Pat Hyland - Oct 28, 2008

It is a new obsession in the hotel market: claiming to be friendly to the environment. Whereas the hotel advertisement materials used to be focused on their facilities only, nowadays we can encounter information about hotels saving energy, using solar power, and using recycled goods. It clearly impresses potential guests and environment-based organisations. However, are we to always believe that these hotels are telling the pure truth? The recently launched site Whole Travel has set out to discover whether caring for the environment is a reality or just a business trick.


Their survey covers a large range of hotels, including the less popular ones. The survey covers four main categories, which the hotels should be keeping. The first of these categories is environmental practices, which deals with aspects such as recycling. Then there is the social and cultural impact, which deals with the notion that some hotels pay their staff money, which even some slaves would refuse yet still claim to be green. Green does not only refer to recycling, yet also to social issues. The other categories are economic management and customer interactions. The site also contains a system of visual navigation for people to be able to view around 20 000 pictures relating to the hotels.


The survey is carried out in cooperation with Sustainable Travel International, an organisation with similar goals. It seems that the claim by many hotels to be particularly green has annoyed certain people and made them spring into action. As a result of such studies, hotels are likely to have to prove that they are really green rather than nonchalantly putting such information in front of clients. The pressure will certainly be greater as, perhaps, it should be.


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