July 2007 Archives

Market better

Although nearly three-fourths of hotel guests in North America willingly participate in environmentally friendly programs offered during their hotel stays, many guests remain unaware of whether these programs are offered at the hotel property, according to J.D. Power and Associates 2007 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study.

When guests were asked if the hotel had conservation programs in place, 63 percent of guests answered yes, while eight percent said no, and 29 percent indicated that they didn’t know. When they are aware of a hotel’s environmentally friendly programs, 73 percent of hotel guests indicate they participate. In turn, raising awareness of environmentally friendly programs among customers may help properties further increase participation.

Of the 27 percent of hotel guests who are aware of hotel environmentally friendly programs and choose not to participate, a large number (86 percent) indicate that they would take part if offered a reward for doing so. However, this number declines to 83 percent among guests in the Pre-Boomer generation (those born prior to 1946), and drops even further - to 33 percent - among Pre-Boomers staying in luxury hotels.

Read the entire article...

The greening effort

Steve Sackman knew it would be a major undertaking to replace more than 5,000 light bulbs at the 212-room hotel.

Yet the upscale Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center expects a major payoff in lower utility bills as a result of the investment. The new compact fluorescent bulbs installed in the guest rooms, hallways, conference rooms and the lobby last 10 times longer and use far less energy than conventional light bulbs. Sackman said it is good news for the environment because each new bulb will save about 450 pounds of power-plant emissions over its lifetime.

"It is the right thing to do from a standpoint of cost savings and being a more profitable organization," said Sackman, the regional director of sales and marketing at Tarrytown House. "But it also is about being a socially and environmentally responsible organization. That is certainly at the front of everyone's mind right now."

Tarrytown House joins growing numbers of hotels nationally in going green during an age of rising public concerns about the environment and global warming.

Seventy-three percent of guests indicate they will participate in green programs if they are aware that the hotel offers them, according to a recent survey by J.D. Power and Associates.

Read more...

EPA's 'Green' Idea

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as we noted in a recent daily e-mail to our subscribers, has announced that it has adopted a new set of criteria when selecting hotels and conference centers.

The agency plans to "give preference to facilities which consume less and manage their resources in environmentally positive ways." Moreover, the agency hopes its new policies will serve as a template for other agencies "in the march toward a greener government."

To determine the environmental sensitivity of a particular facility, the EPA will evaluate the responses to a 14-point checklist, to wit:

*A recycling program

*A linen/towel reuse option that is communicated to guests

*Easy access to public transportation or shuttle services

*A policy to turn off lighting and air conditioning when rooms are not in use

*Bulk dispensers or reusable containers for beverages, food, and condiments

*Reusable serving utensils, napkins and tablecloths when food and beverages are served

*An energy efficiency program

*A water-conservation program

*Paperless check-in and check-out for guests

*Use of recycled or recyclable products

*Employee training on these green activities

*Other "green" environmental initiatives such as receiving environment-related certifications, participating in EPA voluntary partnerships, supporting a green suppliers network, etc.

*Food sources from local growers or a policy to consider the growing practices of farmers who provide the food

*A policy to use bio-based or biodegradable products, including bio-based cafeteria ware

Such policies might be both laudable and economically worthwhile for hoteliers. But we question, however, whether it is appropriate for a government agency to employ such criteria.

The EPA spends more than $50 million annually for travel, and much of that figure pays for hotels and meeting spaces. Large as that figure might seem, it's only a tiny fraction of the federal government's $14 billion annual travel/meetings budget.

Just as the suddenly fashionable use of ethanol as automobile fuel might have the unanticipated effect of raising food prices, while doing nothing to reduce our dependency upon foreign oil, imposing "green" criteria upon federal meeting planners might have a negligible positive effect upon the environment.

But we can be sure of one thing. It will increase the EPA's travel/meetings budget.

Read more...

Green Hotel Initiatives

Following my recent stats post about travelers' bad habits, I thought I'd give recognition to the hotels who are, at least, offering eco-options for their guests–even if they aren't being fully taken advantage of.

To begin, ELEMENT Hotels, a soon-to-open division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, deserve kudos not just for what they're going to offer guests–they deserve a pat on the back for underwriting the survey that has generated so many stories about green hotel options in the past few days.

One such story, from the Chicago Tribune, sums up what a number of prominent hotel chains are doing, and is well worth reading. From the Four Seasons here in Jackson Hole

Read more...

Many, if not most, of you did not guess that so many LAC hotels are already GG21 certified or benchmarked, right? As mentioned in Part I, for the moment the Mexico-Caribbean nexus has more GG21 properties than any other region. That in itself is commendable. It's clear that many parties — notably Jamaica and the Sandals and Viva Wyndham hotel chains — are sold on the benefits of being GG21 certified.

That said, there are many curious gaps.

Let's start in the Caribbean Basin, where GG21 certification is doing well. Why, for example, are there no hotels entering the GG21 process in Cuba, St. Maartens, Trinidad, the Virgin Islands (British or US) or the Central American nations?

It has been suggested to me that in Central America this absence might be explained by competition from competiting eco-certification schemes, Ecotel, the Green Deal, Costa Rica's CST or STI's STEP (all of which I'll cover in future Temas blog entries).

I do not find that argument entirely persuasive. Ecotel, which was launched in the 1990s, has never gone beyond four Central American countries (Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras) and a couple of Mexican resorts in its LAC coverage, and some of the properties certified (such as Belize's Chaa Creek) are now seeking or considering GG21 certification. The Green Deal has, so far, been limited to Guatemala, although indications are that the Rainforest Alliance would like to see it or something like it be promoted elsewhere. STEP is too new — it may be a brake to GG21's hotel certification program in the coming years, but does not explain past GG21 acceptance or lack thereof.

Read more...

State Green Lodging Programs

Almost a year ago, Green Lodging News updated its readers on the progress states have made in creating and supporting green lodging efforts. At that time, it identified seven states with active green lodging programs. Today, at least eight states have one form of program or another. Each program is unique in its own way. These initiatives have become increasingly important over the past year; Florida’s governor, for example, will require his state’s employees to stay at Green Lodging Program hotels beginning January 1, 2008.

Here is a state-by-state summary of green lodging programs:

California—This state’s Green Lodging Program is run by the California Integrated Waste Management Board. Participants are asked to complete a one-page form that asks questions such as: Does your property use individually packaged amenities? Are programmable on/off timers/sensors used for lighting in low traffic/low occupancy areas? Hotels are determined to be Participants or Leaders based on their survey answers. Properties are inspected by a Waste Management Board representative. There are currently approximately 100 participants.

Florida—The Sunshine State’s Green Lodging Program is an effort by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to encourage the lodging industry to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. According to Chris Cate, spokesman for Florida’s DEP, the program currently has 25 certified properties, with another 46 applications in process. Participants must complete an application and commit to establishing baselines for environmental improvement. Once green initiatives are in place, applicants must undergo an on-site audit. Certified hotels must demonstrate ongoing progress from year to year to stay in the program.

Maine—In Maine, the Green Lodging Certification Program is managed by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Participants commit to using environmentally preferable cleaners, reducing waste, and minimizing energy and water consumption. They benefit from free, ongoing technical assistance from the Maine DEP. Applicants must complete a self-certification workbook. Businesses scoring 100 points in the workbook receive certification for two years. Participants must show improvement to continue in the program. Businesses are randomly selected for audits. Maine’s program, according to its website, currently has 52 participants—up from 20 last November.

Read more...

Guests are asking for it, new trade magazines are dedicated to it, and hoteliers in the Back Bay are watching it improve their bottom line. It is green tourism, and it no longer requires a rainforest visit.

“It's all happening very quickly,” said Dan Ruben of Boston Green Tourism (BGT), a conservation advocacy group. “Several years ago not many people thought about having green hotels. Now hotels are putting an extraordinary amount of enthusiasm and energy into this.”

One measure of a green hotel is energy efficiency. A year ago, only three hotels in Massachusetts carried the EPA Energy Star rating, which designates buildings that are in the upper 25 percentile of the most efficient buildings nationwide. Today 16 in the state carry the award, with the Jurys Boston Hotel at Stuart and Berkeley Streets recently passing the bar.

“We're quite proud of it,” said Jurys general manager Stephen Johnston. “We have a plaque just inside the front door.”

For Jurys Doyle Hotels, a chain with dozens of luxury hotels in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the energy-saving initiative was born in the Boston location. The hotel opened three years ago in the old Boston Police Headquarters building. The new boilers and other equipment installed during construction made achieving an Energy Star rating a natural step.

Johnston said the hotel spent only about $60,000 on new compact fluorescent bulbs, a greywater recycling unit to collect condensation from their cooling units, and a cardboard compactor to help recycling efforts.

According to the hotel's chief engineer David Draband, rebates from local utilities like NStar made the changeover less costly. NStar offered $4 per bulb for the lighting changeout.

“Most of these programs have a very short return on investment period: three years or less, sometimes two years,” said Draband. The next step for Jurys might be guest room occupancy sensors that turn down air conditioning and lighting when guests are out.

