Study on hotel guests sustainability preferences

A study of 571 business and leisure travellers in the US has found that “green” certification is top of the list of preferences for guests choosing a sustainable hotel

The study appeared in the August 2011 issue of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ), published on behalf of the Center for Hospitality Research at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

Using a market research technique known as co-joint analysis, the study researched travellers’ preferences on the following seven sustainable practices: recycling policy, shampoo amenities, lighting control, energy-efficient lightbulbs, towel policy, linen policy and green certification by an outside agency.

The study found few preference differences between business and leisure travellers, with green certification being the most influential single factor when choosing a hotel room—a result not found in other studies. Respondents also favoured rooms with a refillable shampoo dispenser (also an uncommon finding), energy-efficient light bulbs, and towel- and linen-reuse policies. Guests also appreciated key cards that control all energy use in a room.

The study included only respondents who indicated a willingness to stay in green rooms, so its findings cannot be generalised, with only a few agreeing that they would pay more to stay in a “green” room.

The article, “Hotel Guests’ Preferences for Green Guest Room Attributes”, by Michelle Millar and Seyhmus Baloglu, is available at:
www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/quarterly/featured

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