As you would imagine, and as our chat with Glenn Haussman showed, there are many different factors that go into a traveler’s decision to stay someplace. Cost, amenities and previous guests reviews all can factor into how one determines to spend their downtime when travelling. But what about green guest room attributes? What, if any, factors of a green room help a guest decide where to stay?
A Cornell University study asked over 550 business and leisure travelers what factors went into their decision to stay at a green hotel and how much they thought that service was worth. Factors such as recycling policies, energy efficient light bulbs and green certification were all a part of the research in finding out what matters most.
Through the research, the authors were able to determine that both business and leisure travelers had the same preferences. Each:
- Preferred a room with a refillable shampoo dispenser
- A key card that controls power to the room
- Energy-efficient light bulbs
- A towel reuse policy, and sheets changed on request only
- Would like recycling bins in the lobby, not in rooms
- Prefer that the hotel have a “green” certification
Knowing what guests want doesn’t mean hotels can blindly charge them and expect guests to pay. In fact, in the report we learned that the majority of travelers (78% business and 84% leisure), are willing and expect to pay the same for these green attributes. Few, five and six percent respectively, are willing to pay less and 18% business travlers and ten percent leisure travelers would pay more.
Despite showing that guests aren’t as willing to pay for the work required to improve a property’s green appeal, it’s still important for property’s to realize what guests are looking for. This report gives a firsthand, scientific look at what guests want. It won’t speak for everyone, but basing decisions off a sample size like this won’t lead managers and owners astray.