Governor Deval Patrick announced a proposal on June 25 that would require NStar and National Grid to pay for more energy conservation efforts, and allow the two companies to charge more per unit of power sold to offset their costs. Meanwhile, James Hunt, chief of Environmental and Energy Services, said the Menino administration is working to create a $300 to $500 million energy efficiency fund based on the Cambridge Energy Alliance's fund that would provide low or no interest loans to property owners for conservation measures. The loans would be repaid with the savings on utility bills.

The leader of urban green hotels in the Back Bay and perhaps the world is The Lenox Hotel on Boylston Street. Tedd Saunders, part of the third generation of the Saunders family to own the hotel, convinced his family to invest in green options back in 1989, well before Inconvenient Truth woke up the country to the impending global warming crisis.

Read more...

There is something in the quality of the light filtering through the broad green leaves of the cottonwoods that makes Sunrise Springs Resort Spa special. Nestled in a river valley near Santa Fe, this 58-room eco-resort is a lush oasis in the high desert, balm for the travel-weary.

Owner Megan Hill, who has always had a deep affinity for this land, wanted Sunrise Springs to be as self-sustaining and ecologically intact as possible, part of her commitment to realizing peace through land stewardship.

“I believe the body, heart, mind and spirit are vitally interconnected and that the health of one affects all of the others,” says Hill, who ran a successful Santa Fe art gallery before opening the resort. “My vision of Sunrise Springs is a place of beauty and retreat that embraces our global village and promotes the celebration of the wisdom and beauty of all peoples and cultures.”

With that mission statement, it’s no surprise that this 70-acre refuge, with its spring-fed ponds and abundant waterfowl habitat, is also home to organic gardens that provide vegetables and herbs for the guests.

Hill started the process when she asked visionary horticulturists, like Michael Clark and Gabriel Howearth, founder of Seeds of Change, to plan the organic gardens. Howearth is well known for his devotion to “heirloom” varieties of native plants, which tend to be hardier and more nutritious than their commercially cultivated counterparts.

Today those gardens reflect the principles of biodynamic agriculture, which adds nutrients to the soil and promotes biodiversity by following the cyclical rhythms of nature. Gardeners use crop rotations, organic pest controls and composting to keep the resort’s vegetable and herb gardens flourishing.

Under the guidance of general manager Tracy Pikhart Ritter (former executive chef at the Golden Door in southern California) the award-winning Blue Heron Restaurant offers a menu that includes plant varieties that thrive in this high-desert environment, with the gardens providing heirloom ingredients for its natural and organic cuisine (it stopped using trans fats years ago).

Even the restaurant’s wine list is organic and certified biodynamic. Biodynamic wines rely exclusively on the grape itself for their flavor. To meet this certification, winemakers are prohibited from adding yeast, enzymes or tannins. Certification standards also forbid oaking and chappalization to manipulate acid and sugar levels.

Organic matter from the restaurant kitchen is composted, helping to enrich the gardens. Virtually everything else used at Sunrise Springs is recycled, including the water.

The buildings themselves are in many cases constructed of adobe, reclaimed wood and straw. Guest rooms feature locally made organic amenities, pressure-reducing showerheads, energy saving light bulbs and eco-friendly paint. The fireplaces in public areas and the restaurant are constructed to minimize smoke and burn firewood gathered from around the property.

Naturally, the resort’s Spa Samadhi features organic treatments, made from herbs grown on the property. Meanwhile, the entire property represents a commitment to environmental stewardship as part of a vision for peace. Drought-tolerant native grasses and plants are used in the landscaping, which provides abundant habitat for birds and butterflies. The swimming pool is chlorine-free.

The historic adobe buildings at Sunrise Springs date back to the time hundreds of years ago when this was a stop on the Camino Real, the royal road that led to the territorial capital in Santa Fe.

The Native Americans and Hispanics who lived in these parts had a sacred relationship to the land that is still being honored today in Megan Hill’s unique holistic vision.

Plant Sunflowers, Volunteer and More … Belize Eco-Lodge Offers Ten Tips to Nurture Birds through Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability

“Birds are the farmers of the world – help us to help them continue to sow their seeds.”

Petaluma, CA - Jodi and Vance Benté, proprietors of the recently opened Casa del Caballo Blanco Eco-Lodge in Belize, offer 10 tips to create environments that attract and nurture birds. They are also the founders and custodians of the not-for-profit Casa Avian Support Alliance (CASA) whose purpose is to address the needs of the avian community and the conservation of biodiversity in Belize that attracts and sustains over 530 species of migratory and resident birds spotted in a given year.

“We want to offer our guests something meaningful they can take home with them when they leave Belize. These are some simple but important actions we take in our own California community,” says Jodi Benté.

• Plant a tree so that local birds can nest, seek shelter and forage for food.
• Plant a sunflower or other plants that comprise bird friendly gardens; watch them gather food for their families and by dispersing the seed, create new gardens.
• Restore habitat and watersheds whenever possible rather than develop.
• Volunteer with local community organizations to assist with the care of wild birds or to participate in ‘green activities’ to learn ways to assist wildlife and to minimize your own footprint on the landscape.
• Recycle all of your paper and plastics; make sure old batteries, like those from flashlights and shop tools, etc. are disposed of properly – not in landfills.
• Avoid purchasing cans and bottles in six-packs with plastic collars; if you must, then be sure and cut each of the six enclosures so that birds, and other wildlife, will not become entangled and choke on them.
• Minimize or discontinue the use of products containing toxic compounds such as certain fertilizers and herbicides that accumulate in our water supply and atmosphere and threaten wildlife habitats.
• Reduce your use of critical resources by selecting products and vendors that manufacture and package with sustainability in mind.
• Consider re-use and remodeling prior to new development.
• Encourage your family to study the biodiversity in your community and learn, conserve and protect.

The Benté’s six-cabana, eco-friendly accommodation shares 23 acres with the Casa Avian Support Alliance. Guests are encouraged to participate in its work as part of a vacation that combines adventure, relaxation and personal contribution. The CASA project works closely with the Government of Belize’s efforts to protect critical habitat, the loss of which threatens the avian population. This is the first voluntourism program of its kind in Belize. It has been endorsed by the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Tourism Program (www.rainforest-alliance.org), Belize Audubon Society, Friends for Conservation and Development and Birds Without Borders.

ABOUT CASA del CABALLO BLANCO
The Casa’s hacienda-style Main House celebrates the region’s Hispanic culture with high, beamed ceilings, tile floors, hand-made furniture and interior design features hand-crafted by local artisans to evoke the footprint of an ordered, spiritual world of centuries ago. Nestled on a hillside overlooking the Mopan River Valley, the location provides a stunning view of the Mer de Verde, the “Green Ocean,” a site that could likely have been used in a similar manner by the Mayans. The guest quarters, six thatch-roofed, fully screen cabanas, all have en-suite bathrooms, refrigerators, hand-crafted furniture and Mayan-inspired fabrics.

Meals served in an airy, thatch-roofed dining room include Mayan food prepared in centuries-old Quiché, Mopan and Yucatecan traditions. Creole foods combine exotic Hispanic and Caribbean flavors. All produce is fresh from Casa’s own gardens and local markets and prepared locally by Belizeans.

ABOUT CASA AVIAN SUPPORT ALLIANCE (CASA)
On-site facilities provide a haven for avian wildlife recently freed from captivity or treated for injury or illness. Here birds can heal, rehabilitate and eventually be released back into their natural habitat. The facility is dynamic and will evolve annually with the guidance and cooperation of the Forest Department, Belize Audubon Society, Friends for Conservation and Development, Aves Sin Fronteras, and other organizations and experts from the avian community. Visit the alliance website for more information, www.casaavian.org

Lodge guests are also welcome to join its Passport Program that over time will showcase a half dozen other properties in the Americas with organizations who have similar goals and missions such as avian support.

For information on year-round educational programs and vacation packages, please visit www.casacaballoblanco.com or call 707-974-4942.

The hospitality industry is a big contributor of green house emissions. Now, a few hotels are going green

It’s boom-time for the hospitality industry. But with their massive resource consumption and waste generation, big hotels quite literally function and pollute like a mini city. But how many travelers really think about the planet and not just their purse strings when they check in?

Guests don't seem to care, so is environment consciousness really important for the hospitality industry? For most big hotels today, it’s more a matter of policy compliance. But amid all this, a small handful are actually working to help the planet breathe easy.

Dipak Haksar, VP, ITC Hotels said, “For sustainable development, you need to really look beyond the market.”

The lobby at Uppal's Orchid Hotel in Delhi is fiitted large triple glazed windows to cut the need of lighting during the day, while still keeping the area cool. All organic matter here is dumped into vermin-composting pits to be re-used as soil manure.

But at the ITC Maurya, people have found another way to save of AC and steam consumption.

Read more...

Although nearly three-fourths of hotel guests in North America willingly participate in environmentally friendly programs offered during their hotel stays, many guests remain unaware of whether these programs are offered at the hotel property, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

In response to growing concern about global warming and conservation issues, being environmentally responsible has become a top trend in the hotel industry, with properties initiating various "green" programs, such as changing linens and towels only on request and using water-saving bathroom faucets and toilets.

When guests were asked if the hotel had conservation programs in place, 63 percent of guests answered yes, while 8 percent said no, and 29 percent indicated that they didn't know. When they are aware of a hotel's environmentally friendly programs, 73 percent of hotel guests indicate they participate. In turn, raising awareness of environmentally friendly programs among customers may help properties further increase participation.

