Green Reading, Events

Green Reading, Events

October 3, 2008

Every so often I find myself completely inundated and bombarded by messages from a wide variety of sources. In this case we will just use numbers to put them into a manageable format.

1) I am heartily recommending Hot, Flat and Crowded, Thomas L. Friedman’s new book (my daughter thinks I am a groupie) and hope America’s presidential and vice presidential candidates are reading it and taking notes. For those of you that are looking forward to the next upturn in economic conditions expect a few million Chinese and Indian middle class guests to visit your hotels.

2) In June I was privileged to hear Ray Anderson’s keynote speech at “Greening the Heartland.” Afterwards, he was kind enough to visit with me and we briefly discussed the increase in the number of green events and the growth of attendance at green events.

He mentioned that only a few dozen people showed up at the first GreenBuild event in 1995. This year attendance will probably top 30,000 in Boston. Before 2005 it was unusual to see any mention of ”green” at any lodging industry conference or convention. At last week’s Lodging Conference in Phoenix two different panel discussions tackled green and both were well attended, and judging by the questions and comments very well received. My guess is that green will be the dominant color of lodging events and lodging Media for the foreseeable future.

3) These two items caught my eye from a recent TripAdvisor press release:

Thirty-four percent of U.S. respondents said they will visit an environmentally friendly hotel or resort in the coming year, up from 30% in 2008. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed said they will be more environmentally conscious in their travel decisions this year than they were the year before. Last year, 26% said they would be more environmentally conscious.

Eighty-three percent of U.S. respondents are concerned about germs, bacteria and viruses when traveling. Airplanes are considered the most “germy” by 34% of respondents, followed by public transportation and hotels. Sixty percent of travelers surveyed said they wash and disinfect their hands more often while traveling than they ordinarily do.

4) I met John Scaggs at The Lodging Conference and have subsequently read his well written co-authored article that you should find interesting, called Green Is The New Gold, by John Scaggs and Gregory Hartmann.

5) I have been traveling to Las Vegas since the late 1970’s pre-Mirage era (yes… I was old enough). On a recent trip every time I turned around I heard a different language. Are international guests replacing the sub-prime mortgage holders?

6) “The True Definition of Green: Everyone wants to go green, but what exactly does it mean and how can we come to terms on how to set industry standards.” This is the title of the Opening Session for BITAC – West to be held at The Broadmoor on October 20. It promises to be a lively discussion. If you would like to contribute questions or suggestions please email me at [email protected] or just comment on the blog.

7) Another highlight on the green calendar of event takes place at the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show, November 8-11 at the Javitz Center in New York City:

Eco-friendly Meets Eco-nomic, 11/10/2008, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Room IE07

Abstract: Orbitz searches for it. RFPs are asking for it. Are you getting your fair market share from it? Going green has moved beyond a market differentiator to a mainstream requirement. While there is not one accepted definition for green, achieving a well-known certification eliminates greenwashing accusations and satisfies guest expectations before they reach your lobby. Learn more about reputable certification opportunities available to satisfy your consumers and your bottom line at this informative and action-oriented panel.

Speaker/Moderator Moderator: Pat Maher, partner, The Maher Group

Panelists: Kathleen Matthews, executive vice president, global communications and public relations, Marriott International; Faith Taylor, vice president, innovation and development, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts; Gus Newbury, vice president, engineering, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; Carmen Baker, vice president of responsible business, Carlson Hotels Worldwide

We look forward to learning about the “reputable” certification opportunities.

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