"Guests are not demanding, but expecting to be in a hotel that is not mined full of environmental issues," said Otto Kurzendorfer, General Manager at Dubai-based JA Jebel Ali Resort.
In 2015, environmental sustainability ranked for the first time among the top ten drivers that brought guests back to Rotana’s properties, according to Christiane Abou Zeidan, Group Director of Environment, Health and Safety at Abu Dhabi-based hospitality chain, Rotana.
“30% of our guests explicitly inquire for performance against sustainability-related criteria,” Zeidan said. Customers and tour-operating companies assess these criteria via a combination of independent auditor visits and voluntarily transparent surveys that properties themselves complete. “Based on their findings or our responses, they will give us business—or not,” said Zeidan.
95% of business travelers surveyed believe that the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives and that sustainability will become a defining issue for the industry in 2015 and beyond, according to Deloitte’s Hospitality 2015 report.