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A New Frontier in Digital Marketing for Hotels: Sustainability and Green Marketing

By Shannon Correia on 30 October 2023

Sustainability has become one of the most popular trends in the hotel industry. Hotels globally are now integrating sustainability into their operations and prioritising it as a top goal. Along with this trend, the concept of ‘green marketing’ has also emerged for hotels seeking to quell traveller concerns about carbon footprints and responsible tourism. Let’s take a look at what the broad term of green marketing means for hotel brands. 

The Rise of Sustainable Tourism

Travellers have an increased awareness of issues related to the environment.  As one of the world’s largest industries that makes a significant impact on the environment, tourism has been a leader in responding to this trend.

In booking.com'sSustainable Travel Report, 61% stated they want to travel “more responsibly in future”, such as using less water or supporting local communities. The report also found that 79% of people want to travel in a more environmentally friendly way on holiday.

Tourism taxes are common at attractions, but places like Venice vary their entry fees based on visitor counts, and areas like Maya Bay Beach in Thailand have restricted tourism for ecological recovery. A widespread initiative has been the reduction of single-use plastics, evident in hotels minimising plastic use and restaurants forgoing plastic straws."

Hotels with Green Initiatives

Let’s take a look at the ways hotels are introducing eco-friendly practices and operations in their bid to support the environment.

Park Regis Singapore aims to create a “cleaner and greener environment” through consciousness, knowledge, and practices. Their green initiatives include:

  • Participating in Earth Hour
  • Regular recycling 
  • Energy conservation efforts

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay is known as one of Singapore’s most Instagrammable hotels, with an indoor atrium that is home to 2,400 trees, shrubs, and plants. Their three core brand pillars are all about iconic design, wellness, and sustainability. Their environmentally-friendly initiatives include:

  • Using their own Urban Farm to supply 20% of produce for diners.
  • Solar power and motion sensors to reduce energy consumption
  • Recycling regime  and food waste management system
  • Plastic usage reduction with filtered water systems in guest rooms

Fairmont Singapore and sister hotel, Swissôtel The Stamford demonstrate their sustainability values through hospitality experiences. They work with CSR partners, staff, and guests to achieve this in multiple ways, such as:

  • Harvesting fresh produce from their Aquaponics Farm
  • Community outreach programmes with their Wishes Start Here Teddy Bear and Tree of Hopecampaigns
  • Using eco-friendly products 
  • Committing to reducing, reusing, and recycling in partnership with Eco Burner
  • Reducing carbon emissions with energy-saving measures 
  • Offering one-time-use bottles with a water dispenser and filtered water in rooms 
  • Using biodegradable cutlery, sustainable disposable containers, and a food waste tracker in restaurants and bars

Top 10 Tips for Promoting Green Initiatives

With the majority of hotels offering a degree of green initiatives, the question becomes: how do we raise awareness among prospective guests? Digital Marketing for Hotels should emphasise their eco-friendly measures, as today's audiences are more inclined to support brands that resonate with their personal values. 

Here are some tips on how to take your sustainability strategy to the next level:

  • Website: Ensure your website has a page dedicated to showcasing your green initiatives.
  • Social Media: Utilise social media to highlight the measures you have in place and engage in conversations with people about the topic.
  • Email Marketing: Continuously engage viewers with updates, developments, and inspiring sustainability stories.
  • Physical marketing: Place informative materials in guest rooms and common areas that explain your hotel's best eco-practices and invite them to participate by taking action (such as reusing towels).
  • Reviews: Encourage reviews from people who have experienced your sustainability efforts for themselves.
  • Content Marketing: Share informative content and tips about responsible tourism.
  • Specify: Specify exactly what your hotel does and how to prevent ‘green-washing’ with blanket terms.
  • Awards: There are many certifications and awards that hotels can and should apply for as a way of being recognised at an industry-wide level.
  • Extend: Promotions or campaigns that merge sustainability with charity drives or wellness packages are a great way to take sustainability from being operations-based to something tangible for guests and beneficiaries to experience.
  • Partner: Collaborate with organisations and partners to uplift the community, evaluate your sustainability measures, and enhance your efforts.

Hotels should authentically incorporate sustainability in all their marketing efforts.

It has become imperative for hotels and the greater hospitality industry to be transparent and committed to saving the planet. With inspiration from leading hotels in Singapore and applying the tips listed above, your hotel can improve and maximise its sustainability strategy and digital marketing for hotels in 2024

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