"Since conservation is such an important issue globally, it is vitally important that hotel properties actively market their eco-friendly offerings and make them easy to recognize and participate in," said Linda Hirneise, executive director of the travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Offering green programs is a win-win situation for both hotel guests and hotel operators. Guests are increasingly looking for these types of offerings, and hotels are finding that going green actually saves money."

Of the 27 percent of hotel guests who are aware of hotel environmentally friendly programs and choose not to participate, a large number (86%) indicate that they would take part if offered a reward for doing so. However, this number declines to 83 percent among guests in the Pre-Boomer generation (those born prior to 1946), and drops even further -- to 33 percent -- among Pre-Boomers staying in luxury hotels. Willingness to participate is much higher among luxury hotel guests in other generational groups -- 87 percent of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), 95 percent of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976) and 79 percent of Generation Y (those born between 1977 and 1989).

Now in its 11th year, the study measures overall hotel guest satisfaction across six hotel segments: luxury, upscale, mid-scale full service, mid-scale limited service, economy/budget and extended stay. Seven key measures are examined within each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservations, check-in/check-out, guest room, food and beverage, hotel services, hotel facilities, and costs and fees.

The following hotel brands rank highest in guest satisfaction within their respective segments:

-- Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton
-- Upscale: Embassy Suites Hotels
-- Mid-Scale Full Service: Hilton Garden Inn
-- Mid-Scale Limited Service: Drury Inn & Suites
-- Economy/Budget: Microtel Inns & Suites
-- Extended Stay: Homewood Suites

Both Hilton Garden Inn and Microtel Inns & Suites rank highest in overall satisfaction in their respective segments for a sixth consecutive year. In addition, three of the six highest-ranked brands -- Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites Hotels and Homewood Suites -- are part of the Hilton Hotels Corporation.

In this year's study, issues with staff attitude and staff service are among the most frequently reported problems by hotel guests, particularly by luxury hotel guests. With more than one in five guests reporting a problem with staff service, this issue is the most frequently mentioned problem among luxury hotel guests who say they experienced a significant problem during their stay.

"With the hotel industry rapidly approaching product and price parity, the key differentiator between a good hotel experience and a truly outstanding experience is the quality of service delivered by the hotel staff," said Hirneise. "Staff-related problems are controllable, and significant problems with staff make it difficult, if not impossible, to deliver great service and high levels of satisfaction. Hotels have dedicated tremendous resources for renovations and improvements of their properties in efforts to improve satisfaction, but all of this may be for naught if service excellence is remiss."

The study finds that 97 percent of hotel guests say they feel either safe or very safe traveling within North America. However, among hotel guests traveling outside of North America, 34 percent report feeling "unsafe" or "very unsafe." Of those traveling abroad, 40 percent of those staying in economy/budget hotels and 38 percent of guests staying in mid-scale limited service hotels say they felt "unsafe" or "very unsafe", compared with only 21 percent of guests who reported feeling "unsafe" or "very unsafe" while staying in luxury hotels.

The study also finds that providing a non-smoking environment continues to be important to hotel guests. Overall, 82 percent of guests say they prefer a smoke-free hotel environment-including public areas and guest rooms-up from 79 percent in 2006. In response to this preference among guests, some hotel brands now offer completely smoke-free environments, including Marriott properties in North America and Westin Hotels & Resorts properties in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

The 2007 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses gathered between June 2006 and June 2007 from 47,634 guests who stayed in a hotel between May 2006 to June 2007.

Find more detailed findings on customer satisfaction with hotels by watching a video, reading an article and reviewing hotel ratings at http://www.jdpower.com/ .

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on hotel ratings, car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies(NYSE:MHP)is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2006 were $6.3 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/ .

Luxury Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
The Ritz-Carlton 854
JW Marriott 831
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts 821
Loews Hotels 818
Luxury Segment Average 815
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts 808
W Hotels 798
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 777
Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are: Le
Meridien Hotels and Resorts, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Park Hyatt
Hotels, Sofitel and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
Upscale Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Embassy Suites Hotels 805
Renaissance Hotels & Resorts 801
Marriott Hotels & Resorts 795
Omni Hotels 794
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts 789
Westin Hotels & Resorts 789
Hilton Hotels 787
Upscale Segment Average 784
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts 770
Doubletree 769
Delta Hotels 765
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts 763
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts 759
Radisson Hotels & Resorts 753
Mid-Scale Full Service Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Hilton Garden Inn 806
Courtyard 789
Four Points by Sheraton 755
Wyndham Garden Hotels 752
Mid-Scale Full Service Segment Average 745
Best Western 738
Holiday Inn 737
Clarion 733
Quality 724
Ramada Inn/Plaza 723
Howard Johnson Hotels/Plaza 672
NOTE: Novotel is included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample
size.
Mid-Scale Limited Service Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Drury Inn & Suites 824
Hampton Inn/Suites 814
SpringHill Suites 800
Wingate Inn 789
Country Inns & Suites 785
Fairfield Inn 776
Mid-Scale Limited Service Segment Average 770
Holiday Inn Express 766
Comfort Suites 760
Sleep Inn 759
La Quinta 756
AmeriSuites 749
AmericInn 747
Baymont Inn & Suites 746
AmeriHost Inn & Suites 742
Comfort Inn 741
Ramada Limited 695
Economy/Budget Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Microtel Inns & Suites 743
Red Roof Inn 704
Super 8 Motel 697
Days Inn 688
Howard Johnson Express/Inns 685
Economy/Budget Segment Average 684
Travelodge 676
Motel 6 671
Econo Lodge 655
Rodeway Inn 633
Americas Best Value Inn 628
Knights Inn 621
Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are:
America's Best Inns & Suites, Budget Host Inn and Country Hearth Inn
Extended Stay Segment Overall Satisfaction Index
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Homewood Suites 815
Residence Inn 809
Staybridge Suites 800
TownePlace Suites 780
Extended Stay Segment Average 778
Candlewood Suites 766
Hawthorn Suites 753
Extended StayAmerica 703
Homestead Studio Suites Hotels 702
Included in the study, but not ranked due to small sample size are: Hyatt
Summerfield Suites, MainStay Suites and Studio 6

Although nearly three-fourths of hotel guests in North America willingly participate in environmentally friendly programs offered during their hotel stays, many guests remain unaware of whether these programs are offered at the hotel property, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study.

When guests were asked if their hotel had conservation programs in place, 63 percent of guests answered yes, while 8 percent said no, and 29 percent indicated that they didn't know. When they are aware of a hotel's environmentally friendly programs, 73 percent of hotel guests indicate they participate.

Of the 27 percent of hotel guests who are aware of hotel environmentally friendly programs and choose not to participate, 86 percent indicate that they would take part if offered a reward for doing so. However, this number declines to 83 percent among guests in the Pre-Boomer generation and drops to 33 percent among Pre-Boomers staying in luxury hotels. Willingness to participate is much higher among luxury hotel guests in other generational groups - 87 percent of Baby Boomers, 95 percent of Generation X, and 79 percent of Generation Y.

The study also finds that providing a non-smoking environment continues to be important to hotel guests. Overall, 82 percent of guests say they prefer a smoke-free hotel environment, including public areas and guestrooms. This number is up from 79 percent in 2006.

Now in its 11th year, the study measures overall hotel guest satisfaction across six hotel segments: luxury, upscale, mid-scale full service, mid-scale limited service, economy/budget, and extended stay. Seven key measures are examined within each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservations, check-in/check-out, guest room, food and beverage, hotel services, hotel facilities, and costs and fees.

Read more...

OAKLAND, Calif., July 25, 2007 -- When Florida's Governor Jim Crist signed his comprehensive climate-change executive order last week, one of the items on the list of new practices mandated that state agencies must plan meetings and conferences at hotels and facilities that meet the state's Green Lodging certification for environmentally friendly practices.

The Executive Order launched what is likely to be boom times for the state's Green Lodging Program, which currently counts 25 hotels certified under the program, and an additional 33 hotels awaiting certification.

But two new studies of consumer behavior finds that even when a hotel adopts energy- and water-saving measures or other green practices, hotel guests are more likely to waste resources at a hotel than they are at home.

A survey of frequent travelers from Element Hotels, a new line of hotels from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, found that 59 percent of regular travelers admitted that their "green routines" often slipped when they were on the road. Sixty-two percent said they use water and energy less efficiently for the simple reason that they don't have to pay for it. Seventy percent of the travelers surveyed said they try to conserve water at home, but only 18 percent said their same behaviors applied when they stay at hotels.

And as part of J.D. Power and Associates' 11th annual "North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study," respondents were asked about the conservation programs in place at the hotels they visited. Nearly a third -- 29 percent -- said they didn't know if their hotels had a conservation program in place, and a further 27 percent were aware of the programs, but chose not to participate.

The study found that older generations are much less likely to get involved in green programs at hotels: only 33 percent of the "Pre-Boomer" generation (those born before 1946) staying at luxury hotels said they would participate in a conservation program at their hotel, compared to 87 percent of Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964), and 95 percent of Generation Xers (people born between 1965 and 1976).

Among the most surprising findings of the survey, according to Linda Hirneise, executive director of J.D. Power & Associates, was the level of awareness about conservation programs at hotels. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they didn't know the hotel had any conservation programs in place, which Hirneise said is likely a failure to promote the programs rather than a lack of having conservation programs at hotels.

