Business Accountants: Enhancing Hotel Profitability through Sustainable Practices


In the modern landscape, sustainability has become more than a mere buzzword; it has become a pivotal factor for hotels. But what does sustainability truly entail for hotels in tangible terms? Why has sustainable travel gained paramount importance among consumers today? And how can hotels align with sustainability standards and effectively convey their commitment to stakeholders and patrons?


This article delves into the profound implications of sustainability for hotels, exploring its operational and economic impacts. It sheds light on the actions undertaken by hotels and travel businesses to address these demands, and how technology can play a pivotal role in this journey.


Decoding Sustainability for Hotels Beyond Buzzwords


Sustainability entails initiatives that safeguard resources through actions, programs, and endeavors. It encompasses four pivotal pillars: Environmental, Economic, Social, and Human. For hotels and the broader hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors, sustainable development hinges on the triad of people, planet, and profit – underlining enduring considerations for all stakeholders:


– Planet: Hotels must adopt eco-friendly practices across maintenance, services, logistics, products, and supplies. This entails waste reduction, energy conservation, and prudent water usage.


– Profit: The hotel’s growth and profitability signify its economic viability, contributing to the local economy, generating jobs, and fostering community well-being.


– People: Hotels must foster social engagement with employees, customers, suppliers, and local communities. Social sustainability encompasses diversity, inclusion, health and safety, and community impact.


While discussions around sustainability have escalated in recent years, many hotels are still grappling with practical implementation. It’s no longer sufficient to simply echo the rhetoric; hotels must now demonstrate commitment by infusing sustainability into their business frameworks.


The Urgent Relevance of Sustainability for Hotels Today


Studies underline the rising preference for sustainable travel. Booking.com’s annual sustainability survey revealed a 10% uptick, with 71% of respondents planning to travel in an environmentally conscious manner. This shift is mirrored in governmental measures. European businesses, including hotels, are gearing up to report sustainability initiatives by 2024, even though the mandate might not yet encompass all hotels. However, the market is leading regulations, with corporations and publicly listed entities being urged to strategize, monitor, and report their sustainability endeavors.


This market pressure extends to supply chains, encompassing hotels. Great Hotels of the World data indicates that mandatory sustainability criteria are now embedded in all RFPs for member hotels. Compliance with these criteria trumps pricing and availability considerations. The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals offer a comprehensive framework, with goals like Clean and Affordable Energy, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Partnerships for the Goals being directly relevant to hotels.


In essence, sustainability has evolved from a desirable aspect to a business imperative, directly impacting profitability.


Promoting Sustainability in Hotels and Travel/Tourism


Amid the global travel hiatus in 2020, sustainability gained even greater significance. Businesses recognized its relevance for staff, local economies, and communities. Staffing challenges and escalating costs further underscored sustainability’s role in profitability. Hotels and entities across the travel and tourism spectrum are adopting measures to facilitate eco-friendly travel and consumption.


Great Hotels of the World’s Sustainable Future Awards is an exemplary initiative, spotlighting member hotels’ sustainability efforts. The Eco Hub Cascais by the Onyria Group is a prime example, winning the Sustainable Events accolade. This collaborative venture within a natural park showcases eco-friendly conference facilities and shares services such as electric vehicle transportation.

Airlines like Delta, Qantas, and British Airways offer carbon offsetting programs for passengers, enabling them to counterbalance flight emissions.


Forging a Sustainable Path Forward for Hotels


Amid current staffing challenges, technology emerges as a catalyst for economic sustainability. Automation software streamlines administrative tasks, boosting workforce efficiency and reducing operational costs. Hotels are also adopting “smart” room technologies for a reduced carbon footprint. Smart thermostats, for instance, enhance guest comfort while conserving energy.


Innovative approaches like water dispensers instead of bottled water and local hiring practices further environmental and social sustainability.


Embracing sustainability not only lowers costs but differentiates hotels, attracting eco-conscious guests. As hotels embed sustainability into pricing strategies, they establish a distinct brand identity, fostering direct client relationships and more lucrative business.


Sustainability’s journey is enriching, involving strategic goal-setting, thorough measurement, and effective communication. The path is collaborative and gradual, yet the time to embark on this transformative journey is now. Hotels that embark on this journey stand to reap rewards on various fronts, from financial stability to brand enhancement and guest engagement.

 

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