Environmental

Green Hotels: 2011 Trend Forecast - By Susan Patel

Among the top 10 trends for opportunity this year are travel, tourism and green.

EcoGreen Energy Solutions According to the folks at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the economy’s been recovering since June 2009. I know, this might be hard to believe considering we are in 2011 now and still waiting for the clouds to clear. However, knowing this can mean the difference between expanding bottom-line benefits versus standing in the stagnant zone another year. Not to mention good news is on its way with this year’s top 10 trends.

So, why does it feel like we are stuck? A recent survey by Discover Small Business Watch says the reason for the stagnation so far has been, well, you. Tons of people, 71 percent, are waiting for economic indicators to rise before they start to hire and spend.

Whether you believe hotels benefit by increasing their innovation efforts in recessionary times or not, waiting around is still ill-advised. While hotels are tightening their belts, using the recession as a chance to leapfrog competition isn’t a bad idea. Hotels just need to be thoughtful about how they approach innovation.

The Good News Is

Some of you are already on it! Resource contraints have stimulated great sustainable business practices throughout the hospitality industry nationwide. A North Carolina-based research firm, says small-business profit margins are at a five-year high because of savvy cost-cutting strategies. From our experience, energy efficiency is a good place to start since energy use accounts for over 60 percent of expenses on average at most hotels. Implementing a hotel energy management strategy will do both the bottom-line and planet good.

Another upside for green hotels is the plethora of industry reports indicating travel and tourism are back. Revenue is expected to reach nearly $1.4 trillion according to senior analyst at IBIS World research firm. Hotel revenues are forecasted to go up by 4.4 percent to $114.8 billion. This means the opportunity in the hospitality sector is BIG.

Gone are the days of one-way, online bookings. This trend is all about optimizing your presence on the internet. Almost half of all Americans are now members of atleat one social network and research indicates social media users spend one and a half times more time online than the typical web surfer on average. This means internet-based green hotel marketing should definitely be on the list.

And of course, everything we stand for, is sustainable profitability. If your hotel is not thinking of ways to go green, then you are behind the curve. Trust us, it’s not just a fad. It’s inextricably linked to how hotels will do business going forward. Even corporations and the government are on it. We think its becomng the status quo. It will be those other differentiators, like costs, quality and experience that will still matter.

Just in case you were wondering about the remaining six trends for 2011, here they are:

  • 76 million-strong baby boomers
  • Home owners open wallets to home repairs and renovations
  • Healthcare and social assistance have been propelled by recent legislative reform
  • Men’s lifestyle market is stronger than ever
  • Moderately priced luxury is being valued by value-conscious consumers
  • Fitness clubs and health stores are on the rise as 10 million joined in 2009 alone
About Author
Susan Patel, VP of Technologies & Communications received her B.S. in Economics from Rutgers College at New Brunswick and has over six years of financial and investment analyst experience. Driven by her passion for sustainability and economic development since childhood and through philanthropic adventures internationally, Susan now leads business development and operations at EcoGreenHotel and is the Site Director and Managing Editor of EcoGreenHotel online publications.



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