Read more...

Green Disney Hotels

Will all of Disney World's hotels meet the 'green' standards set forth by the Florida Green Lodging Association in time for next Earth Day? The activist group Florida Alliance for Healthy Indoor Environment claims that Disney has pledged to do so, but a Disney spokesperson says she hasn't heard of any pledge.

Back in April I reported on The Disney Blog that there was a a push from the Center for Health and Environmental Justice to get Disney to make just such a pledge. That was the work of Lois Gibbs, who did good by bringing the Love Canal toxic waste scandal to light. Looks like The CHEF and FLHIE are now working together. (article author Heather Wilson appears to work for both organizations too.)

Since the previous announcement was a bit of a PR Stunt, I have to wonder how much of this claim is as well. But Disney has shown in the past they're committed to the environment and lead the state in certified green hotels, so it just may be that Disney has set a goal of Earth Day 2008.

Read more...

Green New Orleans

Christal and Kaden White would like to go home. But Christal's story is not your typical post-Katrina plight of a mother and her newborn son struggling to make it back to New Orleans amid a broken and neglected system. Sure, Hurricane Katrina destroyed Christal's childhood home. And yes, Katrina also took the home Christal had just purchased and renovated—her first—only two weeks before mother and son were to move in. But Christal's quest to return home is marked by a different struggle: the struggle to not just rebuild her own home but to rebuild her entire city, and to rebuild it sustainably.

"In the wake of Katrina," says Christal, "I was blown away. I walked into the remains of my home with a breathing apparatus on to take inventory of what was left. And to say goodbye. It was heartbreaking." But rather than lose hope, or walk away, or even concentrate on rebuilding her own home, Christal had an altogether different response: "In that moment, it all clicked. Everything that I had been doing was good but it wasn't good enough; more had to be done. And if ever there was a time to change things, this was it."

So Christal has organized a fundraising raffle to benefit the Green Project, a New Orleans nonprofit that reclaims building materials, recycles them and resells them at below-market cost to help the New Orleans rebuilding efforts. The Green Project is more than just a demo company: it also incorporates a recycling center, a community garden, and an interactive community space that uses salvaged material to create art. Christal champions the Green Project and all they have done for the city: "The Green Project is an amazing organization that helps to deconstruct piece by piece and salvage everything that they can from buildings to preserve history and architecture. The Recycle for the Arts portion of the program takes anything seemingly unusable and puts into use in art projects that capture the local culture and flavor of my unique city. They were the eco-logical choice."

Read more...

Eco-Luxury Paradise

Today we are traveling to a luxurious location in the Caribbean, Antigua. If you need a vacation and are frazzled and stressed, what could be better than relaxing on the beach, drinking organic cocktails, and lessening your environmental footprint?

Today's Featured Radio Guests:

Rob Sherman and Peter Antifave - Managers at Curtain Bluff, located on the southern tip of Antigua encompassing 20 acres of lush tropical gardens on the Curtain Bluff peninsula, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. For over 40 years, Curtain Bluff's extraordinary service and amenities have set the standard for excellence throughout the Caribbean. They are Green Globe members meaning they have been certified as a sustainable resort and vacation destination.

Topics Discussed Today:

Eco-Handbags - Specializing in chic, unique and fashionable handbags created from recycled or eco-friendly materials.

Responsible Travel - "Holidays that give the world a break" (enough said)

Environmentally Friendly Hotels - Go beyond ecotourism and sustainable tourism: find hotels - bed and breakfasts, resorts, motels, lodges, and inns - worldwide that are committed to the environment and greening of the hospitality industry.

Read more...

The Green Book Review

The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen, has many useful tips for living, working, and traveling more sustainably. Before each chapter, a brief story is given, written by a celebrity about sustainable living in his or her life. The stories are fun, and give the reader a peak into probably unknown parts of the lives of Jennifer Aniston, Robert Redford, Martha Stewart, and others- that Jennifer Aniston takes three minute showers to conserve water, that Robert Redford used to spend his summers working in Yosemite, and that Martha Stewart only heats her house to 64°F because it is so well insulated. The stories seem unconnected to the chapters that follow them, but should nevertheless inspire a large audience, and are a nice break from reading so many tips. Each tip is presented with an impressive statistic about how if each person of a certain sized group of people conserved only a small amount of a certain resource, that it adds up to saving a massive amount of money, energy, or other resources. Some of the statistics are less good than others, though. And when you combine some of the tips, they sometimes seem to contradict each other. For example, in the “Travel” section, the third “simple step” is to “Pack lightly. Every additional ten pounds per traveler requires an additional 250 million gallons of jet fuel per year, which is enough to keep a 747 flying continuously for ten years.”

Read more...

Doubletree Boston

July 23, 2007 (FinancialWire) The Doubletree Guest Suites Boston has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star, a symbol for protecting the environment through energy performance. By earning the Energy Star, the Doubletree is using at least 35% less energy than average buildings. The hotel joins approximately 930 buildings nationwide that earned the Energy Star in 2006. The hotel is managed by Hilton Hotels Corp. (NYSE: HLT).

The Doubletree Guest Suites Boston celebrates its Energy Star achievement as part of a multi-phase, hotelwide renovation project at the hotel. The hotel team has worked with the owner of the facility to provide financial and administrative support by making cost-effective improvements to the building through this energy conservation effort.

In-room coffee service with energy saving refrigerators in upgraded guestrooms; 26" LCD flat-panel televisions in living rooms and new lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs are just some of the upgrades recently installed.

In the U.S., energy loss from commercial buildings represents almost 18% of our greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved $12 billion and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from 23 million vehicles in 2005 alone. The EPA reports that more than 3,200 buildings have earned the Energy Star since 1999.

For up-to-the-minute news, features and links click on http://www.FinancialWire.net

FinancialWire is an independent, proprietary news service of Investrend Information, a division of Investrend Communications, Inc. It is not a press release service and receives no compensation from any company for its news or opinions. Other divisions of Investrend, however, provide shareholder empowerment platforms such as forums, independent research and webcasting. For more information or to receive the FirstAlert daily summary of news, commentary, research reports, webcasts, events and conference calls, click on http://www.investrend.com/contact.asp

For a free annual report on a company mentioned in the news, please click on http://investrend.ar.wilink.com/?level=279

To become an investor monitor of independent research for a company in which you are invested, go to the not-for-profit Shareholders Research Alliance, Inc. website by clicking on http://www.shareholdersresearch.com/

The FinancialWire NewsFeed is now available in multiple formats to your site or desktop, free. Click on: http://www.investrend.com/XmlFeeds?level=268

Clean, Green and Healthy

The greening of the Habitat Suites hotel in Austin started with a simple decision in 1991: The hotel stopped using pesticides on the property.

"We're not pulling out machine guns to kill a roach," says general manager Natalie Marquis. "It's enlightened self-interest."

Since then, the hotel (www.habitatsuites.com) has become more environmentally friendly. Some measures were easy, such as replacing standard light bulbs with compact fluorescents and using soap dispensers instead of bars of soap. Other adaptations were more expensive and challenging, such as installing systems to collect solar energy and turn off air conditioners in rooms when guests weren't present.

And some modifications were simply common sense, such as using nontoxic cleansers that are cheaper, better for the environment and easier on the health of the housekeepers. The hotel planted trees to shield the rooms from the sun and landscaped with native plants that require less water.

Though there were some costs initially, in the long run the hotel is saving money. The hotel saved for seven years to pay for what Ms. Marquis says is the largest hotel solar installation in the U.S. Sometimes the solar collectors generate so much energy that the hotel is selling power to Austin Energy, she says.

Beyond being good for the planet, green hotels are attracting travelers who want to reduce their exposure to chemicals and who support conservation.

Read more...

Major hotel chains, big consumers of resources such as power and water, are starting to change their environmentally wasteful ways and design "greener" buildings.

Although most of the efforts are in their infancy, Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham are encouraging the building of eco-friendly and energy-efficient hotels.

Building green hotels isn't about fetching higher rates. Hoteliers view it as an advantage at a time when customers want to patronize green businesses and hotel operators want to cut high bills for electricity and water.

Although green construction is mostly voluntary in the USA, cities such as Dallas, Las Vegas and Arlington, Va., are encouraging it by expediting permits, granting subsidies or requiring it. "People want to be at a hotel that is on the cutting edge," says Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. "Whoever does it first is cool."

Marriott's only green-certified hotel, which is in College Park, Md., uses 30% less electricity than a comparable property. That means it can charge the same rates as rivals, yet earn a better profit, says manager George Trujillo.

Seeing the benefits, chains are slowly embracing new construction guidelines created by the U.S. Green Building Council. Under the program, hotels can get certified by curbing a building's energy and water use, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.

Among ways to gain points: recycle construction waste; locate near mass transit; plant water-efficient landscaping; install windows that open; choose low-energy elevators and laundry machines; and cover rooftops with tiles made from recycled tires. Buildings can win one of four certification tiers, ranging from standard to platinum.

Until now, the hotel industry has resisted change. Today, just four U.S. hotels are certified green, vs. more than 800 U.S. office buildings.

