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Monday,  May 27, 2024 12:18 AM 

WTTC reveals next stage of Hotel Sustainability Basics, green trends

  • Hotels
  •   03-06-2023  7:02 am
  •   Pax Global Media

WTTC reveals next stage of Hotel Sustainability Basics, green trends
(Unsplash/Erick Chevez)
Pax Global Media

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the next stage of its Hotel Sustainability Basics verification scheme.

Announced at ITB Berlin, “Basics” will enable tourist accommodation providers from around the world, regardless of their size, to “begin their sustainability journey.”

An industry-wide initiative involves a coordinated set of criteria that all hotels should implement as a minimum to drive responsible and sustainable travel and tourism.

“Basics emerged as a result of a clear demand from a group of influential global hotel brands and whilst there a great number of sustainability initiatives, Basics focuses on an achievable starting point,” the WTTC says. “It will encourage all hospitality businesses to begin their sustainability journeys and redefine the non-negotiables of sustainability in the industry.”

Stepping stones

Made up of 12 key criteria, the Basics are achievable for all hotels to implement as a bare minimum.

They serve as a stepping-stone to more complex sustainability schemes and even greater sustainability.

In order to ensure the validity of the programme, WTTC partnered with Green Key and SGS to develop a simple online verification system to allow hotels to provide evidence and ensure they are following the Basics.

The verification scheme enables hotels and other tourist accommodation to be officially verified for meeting eight of the 12 criteria in the first year and demonstrate their commitment to working toward all 12 of the criteria by year three. 

“Together, the criteria ensure the sector is eco resilient and adaptive to the changing needs of the planet,” the WTTC says.

Hotel partners

Six major international hotel groups, collectively representing tens of thousands of sites from around the world have now joined Basics as inaugural partners.

The first hotel groups include well-known brands such as Accor, Jin Jiang International, Louvre Hotels Group, Meliá Hotels International, Meininger, and Radisson Hotel Group.

“We are incredibly proud to have launched the verification scheme for Hotel Sustainability Basics. The initiative is a response to the sector’s need for a baseline for hotels and other tourist lodgings to start their sustainability journeys,” stated Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO. “Our research shows that most business owners are aware of their responsibility to the environment but many sustainability practices such as efficient water use initiatives are patchy. Basics fills the gap by creating that level playing field for the sector.”

Green lodgings trends

WTTC carried out an extensive international benchmarking exercise through the Green Lodgings Trends Report, learning from 27,000 accommodation providers on how they are currently fairing against the 12 criteria.

Crucially, this benchmark will allow WTTC to track the progress of Basics over time.

Almost 100 per cent of accommodation providers implement at least one initiative to reduce inequality and 96 per cent have adopted linen reuse programmes.

The report also showed many hoteliers are establishing sustainable practices but there is still a way to go for these to become common across the sector. 

Two-thirds of those surveyed have already begun to eliminate the use of certain single-use plastics such as straws and implementing other waste reduction initiatives.

Almost half of respondents have also replaced small plastic toiletry bottles with bulk dispensers and a third now provide vegetarian options for every course in their food and beverage provision.

Sector partners

The WTTC also collaborated with other sector figures including representatives from Greenview, WTTC’s hotel members, Expedia, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and Group, as well as the certification bodies SGS and Green Key.

“Hotels throughout the world need to march towards sustainability quickly but the first step can be the hardest,” stated Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). “The WTTC Hotel Sustainability Basics provide an excellent way to understand and take the first steps. With twelve clear actions that map to the eight of the GTSC Industry Criteria, the Basics are indeed an essential part of the journey.”

Destination partners

A number of global tourism destinations have already recognized the strength of Hotel Sustainability Basics and demonstrated their commitment to ensure their hotels implement the Basics.

Azerbaijan was the first Destination Partner to support the Basics, followed by other supporters such as Belize, Colombia, and Mauritius.

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