The requisite amenities of luxury hotels has long been focused on the room—free WiFi, linens with high thread counts, widescreen HD TV and premium liquors in the minibar. Now, however, hotels have engaged more than ever in sustainable practices, not only to save themselves the effects and cost of climate change, but because their clientele are demanding it. How this has developed into a marketing necessity was the subject of my interview with Daniel Luddington, VP Development, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which has introduced its new “Considerate Collection” line.
In the past, what aspects of the industry paid no attention to sustainability and in what ways?
I think our industry is still guilty of promoting frequent flier travel, which flies in the face of sustainable tourism. We should be focusing on making travel count, flying less but staying longer, slowing down, and investing more time in destinations that we know are not suffering from over-tourism and spending more in destinations where our money can go further and will make more of a difference. And this is where local independent hotels are crucial, because there is far more of a chance of the money staying in the destination rather than leaking out of the country to a foreign corporate owner.
Has the public been clamoring for this?
Prior to launching the collection, we surveyed over 1,500 members of our loyalty program, and nearly two thirds believe sustainability is more important now than pre-Covid (an increase from 16%), with 58% intending to make more sustainably-minded choices when they travel; yet 57% pointed out how hard it can be