But that's changing, especially as green construction costs fall and expertise and material quality rise, says Tom Hicks of Green Building Council, which has 59 applications for U.S. hotel projects, including 7,500 rooms in MGM Mirage's $7.4 billion CityCenter in Las Vegas, said to be the largest privately financed green building project in the USA.

"You say 'green,' and a lot of them think 'tree hugger,'" Trujillo says. "You say 'energy-efficient building,' and they're very interested."

California and New York have the most green hotel projects underway, with 14 and 10, respectively.

Marriott and Hilton each run one green-certified hotel; Marriott hopes to have six more in three years. Marriott is rewriting construction and design guidelines for its Springhill Suites and Courtyard brands. Hilton is doing the same for brands including Hilton, Doubletree and Embassy Suites.

Interest is so keen that Marriott project manager Karim Khalifa says he gets calls daily from owners asking what it takes to get certified.

Last week, Wyndham took its first step toward encouraging green building by launching a spa addition that can be built at its hotels to meet green standards.


Copyright © 2007 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy

LONDON, June 18, 2007 -- Park Plaza Hotels and contractor Gear Construction Project Management, have today announced the next phase in the development of their latest project, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, their largest hotel management contract to date. The hotel company's aim is to create a destination that becomes the next venue of choice for international conferences and events.

Gear Construction Project Management, the contractor responsible for developing and building Park Plaza's stunning portfolio of UK hotels, has began construction of their newest property.

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, being built opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, is a major hotel development in the heart of London promising eco-friendly initiatives, urban regeneration and one of the largest hotel based conference spaces in central London.

The striking new hotel, designed by BUJ Architects and Uri Blumenthal Architects & Town Planners, will offer over 2,500 square metres of conference space with 1,000 bedrooms. The hotel will offer conference space for up to 1,250 delegates and will increase Park Plaza's London portfolio to 2,200 guest bedrooms.

In recent years, London's skyline has been redeveloped from Tower Bridge to Vauxhall Bridge, with Park Plaza Westminster Bridge representing the next stage in completing an ultra-modern South Bank cityscape.

Eli Papouchado, Chairman of Park Plaza Hotels, is delighted with the progress already being made at the site, commenting: "I am thrilled to be so closely involved with the development of this striking new hotel, and the significant impact it will have on the regeneration of the South Bank. The area is now one of the most visited in the city, and I am proud to be part of its rejuvenated success."

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London will be the eighth Park Plaza-managed hotel in the UK to be built by Gear Construction Project Management, following hotels in Leeds, Nottingham and areas of London now enjoying the rewards of extensive regeneration such as Vauxhall and Victoria. The combined partnership of developer and hotel management has proved a winning success across the company's UK estate and extends across to the Continent where Park Plaza Hotels manage, own and franchise some 26 hotels.

Boris Ivesha, President and Chief Executive Officer for Park Plaza Hotels, commented: "Demand for London continues to grow, fuelled by a buoyant business climate, emerging markets such as China and India, the impact of Heathrow Terminal 5 and the London 2012 Olympics. The opening of Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in 2010 and our 400-room Park Plaza County Hall -- due to open on London's South Bank this autumn -- will be welcome additions to London's luxury hotel offering."

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London will feature some of the latest eco-friendly technologies limiting its impact on the environment. The hotel will have an on-site filtered water bottling 'factory' (Carbon filter process) eliminating the need to transport and dispose of an estimated one million bottles of water per year. The hotel will utilize the latest building insulation technology with triple glazed, energy retaining cladding for heat and cold retention to maximize energy efficiency. Furthermore, the hotel will produce 15 per cent of its own energy using a biomass electric generator. The construction will also recycle 4,500 m3 of concrete from the demolished GLC building that was retained on site for use in the new build process.

Ivesha continues: "Tourism accounts for a significant and growing percentage of GDP in the UK and it is important for the industry to take the lead in finding ways of mitigating our environmental impact. We aim to set a new standard for hotels adopting environmentally friendly policies to give this exciting new development a five-star environ-friendly rating."

The popular South Bank area has enjoyed continued regeneration over the last few years with the latest £110 million refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall continuing the movement. The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel development will make its own contribution to the regeneration of the area with a total investment of £300 million, with £4.6 million allocated to local regeneration schemes including public transport, employment and the training of local people. A further £1.6 million is allocated towards the creation of a landscaped public space around the hotel. Westminster Bridge Roundabout will become part-pedestrian with a piazza that will limit traffic to taxis and public transport, making it a more scenic and enjoyable area.

"The piazza will create a direct connection between Waterloo and Westminster that will be much easier for tourists and residents to travel between by foot," continued Ivesha.

"Urban regeneration is extremely important if London is to make an impact at the London 2012 Olympic Games. This includes extending the support businesses provide to the city south of the river. This trail blazing scheme is a fantastic way to widen the horizons of Lambeth and create a future landmark for travel and tourism in South London."

The initial announcement was made in October 2005, when financial investment partners Galliard Homes and Frogmore Property Company Limited, together with Eurosea Hotels, declared the multi-million pound project on the south bank for the 14-storey apart-hotel development.

Green Luxury

In the lodging industry, “luxurious” and “green” used to be mutually exclusive concepts. After all, the word “luxury” often connotes blissful excess with little concern for waste, whereas “green” implies a stripped-down experience based on conserving resources for the greater good.

Sure, many hotel chains have recently tried to appear more environmentally responsible by letting guests opt to re-use their linens rather than having them replaced each morning. But overall, the industry still falls considerably short of true eco-friendliness. Most hotels and motels still squander more and more energy, generate tons of trash, and send hundreds of gallons of waste and chemicals out into the environment every day.

The figures are startling even at the individual level. A single occupied hotel room uses an average of 218 gallons of water per day, according the California Environmental Protection Agency. And the average guest produces about two pounds of trash each night, according to Michelle White, director of environmental affairs for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “In some places, it’s five or even six pounds,” she says. So at a single large hotel with, say, 1,000 occupied guest rooms, it’s fair to say that guests alone are generating at least a ton of waste every 24 hours, with the facility’s own operations contributing even more.

As White’s title suggests, some leading hoteliers no longer view “green luxury” as an oxymoron; they’re actively — and successfully promoting themselves as offering eco-friendly yet high-quality accommodations.

Fairmont, a century-old chain with hotels in San Francisco, Toronto and other North American cities, also maintains resorts in locations ranging from Hawaii to Bermuda to Monaco to Kenya. The company began integrating environmental concerns into its operations in 1990 because, White says, “it makes good economic sense. Our destinations and the health of those destinations are tied to our livelihoods. Besides, we all live and work in those locations.”

Read more...

The Bandwagon

In case you haven't noticed, hotels are going green, doing their part to be ecologically friendly. You might call it the Al Gore effect, although the movement began before "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Academy Award this year.

The green efforts go further than asking guests to use towels and bed linens more than once (as they do at home), to conserve water and avoid flushing more detergent-laden water into sewers. It's also more than replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs in guest rooms.

Other green initiatives are more subtle -- things a guest might never notice: recycling, low-flow faucets and shower heads, water-saving toilets and the use of products that don't harm the environment or contribute to global warming.

Whether guests truly care about these hotel efforts is another matter. When you call a hotel to make a reservation, what are you most concerned about -- the room rate and hotel's location, or its conservation efforts? The only green at issue is dollar cost.

Some 59 percent of frequent travelers admit to letting their "green routines" slip when on the road, according to a just-released survey commissioned by the new Element extended-stay brand of Westin Hotels, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Conducted by StudyLogic, a New York research firm, via telephone interviews with 1,041 respondents who had a minimum of three hotel stays over the last 12 months, the survey of frequent travelers found:

Read more...

When Google Maps and Google Earth software made satellite views of the planet free last year, people started mixing up their own sets of data into the maps. As the blog Google Maps Mania shows, such mashups are legion. Suddenly subway directions, cheap gas, apartment rentals, city muggings, tiki bars, and UFO sightings have got a pushpin on a homegrown Google map.

The first mashup released by Google itself yesterday underscores the search giant's understanding that maps wield ecological might. Google worked with the makers of Earth Day to create its Green Summer pages, an eco-friendly sightseeing guide for the top five U.S. vacation destinations: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and Orlando. It plots the locations of raw foods restaurants, eco-friendly resorts and hotels, and plays videos to show off the businesses. And of course, you can search there for more green stuff. Sort of like Green Maps, only more interactive.

Read the rest of the post...

Earth Day Lessons from the Spa

There are many other simple and effective strategies we can all start with TODAY. Take a cue from Destination Spa vacations and make a difference with these green ideas:

1. Use your canvas bags. Tote your bags with you when you go shopping to reduce or eliminate the use of plastic or paper bags. Chances are you have a bag from your last Destination Spa vacation or professional conference that you attended or a backpack that you use for picnics or hiking. Put it to good use next time you hit the grocery store, farmer’s market, or department store and say no to the store bags.
2. Drink from your water bottle. Using a refillable water bottle versus buying bottled water can have a big impact. It is a simple equation -- less packaging translates into less energy which is better for the environment.
3. Exercise outdoors.There are so many reasons to enjoy outdoor fitness activities – fresh air, scenery, free, and interaction with nature to name a few. And, it doesn’t require all of the motorized fitness equipment of a gym, the energy to operate a business, or your gas to get there.
4. Eat seasonally and locally produced foods whenever possible. Not only will the food taste fresher and be full of nutrients, but it will also be better for Mother Earth. The less the food has to travel, the less carbon dioxide from the trucks that ship it. Plus it will probably save you money.
5. When traveling, re-use the towels & sheets. Typical hotels use 218 gallons of water per day per occupied room. In addition to the large amounts of water used, excessive use of laundry detergents and other cleaning chemicals pose dangers to the environment and to the housekeeping staff. Many hotels will not replace your towels if you leave them hanging up neatly; if you're not sure, write a note for the housekeeping staff or notify the front desk.

