realize these aspirations. By working together, the hospitality industry can lead the way toward a decarbonized travel and tourism sector.


About Orson Park

Pack your bags and get ready to explore the world with Orson Park, our travel blogger extraordinaire. With a passion for discovering new places, cultures, and experiences, Orson covers everything from the sandy beaches of the Caribbean to the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, He offers an insider's perspective on some of the world's most fascinating and beautiful destinations. Follow him and embark on a journey of discovery that will take you to some of the most breathtaking places on earth!

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