TripAdvisor Survey Unveils Hospitality Industry’s Top Eco Trends

7/30/2012 By Glenn Hasek

NEWTON, MASS.—TripAdvisor announced the results of its latest TripAdvisor Industry Index. With more than 25,000 responses from hoteliers around the globe, and more than 5,000 from the United States alone, the biannual survey touched on green topics ranging from top five eco-friendly practices to the reason for implementing eco-friendly practices. A portion of the survey results were provided as an exclusive to Green Lodging News.

The top five global eco-friendly practices include: energy efficient light bulbs, 79 percent; towel/linen reuse, 62 percent; energy efficiency plan, 56 percent; have green cleaning programs, 52 percent; and use water-efficient toilets and showerheads, 52 percent. The top five U.S. eco-friendly practices include: towel/linen reuse, 82 percent, energy efficient light bulbs, 78 percent; use water-efficient low-flow toilets and showerheads, 63 percent, use an energy efficiency plan/program, 62 percent, and use recycled paper products, 61 percent.

Why do U.S. properties with eco-friendly practices in place decided to implement them? According to TripAdvisor, 66 percent said for cost reduction. Fifty-one percent said they do so because it is an industry trend. Twenty-nine percent said guest demand. Twenty-five percent said they do it for marketing and public relations purposes. Thirteen percent said because the competition has it. Seven percent do so because of regulation and three percent to increase room rates.

Most U.S. Hoteliers Said Eco Practices Important

When asked the importance for accommodation businesses to have eco-friendly practices in place, 40 percent of U.S. respondents said very important, 45 percent said somewhat important, 12 percent said neither important nor unimportant, 2 percent said not very important, and 1 percent said not important at all.

According to the survey, 81 percent of U.S. hotel respondents said they have eco-friendly practices in place—seventh in the world. The top six destinations include: New Zealand, 93 percent, Canada, 91 percent, Brazil, 87 percent, France, 85 percent, and Indonesia and Italy, 83 percent. The United States was followed by Caribbean, Australia, and India at 80 percent.

In other results, hoteliers in North America (81 percent), Asia Pacific (81 percent) and Latin America (85 percent) were much more likely to report being profitable than respondents from Europe and the Middle East (69 percent). Properties with more than 50 rooms were more than twice as likely to report that they have been very profitable in the last six months. Forty-seven percent of U.S. hotels expect to raise rates during the remainder of 2012. Only 31 percent of hotels in Canada and 30 percent from Mexico expect a similar spike in rates.

Almost two-thirds of global respondents said they use some form of social media to help attract guests. China is the country that engages travelers most with mobile devices (41 percent). Thirty-four percent of U.S. respondents said they use mobile devices to engage travelers.

Methodology

The latest installment of the TripAdvisor 2012 Industry Index was conducted June 7 to 14, 2012 and was sent by e-mail to a random sample of global accommodation owners and managers. The survey generated 25,517 responses worldwide. Data analysis and other survey consultation were performed by Brainbox Research Ltd. Please note sample sizes for the following countries were low compared to the other countries surveyed: China (188), Malaysia (129), Mexico (151) and Russia (64).

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