Read the rest of the post...

Travel Trade Dressed in Green

Over lunch, a director of a PR company representing travel firms told me she is discouraging them from using the word “green” in copy unless they are really doing something creditable.

About time. Every second email pinging into my in-box is from someone in the travel trade pretending to greenness. An endless number of firms is offering to help air passengers salve their consciences by giving them the opportunity to pay to plant trees. One is even promising to plant a tree “free” in return for every booking. It will do so in Wales — though at least one study suggests that planting outside the tropics could actually contribute to global warming.

Then there’s this kind of thing: “If you want to keep your social conscience clean and your carbon footprint to a minimum, then the Capital Region USA has some great options for keeping your environmental impact to a minimum whilst ensuring maximum fun!” There follows a list of ways in which you can have a “green” holiday, with no mention, of course, of the return flight across the Atlantic that the holiday entails.

The most outrageous nonsense of all, however, comes from the company BCP, which is “urging holidaymakers to go green by taking advantage of the newly opened, environmentally-friendly, multi-story Q-Park car park at Heathrow”.

Read More...

By Laura Figueroa, The Miami HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Jul. 17--The pristine white sheets of many hotel beds throughout Miami-Dade County are about to "go green" as part of a water and energy conservation initiative announced Tuesday by county officials.

Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz and officials of the county Water and Sewer Department gathered at the Clarion Collection Las Palmas Hotel and Suites, 8436 NW 36th St., Tuesday morning for a press conference to unveil the county's "Green Lodging Program."

Under the program, hotels would change certain operations to become more environmentally friendly. Hotel light bulbs would be changed to fluorescent bulbs, and consenting guests at participating hotels would have their sheets changed every three days instead of every day to cut down on the water and electricity used for laundry.

"The majority of our guests are corporate guests who stay here more than three days, and we've gotten positive feed back," said Chris Lopez, general manager of Las Palmas Hotel and Suites, the first hotel in the county to sign on to the green initiative. "Everyone just wants to pitch in."

Lopez said the 100 room hotel would save roughly 1,000 gallons of water each day, which could result in lower prices for guests in the long run.

-----

To see more of The Miami Herald or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.herald.com.

The Greenest Hotel in the World

TODAY’S ECO WAKE-UP CALL: A recent survey this spring polled 1047 travelers that said they’re less likely to conserve water and electricity while away from home. Nearly 70% said they open a new mini-bottle of shampoo each time they shower at a hotel. 63% were more likely to leave the lights on at a hotel than at home. And three out of four think it’s important to have their hotel linens changed each day. (Source: USA Today, Starwood Hotels and Resorts survey).

In today’s show, America the Green talks with Yuan-Sing Chang, the creator of the world’s first LEED Gold Certified Hotel, making his hotel and spa the greenest in the U.S.

Resources
Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa the first LEED Gold Certified Hotel in the U.S.

U.S. Green Building Council a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction. Developers of the LEED building rating system.

Read More...

Top 4 Travel Tips for a Green Summer

Summer is here and everyone’s off on holiday. Here are a few ways to reduce your carbon footprint without ruining your holiday.

1. Don’t go abroad. I know, the weather ain’t great, but Britain can be pretty spectacular. There are seaside towns like St Ives, Aldeburgh and Whitby; landscapes like Lakeland, Snowdonia or the Scottish Highlands or world class festivals like the Edinburgh Fringe. Or, if you must go abroad…

2. Take the train. If you are travelling to mainland Europe from England, why not take the Channel Tunnel rather than fly. There are direct trains to Paris, Brussels, Lille and Avignon and connections to pretty much everywhere. Trains use a fraction of the carbon dioxide that plains use and it’s not that expensive. London to Paris starts at £60.

Read More...

Find a Green Hotel

There has been a growing sentiment around the U.S. about becoming more "Green". Corporations are creating initiatives and people are beginning to change their everyday habits to preserve the Earth for future generations.

But what does "Green" exactly mean? There may be different variations to the definition but seem to have a common mission: To become more conscious of the impact that people have on the Earth and begin to realistically change habits that will have a longterm-positive effect on the future.

In conjunction with National Geographic's Green Guide, the NGC Blog will begin to pass along a helpful, easy and more importantly effective tip to help people lessen their human footprint on the Earth.

This Week's Tip: Find a Green Hotel

Whether it's a weekend getaway or a week-long stay, make sure your hotel has the same green habits as you do at home. Since hotels are such large consumers of resources--the hospitality industry spends $3.7 billion a year on energy and typical hotels use 218 gallons of water per day per occupied room--it is especially important to support environmentally conscious businesses whenever possible. Here's how to find them:

Read More...

Green Bali Hotels

The Bali Hotels Association (BHA) has registered its 76 member hotels to take part in a community-led environmental campaign, Clean Up the World, joining 35 million volunteers in more than 120 countries that will take action to reduce the causes of climate change.

From national clean up campaigns to recycling and water reuse projects, volunteers across the globe conduct a variety of environmental projects throughout the year with activities culminating over the Clean Up the World Weekend, celebrated this year on Sept. 14-16 as the article in the Jakarta Post explains.

“In Bali we will be organizing clean-up activities in many of our members’ communities, beaches, rivers and scenic sites and attractions,” said Urs Klee, the BHA’s environmental committee chairman.

“With the support of Clean Up the World, we hope to bring together the tourism industry, banjar (traditional neighborhood associations), schools, tourists and local citizens to collect as much rubbish from their own communities in order for others to reconsider their waste management on the island of the gods.”

Read More...

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.—Friday the thirteenth was a lucky day for participants in the Florida Green Lodging Program, an effort by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to encourage the lodging industry to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. It was on that day that Governor Charlie Crist issued an Executive Order that will require all state agencies and departments under his direction to do business only with Florida Green Lodging Program participants as of January 1, 2008.

Crist issued the order during a speech outlining his direction for Florida’s energy future. Additional state government goals include:

• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2012, 25 percent by 2017, and 40 percent by 2025.
• Scaling back electric utility emissions to 2000 levels by 2017, to 1990 levels by 2025, and to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050.
• Adopting California motor vehicle emission standards and reducing such emissions 22 percent by 2012 and 30 percent by 2016.
• Transitioning to 20 percent renewable energy by 2020.

Read More...

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the greenest hotel of them all? Heck, is there anyway to gauge a hotel's green bona fides, period? In that regard, help might be on the way.

A recent article in the NYT on the greening of the hotel industry noted that numerous hotels were seeking certification by the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) program. LEED's certification is a rigorous process whereby hotels, and all buildings for that matter, meet strict standards for everything from recycling to water efficiency.

Will LEED Certification be to hotels' green efforts what the Good Housekeeping Seal is to, well, gazillions of consumer products? First, a little more on LEED. From its website:

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. ... LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

The certification also includes a credit system, ways for buildings to earn points to earn certification, for everything from water-efficient landscaping and overall energy conservation.

Read more...

Golden Arrow is region's first hotel which was rated 3 leaves by Audubon International in their Green Leaf Eco-rating Program for Hotels, and they are constantly making efforts to become more earth friendly each year.

Lake Placid, NY, July 13, 2007 --(PR.com)-- As the region's first hotel to be rated 3 leaves by Audubon International in their Green Leaf Eco-rating Program for Hotels, The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort strives to become more earth friendly each year & become a role model for future green hotels in the New York State lodging industry. Currently the following programs are in place in Golden arrow Lakeside Resort to make ecological responsibility second nature to their employees & bring environmental awareness to their guest.

Guest Rooms & Building Materials
As regular light bulbs burn out, Golden Arrow is replacing them with energy efficient compact florescent light bulbs. They also purchase carpets from companies that recycle old carpeting & are very conscious about the effect their industry is having on the planet. The A/C & Heating units in the guest rooms are extremely energy efficient models. On Allergen Free Floor, they chose Bamboo wood flooring because Bamboo is a renewable resource. The showers & toilets are low-flow & do not use as much water as standard ones.

Housekeeping & Back of the House
Golden Arrow uses earth friendly cleaning agents. All of their paper products (tissue, toilet paper, and office paper) are made from recycled content. They recycle as much as they can. Glass, cans, tin, paper etc. are all sorted & recycled. They also encourage guests to recycle by placing separate bags for all recyclables in each guest rooms as well as recycle bins near all of the vending machines.

Landscaping/Grounds
The white sand beach behind the hotel is beautiful. It also helps keep Mirror Lake healthy. Made from crushed limestone, the sand helps counteract the effects of acid rain on the lake - a big problem here in the Adirondacks. Birdfeeders on the grounds help attract & maintain local bird population. In wintertime Golden Arrow uses sodium free, environmentally safe ice melter instead of salt on the driveways to keep the driveways free of ice.

