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The Independent Hotel Show reveals consumers’ attitudes to environmental consciousness in hotels

The landscape of luxury is rapidly changing, according to telling new research from the Independent Hotel Show.

A new report has gathered the opinions of 2,000 travellers sharing their views on hotels’ environmental responsibility, of which 75% are UK based, 64% female and 88% aged between 26 and 66 years old. The report, in partnership with Criton, supports the Independent Hotel Show’s live installation, The Conscious Bedroom, which will consider, showcase and celebrate both the environmental and social factors that contribute to a consciously designed hotel bedroom.

The Conscious Bedroom Report comes at a crucial time to offer hotels ideas for which areas of developing environmentally conscious campaigns should take precedence, with 76% of holidaymakers feeling that hotels ‘could do more to be greener’, according to a 2019 survey by Taxi2Airport. The research follows a roundtable discussion last month with key sustainability ambassadors in the luxury and boutique hotel sector and divulges exclusive insight into the core areas of consciousness as perceived by the prospective hotel guest and hotelier.

Perception is key
At the roundtable, Judi Blakeburn of Watergate Bay Hotel and Another Place confirmed the notion that ‘sustainable strategies attract a ‘good’ clientele’ as well as contributing towards young staff retention. The latest annual report by the conscious bank Triodos claimed that 49% of under 24s refused to use a particular business with a negative environmental impact.

The changing perception of luxury is more prevalent than ever in the hotel industry, as 73% of guests reported that a hotel does not appear budget when using large refillable bottles for its in-room toiletries, and as many as 88% of respondents would be willing to sleep under the same bedsheets for the duration of their stay. With ‘luxury’ changing to augment eco-considerations, 78% and therefore the vast majority of those surveyed would like to see ‘upcycled’ furniture in their hotel room. The statistics are a thought-provoking reminder to hoteliers to challenge the status quo and reconsider practices in the industry that are currently considered ‘the norm’.

What can hoteliers do?
Understanding the difficulty of implementing a 360-degree sustainability policy, The Conscious Bedroom Report breaks down the deliverables into specific actions according to perceived importance.

Hoteliers at different stages in their journey towards a sustainable business can be encouraged by the manageable small steps outlined in the report, from re-evaluating the need for minibars, with 71% of respondents admitting they never even open them, to the same percentage happy to use an honesty bar. Almost three quarters of those asked highly value local produce in hotels, with 72% agreeing that it would be preferable.

A luxury reputation, it seems, doesn’t necessarily need to come with a luxury price tag for hoteliers looking to spruce up their spaces. Justin Salisbury of Artist Residence revealed that the business spends around £20,000 in total on the interiors for each of its public spaces, most of which come from eBay. Mark Godfrey of Deer Park Country Hotel added that they are even getting to the stage where they are ‘earning money from some of [their] green initiatives, due to the subsidies [they’re] receiving.

On the decision to curate this year’s report, the show’s director, Miranda Martin said: “The Conscious Bedroom brings the future of hospitality to life in a unique environment which showcases sustainable hotel practices in action. We wanted to go one step further in helping independent hoteliers understand the growing eco-tourism market and how that directly impacts this industry; the report offers measurable inspiration for hoteliers to take away from the show and will support them to seriously consider ways in which their environmental policies could be used to hugely enhance the consumer’s travel experience.”

Combining luxury interior design and environmentally conscious solutions, The Conscious Bedroom, designed by Harris & Harris will give forward thinking hoteliers a view of how to balance guest experience with sustainable choices. An overarching ethos of wellbeing in hospitality has been carefully considered in each aspect of the installation. The full report will also be made available alongside the installation at the Independent Hotel Show on 15-16 October at Olympia London.

For more information on the Independent Hotel Show 2019 and to register for your complimentary pass, visit