Guests Noticing Hotel Sustainability Efforts

The J.D. Power  2009 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study has just been released and a couple of notable highlights include:

Guest awareness of property-initiated “green” programs has increased significantly in 2009, with 66% of guests stating that they were aware of their hotel’s conservation efforts, compared with 57% in 2008. Among these guests, 72% say they participated in their hotel’s conservation programs.

Awareness of “green” programs has a strong impact on overall hotel guest satisfaction. On average, satisfaction is more than 160 points higher among guests who report being aware of their hotel’s green programs, compared with guests who are unaware of them.

How should a hotelier interpret this information? I would suggest the following:

1. Out of the 66,000 guests surveyed, 66% said they were aware of the hotel’s program. So it seems to me that hotels are doing a good job, if not a very good job, of communicating that they have an environmental/conservation program. If you don’t have a program or you are not doing an effective job of communicating the program then “here’s your sign” – Bill Engvall.

2. Out of those 43,560 guests that said they were aware of the program 31,363. guests (72%) participated. My best guess is they participated in one or all of the following ways:

a. They turned off or turned down/up the lights, television and/or HVAC.

b. They took a shorter shower or turned off the water while shaving or brushing their teeth.

c. They either recycled something or tried to recycle something they consumed while in the guestroom (surveys say 60% of Americans recycle at home).

d. They participated in a linen and/or towel reuse program

e. They used greener facial and bathroom tissue

If you can think of other ways that guests may actively participate in a hotel environmental/conservation program please let us know. We are always interested.

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