“We encourage our guests to travel, but to travel lightly on the earth. To reward this kind of travel, we will give a "Thank you for Being Kind to the Earth" gift bag to anyone arriving at the Golden Arrow by foot, by bicycle, or by hybrid vehicle.” says Jenn Holderied of Golden Arrow. She also says, “Just show us your mode of transportation when you arrive and we will get your "Thank You Bag" ready for you.”

Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort is the first full service hotel in Lake Placid, New York, to have all non-smoking guest rooms. They offer a fine place to relax and enjoy lakeside sports while staying in deluxe accommodation. They are honored with the prestigious “Three Green Leaves Award” by the Audubon Society's Green Leaf Eco Rating Program for Hotels. It’s even known for its pet friendly lodging. Golden Arrow is the perfect place to plan a family vacation while being close to nature.

Element Hotels Green Approach

Element Hotels has a new approach for minimizing the environmental impact of hotel stays. They have some GREAT ideas and I would be a happy guest with the initiatives provided.

* Shampoo and conditioner dispensers will eliminate multiple mini-bottles. I’ve always been bothered by the overuse of supplies when in hotels. I don’t need a new bar of soap every day.
* Low-flow sink faucets and dual flush toilets and/or low gallonage toilets will allow guests to optimize water use during their time away from home. This small change conserves an estimated 4,358.6 gallons of water per room each year.
* The ELEMENT design incorporates eco-friendly materials wherever possible, from the floor, which will feature carpets with up to 100% recycled content and recycled carpet cushions, to the walls, where art will be mounted on a base made from recycled tires and where low VOC paints will improve indoor air quality for guests and staff.
* About 50% of the waste generated in hotels is recyclable, but most hotel rooms don’t have recycling bins. ELEMENT guest rooms will include bins to help guests maintain their home recycling ritual. Wow.
* CFLs (compact florescent lamps) light bulbs will be used throughout the hotel instead of incandescent light bulbs. This small change will result in up to 75% less energy used.

Read More...

Canada's Eco-Hotels

A new style of "no-frills-chic" hotels will gradually arrive in cities across Canada, the first expected to open this year.

These days, the word chic isn't mentioned without implying eco-friendly. The so-called ALT hotels, designed by Quebec architect Viateur Michaud and developed by Groupe Germain, will be on the cutting edge of energy conservation measures.

The hotels will use a heating and cooling system generated by the earth's temperature, as well as geothermally heated tiles on the ground floor and energy-efficient light throughout.

Meant to offer comfortable, sleek rooms at bargain prices ($129 per night) and at the same time address environmental concerns with geothermal technology, the hotel developers are hoping to fill a void in the Canadian market.

"The type of hotel we are introducing today reflects a strong trend in hotel accommodation, especially in Europe and Asia," Christiane Germain, CEO of Groupe Germain, said in a statement. "It's been dubbed 'no-frills-chic' and combines design, atmosphere and chic interiors with the best possible price."

Other green-forward features are rooms equipped with one switch to monitor all lighting and a 100-per-cent smoke-free environment.

Read on...

Questions to ask before booking

How does the hotel cut energy consumption? Examples include efficient lighting and heating (the Environmental
Protection Agency gives top hotel performers an Energy Star rating), low-flow toilets and showers, and alternative energy like solar or wind power.

Does the hotel have a recycling program, and if so, how extensive is it? Among the options: aluminum, plastic, paper, gray water, composting, unused soaps and shampoos.

Does the hotel contribute to the local community and environmental causes? And, do they use local foods/products when possible?

Source: IndependentTraveler.com

The Green Valet

For an epicenter view of the USA's burgeoning "green hotel" movement, steer your hybrid rental car (or better yet, take rapid transit) to the Chinatown gate.

A block apart in this eco-conscious city, two high-profile boutique hotels are strutting their environmental bragging rights. Like an estimated two-thirds of U.S. hotels (up from about 10% a decade ago), the Orchard Garden Hotel and Kimpton's Hotel Triton ask travelers to conserve water and energy by not having linens and towels changed every day. Both hotels have installed low-flow toilets and showerheads, switched to non-toxic cleaning supplies, and print guest bills with soy-based ink on recycled paper.

But in other ways, the San Francisco competitors are taking divergent paths to the same goals — and their evolving efforts show how confusing and complex going green can be.

In bathrooms on the Triton's designated "eco floor," they're dispensed via refillable, wall-mounted containers rather than tiny plastic bottles destined for landfills. But elsewhere at the Triton, at 39 other Kimpton properties, and at the Orchard Garden (which opened in late 2006 and is one of only a few hotels built to meet the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council's stringent guidelines), amenities still come in individual bottles.

Lake Placid, New York – As the regions first hotel to be rated 3 leaves by Audubon International in their Green Leaf Eco-rating Program for Hotels, The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort strive to become more earth friendly each year & become a role model for future green hotels in the New York State lodging industry. Currently the following programs are in place in Golden arrow Lakeside Resort to make ecological responsibility second nature to their employees & bring environmental awareness to their guest.

Guest Rooms & Building Materials

As regular light bulbs burn out, Golden Arrow is replacing them with energy efficient compact florescent light bulbs. They also purchase carpets from companies that recycle old carpeting & are very conscious about the effect their industry is having on the planet. The A/C & Heating units in the guest rooms are extremely energy efficient models. On Allergen Free Floor, they chose Bamboo wood flooring because Bamboo is a renewable resource. The showers & toilets are low-flow & do not use as much water as standard ones.

Housekeeping & Back of the House

Golden Arrow uses earth friendly cleaning agents. All of their paper products (tissue, toilet paper, and office paper) are made from recycled content. They recycle as much as they can. Glass, cans, tin, paper etc. are all sorted & recycled. They also encourage guests to recycle by placing separate bags for all recyclables in each guest rooms as well as recycle bins near all of the vending machines.

Landscaping/Grounds

The white sand beach behind the hotel is beautiful. It also helps keep Mirror Lake healthy. Made from crushed limestone, the sand helps counteract the effects of acid rain on the lake - a big problem here in the Adirondacks. Birdfeeders on the grounds help attract & maintain local bird population. In wintertime Golden Arrow use sodium free, environmentally safe ice melter instead of salt on the driveways to keep the driveways free of ice.

“We encourage our guests to travel, but to travel lightly on the earth. To reward this kind of travel, we will give a "Thank you for Being Kind to the Earth" gift bag to anyone arriving at the Golden Arrow by foot, by bicycle, or by hybrid vehicle.” says Jenn Holderied of Golden Arrow. She also says, “Just show us your mode of transportation when you arrive and we will get your "Thank You Bag" ready for you.”

About Golden Arrow: Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort is the first full service hotel in Lake Placid, New York, to have all non-smoking guest rooms. They offer a fine place to relax and enjoy lakeside sports while staying in deluxe accommodation. They are honored with the prestigious “Three Green Leaves Award” by the Audubon Society's Green Leaf Eco Rating Program for Hotels. It’s even known for its pet friendly lodging. Golden Arrow is the perfect place to plan a family vacation while being close to nature.

New Extended-Stay Hotel Brand to Make “Eco-Etiquette” Intuitive with Smart Design
11 July 2007

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. | Would Al Gore forget to turn off the lights before running out the door? Maybe, if that door led to a hotel room. Travel can turn even the most Prius-like consumer into a gas-guzzling SUV, according to a survey of frequent travelers commissioned by ELEMENT Hotels, a new Westin-inspired extended-stay brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. [NYSE: HOT]. In fact, a majority of frequent travelers [59%] admit to letting their “green routines” slip when on the road.

Guests Check In, Then Throw Out Good Green Habits

Even consumers who make an effort to be green forget to pack their good habits when they hit the road. For example, a majority of people [60%] are more likely to leave a bathroom light on overnight in an unfamiliar hotel room than at home, and nearly 70% of frequent travelers open a new mini-bottle of shampoo and conditioner each time they shower on the road. Sixty-three percent of frequent hotel guests are more likely to leave a light on when they leave a hotel room than home. And although only about a third [34%] of respondents believe it is important to change sheets and towels daily at home, three-quarters think it is important to have fresh sheets and towels daily in a hotel.

Saving the Planet, or $aving a Buck?

When it comes to evaluating eco-options, for most consumers the bottom line is the bottom line. In fact, 62% of respondents agreed that “When I stay in a hotel, one reason I use water and energy less efficiently is because I don’t have to pay for it.” And their reported behaviors for water use reflect this attitude. A whopping 70% of frequent travelers agree that they try to conserve water “as much as possible” at home, while only 18% do the same in a hotel.

