Tourism-related enterprises that do not develop more viable and ecological products face the prospect of negative publicity, the Chairman of Considerate Hoteliers, Graham Miller, said at the Delphi Economic Forum VI in Athens on Tuesday.
At a panel discussion on “Eco-Friendly Greece: Making Greece a Top Sustainable Tourism Destination”, Graham Miller said that investments in saving on energy and water are not necessarily expensive. He cited as example sensors in a hotel room that turn power off and save as much as 15 pct of the energy cost for a single room.
The coronavirus pandemic has turned people into wiser travellers, looking for destinations that respect the environment, Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) said at the panel. Although data show that travellers do not ask a lot of questions before booking a hotel, they are happy when they see that it follows good environmental practices, particularly if they are under 35 years of age.
As Eleni Andreadis, Director of Sustainability at Sani-Ikos pointed out, being profitable and following ‘green practices’ is not incompatible, and said all hotels in her group followed this, while one was also plastic free. The target is to turn all hotels in the group to zero-waste hotels, which needs proper training of the staff, she added.
Also speaking at the panel were Gregory Miller, Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), and CEO of Travel Foundation Jeremy Sampson. The discussion was moderated by Marianna Skylakaki, Editor in Chief of award-winning daily newsletter αθηNEA.