Factors of sustainability and development in the hotel industry will be discussed and defined to provide a context for this research. Knowledge of the performance, trends and features of hotels in the industry will be used as a case study. Remarkable growth of sustainable development in a hotel environment is supported by recent literature.
Sustainability movement incorporates complete thinking that combines problem solving with regards to equity, ecology and economy. This kind of thinking is crucial in the sustainable movement and implementation of sustainable development strategies in the hotel industry.
Scholars accept the Brundtland report's definition of sustainability. The report not only developed the most common definitions of sustainability, but provided an interwoven understanding of the effects and causes. The causes and effects were divided into three, namely as the three E's, which are: ecology, equity and economy.
The balance between ecology, economy and equity place stresses on the dependent and interconnected relationship between environment, people and business development in the hotel industry.
The economy class of sustainability is very vital because it is highly linked to the hotel industry, jobs, financial growth and technological advancement. Every business must consider the financial development and the profitability to be able to survive and be able to guarantee to shareholders their profits. For example, the hotel industry seeks to develop a service as cheaply as possible without considering how the service will affect the environment.
While business such as the hotel industry is important for the economy growth, extreme destructions have been made to the eco-system; therefore, a more sustainable future needs reengineering in a way business can prosper (Hawken, 2006).
A truly sustainable company seeks to determine a way to offer a service and make a profit without destroying the environment.
Equity category deliberates the treatment of the people involved in sustainable development. (McDonough & Braungart, 2006). It brings questions of racism and respect of cultures. This highly affects the hotel industry, which depends on the hospitality of the staff and, at large, the citizens of the country. For a hotel industry to be successful, it has to embrace the demands of the clients that range from luxury to respect.
The interest of sustainable development in the hotel industry has many factors that have to be considered so as to develop a more sustainable hotel industry such as the reexamining of the industry marketing and development strategies (Mc Donough &Braungart, 2006).
This is a tool used to stir sustainable development that is used within the greater ecological framework. This framework has several methods to reduce ecological damage, and it can also be referred as a green architecture, ecological design, green design and economical friendly design (Edward, 2005).
The current views of luxury show evidence of the value of manifestations, but it is done best by hotels. The design and the history of hotels features change with time. Presently, the hotel design reflects our culture and has a desire for future growth through sustainable technology.
Green or sustainable hotels can be defined as hotels, which adopt policies of safety, are environmentally friendly, healthy, implement green management practices, consumption, advocate nature, protect the ecology and use resources properly. The hospitality field is reconsidering how to fruitfully combine sustainability and luxury together in a way that does not diminish from great guest experiences in the hotel industry. When combining luxury and sustainability, the guest experience is very important (Sheehan, 2007). Present definitions of sustainability emphasis on sacrifice to be effective in hospitality environments.
Now hotels are adopting sustainable practices (Coleman, 2009); though, many hotels are moving through marketing schemes that they are greener than they truly are. Consumers who are uninformed of sustainable standards have a hard time differentiating whether hotels are truly green and which ones are merely marketing them.
Research shows some inconsistencies in sustainable hotels caused due to the lack of clear standards (Kasim, 2004). An example is the Green Hotel Association (2007), which offers ideas and guidelines for general managers and executive housekeepers on how to implement sustainable concepts and products into their hotel.