A New Approach from ELEMENT Hotels

This disparity is why ELEMENT Hotels will be pioneering a new, smart approach to sustainable hoteling when it opens its doors in 2008. Instead of dictating responsibilities to guests, ELEMENT properties will be designed to make environmentally friendly choices intuitive. Key smart design features include:

* Clean and green: Shampoo and conditioner dispensers will eliminate multiple mini-bottles.
* Stemming the tide: Low-flow sink faucets and dual flush toilets and/or low gallonage toilets will allow guests to optimize water use during their time away from home. This small change conserves an estimated 4,358.6 gallons of water per room each year.
* Smart materials: The ELEMENT design incorporates eco-friendly materials wherever possible, from the floor, which will feature carpets with up to 100% recycled content and recycled carpet cushions, to the walls, where art will be mounted on a base made from recycled tires and where low VOC paints will improve indoor air quality for guests and staff.
* Recycling reminder: About 50% of the waste generated in hotels is recyclable, but most hotel rooms don’t have recycling bins. ELEMENT guest rooms will include bins to help guests maintain their home recycling ritual.
* A bright idea: CFLs (compact florescent lamps) light bulbs will be used throughout the hotel instead of incandescent light bulbs. This small change will result in up to 75% less energy used.
* Nature’s best: Biophilic design, which maximizes natural light and sightlines to the outdoors, will help guests thrive and connect with their surroundings.
* Staying smart: An education program will help guests make smart decisions for the environment while traveling and at home.

These small changes are motivated by the ELEMENT brand’s commitment to creating an environment where guests can thrive and be at their best, from their room to their world.

In the end, it is about creating a balance. “No one wants a lecture on the environment when they travel,” points out Sue Brush, Senior Vice President at Starwood. “The idea behind ELEMENT is to make smart choices intuitive and to support our guests’ sustainable lifestyle, so we can simultaneously accommodate our guests and the environment.”

Methodology

The survey was conducted for ELEMENT Hotels by STUDYLOGIC via telephone interviews with 1,041 respondents, screened for a minimum of 3 hotel stays over the past twelve months.

Green Getaways

Hotels are notoriously wasteful…or maybe it’s just that people are notoriously wasteful when at hotels. Whichever the case, hotels reportedly buy more products in a week than 100 families do in a year. That’s a lot of stuff, and a large portion of it gets thrown away at some point. And the tourism industry is huge, employing nearly 10% of the world’s population – a number that is predicted to double by 2010. Fortunately the eco-tourism industry is growing rapidly as well. The WTO claim that ecotourism accounts for 20% of overall tourism dollars. Because of its recent surge in popularity, there are now all sorts of eco-resorts ready to give visitors a sustainable welcome, a luxurious night’s sleep, a guilt-free vacation, and, more often than not a learning experience.

More...

Remember when all a hotel had to do to show its concern for the environment was to ask its guests to reuse their towels?

Hotels now are rolling out all sorts of green programs, in part because their business guests in particular are demanding it, and in part because the hotels are finding that going green saves money.

“Environmental issues are one of the hottest issues within the travel industry right now,” said Bill Connors, the executive director of the National Business Travel Association. The association is addressing the topic of eco-friendly elements in hotel design and operations for the first time at its annual convention in July.

Connorss view is borne out by the rise in hotels registering to be certified under the United States Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, a commercial-building rating system. “I think its a really noticeable trend,” said Max Zahniser, a program manager.

There are currently two certified hotels in the United States Д a Marriott in Maryland and a Hilton in Washington Д and several more are on the way. “At least three-quarters of the projects that have registered are in the last year or two,” Zahniser said.

Read More...

A chic shade of green

St Lucia's hotels are coming up in the world, and blossoming, says Maggie O'Sullivan.

The cricket World Cup earlier this year wasn't quite the money-spinner St Lucia had hoped for. But the prospect of hosting the world did at least kick-start a programm of much-needed infrastructural development: the roads may be awful, but they're a lot less awful than they used to be.

Something else has changed, too. Visitor accommodation used to be mainly all-inclusive beach resorts and three-star hotels. Nothing wrong with that, except they don't bring in the big spenders. So over the past few years, St Lucia has been building or renovating hotels likely to appeal to those looking for something a little more luxurious; both Raffles and Ritz-Carlton plan to open resorts here within the next couple of years.

So, is St Lucia destined to be the next Barbados? I hope not. Who wants to see another beautiful coastline blocked by development? Passionate environmentalist Judith Verity, who with her husband recently opened Discovery at Marigot Bay (see opposite page), believes that St Lucians are beginning to appreciate the natural beauty of their island and are making efforts to preserve it. Below is my guide to the best of St Lucia; hotels are arranged in geographical order, from the south and nearest to the international airport.

Read More...

Hotel Triton San Francisco

I remember the days when I traveled to Toronto (late 1990s) and the hotel had message cards in the bathroom telling you to put your towel in the shower if you wanted a new one ... to help save water and energy from washing a towel that might have only been used once ...

Things have changed ... The Hotel Triton's 7th Floor is ECO friendly. Read on for more

"The days of sacrificing style and comfort to be environmentally conscious are long gone. Hotel Triton is a pioneer ... started with Hotel Triton's one of a kind Eco-Floor™ launched in conjunction with Earth Day in the 1990s. In 2003, the hotel spread its eco-practices to all floors and fostered alliances with organizations such as Trust for Public Land, Green Fusion, Collage Foundation and Happy Planet. ... integrated practices such as a sophisticated waste recycling program, biodegradable cleaning products, recycled paper, and organic coffee. Hotel Triton's environmental efforts became the inspiration and blueprint for Kimpton Hotel's eco-program in 2005, which is now being implemented at all Kimpton Hotels nationwide."

Read More...

12 Tips for Green Travelers

You've decided to camp in the Costa Rican jungle alongside howler monkeys, sloths, parrots and snakes. That makes you an eco traveler, right? Actually, you can be an environmentally conscientious traveler anywhere you go, from New York City to Nepal's highest summits.

Just ask Glen W. Hanket, author of Underwear by the Roadside: LitterWalk Coast-to-Coast. In 1993, Glen and Sue Hanket left behind jobs, friends and family to stroll across the United States and clean it up a bit. He spent his honeymoon walking from Maine to Oregon bagging more than four tons of garbage.

Traveling with an eye to the environment, however, need not require a Herculean effort. Here are 12 ways for travelers to help the planet.

1. Do your homework. The International Ecotourism Society can help you find a responsible ecotourism company. Green Globe is a worldwide certification program designed to help tourists discover their impact on local environment and communities. Planeta.com specializes in environmental and tourism reporting.

2. Choose your destination carefully. "For example, Iceland has some of the most fantastic whale watching in the world, but that country also started hunting whales last year in defiance of an international moratorium," said Chris Cutter, communications manager for the International Fund For Animal Welfare. "In Africa, Kenya has a strong commitment to conservation and a wide variety of habitats and animals, but countries like Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are much less responsible with natural resources."

3. Select a green hotel. Look for lodges and hotels that have received the Green Seal Certification for environmentally responsible practices. For a list of certified lodgings, visit http://www.greenseal.org/certproducts.htm#lodging. Delaware North Companies, which manages some national parks, created the GreenPath environmental management plan to conserve water and energy, reduce and recycle waste, and maintain the properties' integrity. For a list of GreenPath lodgings, visit http://www.delawarenorth.com/Destinations/Destinations.asp. Vacationing in Canada? The Hotel Association of Canada's ECOmmodation Rating Program recognizes hotels, motels, and resorts that are committed to improving their fiscal and environmental performances. Visit www.hacgreenhotels.com for information.

Read More...

Hotels Going Green

Hotels now are rolling out all sorts of green programs, in part because their business guests in particular are demanding it, and in part because the hotels are finding that going green saves money.

Remember when all a hotel had to do to show its concern for the environment was to ask its guests to reuse their towels?

Hotels now are rolling out all sorts of green programs, in part because their business guests in particular are demanding it, and in part because the hotels are finding that going green saves money.

“Environmental issues are one of the hottest issues within the travel industry right now,” said Bill Connors, the executive director of the National Business Travel Association. The association is addressing the topic of eco-friendly elements in hotel design and operations for the first time at its annual convention in July.

Connors’ view is borne out by the rise in hotels registering to be certified under the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, a commercial-building rating system. “I think it’s a really noticeable trend,” said Max Zahniser, a program manager.

Read More...

Hotels Going Green

Hotels around the US are adopting all sorts of environmental measures, says the New York Times. Some are as simple as replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Others involve seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for eco-friendly building designs:

"Environmental issues are one of the hottest issues within the travel industry right now," said Bill Connors, the executive director of the National Business Travel Association. The association is addressing the topic of eco-friendly elements in hotel design and operations for the first time at its annual convention in July.

The major push behind this green shift seems to be coming from these hotels' business guests. For example, Josh Rachlis, a Toronto-based advertising copywriter, states:

"When I'm at a hotel, I always look to see if they use compact fluorescent bulbs, and I try to use as few towels as possible," he said. "Ideally, I'd be looking for a green roof, and if a hotel had recycling facilities, that would be great. I'd be more than happy to take my business there."

Read more...

Green Places to Stay

1. . Aislabeck, Yorkshire Dales

The Dales may be the heartland of traditional Yorkshire, but these eight new cottages overlooking Swaledale are a glimpse of how sustainable holidays might look in the future.

2. Mesmear, Cornwall

The stone-and-slate facade of this stylish 18th-century mill conversion near Polzeath on the north Cornish coast is typical of the region's farm buildings, yet the interior is another world.

3. Blue Reef Cottages, Isle of Harris

Overlooking a vast sandy beach, these two remote cottages (each sleeping two) are rated five-star by the Scottish Tourist Board. Open the door to find a hamper of local produce (black pudding, jam and shortcake) plus a bottle of champagne on ice.

Read more...

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2007 is the previous archive.

August 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.