From: By Glenn Hasek, Editor Green Lodging News
Published August 13, 2007 10:55 AM

New element Survey Reveals Surprising Guest Behavior Habits

You may have missed it but last week Green Lodging News ran a press release from element Hotels — a new Westin-inspired extended-stay brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide—that concluded that most travelers (59 percent) are less environmentally conscious while on the road. Starwood’s element surveyed more than 1,000 travelers.

This may come as no surprise to anyone who runs a lodging establishment but your guests are taking advantage of you.

According to the survey, travelers are more apt to leave the light on in a hotel as compared to at home (60 percent), and 70 percent will open a new amenity bottle every time they take a shower. Although only about one-third (34 percent) believe it is important to change sheets and towels daily at home, 75 percent believe it is important to have fresh versions daily in a hotel. This is not good news for the environment and all of those towel and linen replacement programs.

Fortunately, element is fighting fire with fire to help combat travelers’ lax behavior. They are “forcing” guests to act responsibly—without them necessarily noticing. When it opens its first hotel next year, element will equip showers with shampoo and conditioning dispensers, install low-flow faucets and toilets to save 4,358 gallons of water per room each year, incorporate eco-friendly materials in construction when possible, include recycling bins in guestrooms, and use compact fluorescents throughout the hotel.

Green Lodging News commends element for carefully examining guest behavior before making changes in operations. Their research ultimately will help reduce the brand’s environmental impact. This should be a lesson to everyone who runs a hotel, motel, resort, inn or lodge. Even though there are many responsible travelers out there, don’t assume anything. Implement the products, technologies and processes necessary to counter guest behavior. Your bottom line and the planet will be better for it.


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