A lot of people all over the world have become incredibly receptive to the concept of protecting the environment. Thus, virtually all businesses need to up their game and assure their customers that they’re following eco-friendly practices. By their nature, the tourism and hospitality industry are among the forefronts of positive environmentalism.
As the owner or manager of a hotel, resort, rental house, or any hospitality establishment, you should know that a lot of people now look for a green, sustainable establishment that makes them feel comfortable, safe, healthy, and secure.
In fact, a 2019 research from Booking.com shows that 56% of Gen Z and 70% of global travelers prefer to stay in a hospitality establishment known to be eco-friendly. This is actually a golden opportunity for you as a hotelier.
Assuming you have an establishment deemed to be eco-friendly or you have updated your old hospitality establishment to greener and more modern standards, how do you advertise it? Here are some ways you can effectively brand and market your hospitality business as eco-friendly
Certify your business as eco-friendly
You can advertise your hotel as eco-friendly, but many people want evidence. How will they know that’s true and not made up? How will they know that your establishment passed actual evaluations that determine its eco-friendliness?
One way is to do that is to have your hotel accredited by green certifications from the local government or internationally renowned organizations. These certifications are proof that your waste management, recycling, water usage, power usage, and other factors in your daily operation are up to a certain high standard. Most importantly, these certifications prove that your establishment’s operation is not a detriment to the well-being of the environment.
Examples of such certifications include LEED, Green Globe, Earth Check, and many more. Check out similar local organizations in your area, or ask your local government if they have green certifications.
Display relevant statistics
The latest recycling statistics highlight the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle the things we buy and use. If your hotel has an effective recycling policy, share those numbers in your marketing collaterals such as your website, flyers, or sales kits. These are effective media that shows customers how you care about the environment.
A good idea is to incorporate eye-catching graphics with trivia-like phrases such as “Did you know that our hotel recycles 50% of our solid waste material,” “We use recycled furniture,” or “The bottles you use are sent to our local recycling facility.” Perhaps you can place a sign that says, “The bricks on this pathway are made of recycled glass.”
Advertise your practices
Okay, potential guests now know, without a doubt, that you’re an eco-friendly hospitality business. But they may want to know how exactly does your establishment work to be eco-friendly?
Let potential guests know the actual practices that make you an eco-friendly establishment. For example, you can reveal, as an interesting hotel fact, that when picking the right mattress for the rooms, the hotel made sure they’re made of eco-friendly, sustainably sourced materials so that guests can have peace of mind as they sleep. Perhaps you can inform guests that the plants in your hotel are indigenous, so they wouldn’t require too much water. Let your guests know that your hotel uses solar panels to generate part of your establishment’s electricity requirements.
Come to think about it, why not give your guests a tour of the hotel, emphasizing on the eco-friendly features, processes, equipment, and facilities? A lot of people love behind-the-scenes tours and will surely appreciate you for offering them one. As an innovative master in visual design and communication explains, each sign is followed by a reaction, meaning that your customers will choose your hospitality business more eagerly if you show them something appealing.
Adopt a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program
One of the most effective ways of branding your hotel is to let people know that you are a beneficial part of the local community. You can do this by adopting a corporate social responsibility program (CSR), a business practice that aims to contribute to societal needs. A restaurant contributing food to the homeless, a dentist organization providing regular free dental checkups, a coffee brewery supporting coffee farmers on the other side of the world. These are examples of CSR programs.
You can formulate or organize your own CSR for your establishment. For example, for your seaside resort, perhaps you may organize a bi-annual reef cleanup with local scuba divers. How about some regular tree-planting activities if you’re running a mountain resort? If you’re operating a hospitality establishment in a city or town, you can join city street or park cleanups.
If adopting a CSR is too difficult for you, you can join organizations that are already doing it. Check your locality for governmental and non-governmental institutions that are focusing on nature preservation. Schools, universities, and churches are also excellent institutions that you can partner with when it comes to establishing your own CSRs.
Emphasize your eco-friendly branding in online travel agencies
You might have an account in online travel agencies such as Expedia, Hotels.com, or Travelocity. If you do, you can apply for a green accreditation. TripAdvisor, for example, has their GreenLeaders program. The program showcases, promotes, and rates eco-friendly hotels based on their environmental practices. If you have a high rating, a lot of eco-conscious travelers will be inquiring or booking your establishment during their trips.
You can post high-quality photos of natural things around your hotel such as your garden or the beachfront. For your text, you can say that you practice recycling, waste segregation and reduction, and energy conservation by enumerating some of your eco-friendly practices and equipment. These types of content amplify your image as a responsible, environment-conscious business.
The Green Revolution is here to stay. Your eco-friendly hospitality establishment is not just at the forefront of the movement, but it also gives you an opportunity to rebrand your business for the better. Following the tips above will surely put your hotel on the minds of your market. It will tell them that you’re not just after business growth – you’re also a developer for the betterment of the world.