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Analysing the Relevance of Green Hotels in the Indian Hospitality Sector

AVAHAN: A Journal on Hospitality and Tourism

Volume 5 Issue 1

Published: 2017
Author(s) Name: Sherry Abraham, Sibi P. S. | Author(s) Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Tourism Studies, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India.
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This paper examines the relevance of eco-friendly hotels in the Indian tourism sector. In recent years, the concept of ecologically sustainable tourism has become very popular. As a result, there is a pressing need for hotels to incorporate ecologically sustainable practices as well. In other words, hotels have to go green. Green hotels depend on the natural environment, conserve energy, efficiently process waste, contribute to conservation, incorporate cultural considerations and provide economic returns to local communities. Some of the benefits of green hotels include lower costs of operations, efficient management of resources, higher profitability and increase in customer goodwill (Buckley, 2014). It may be inferred that the label of a green hotel is one of the ways for a hotel to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. In India, there is a growing awareness of the importance of green hotels in five star hotels. However, the extent to which non-five star hotels in India are aware of the need to go green, the nature of the eco-friendly methods that have already been implemented in Indian non-five hotels and the accruing benefits have not been examined. Hence it is not possible to make recommendations on the unique steps and measures that must be taken to ensure that hotels in India go green. It is this gap in the literature on the Indian tourism sector that this paper attempts to bridge. A qualitative methodology was followed in this paper using both secondary and primary data. The analysis of the secondary data indicated 7 elements that a green hotel must incorporate into its construction and operations including water, energy, waste, procurement, air quality, landscaping and design and local community development. Primary data was collected from 50 hotel managers of non-five star hotels in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It was found that foreign guests who stay in non-five star hotels in India prefer that their hotels follow sustainable, green practices. This indicates that the concept of green is as relevant for the non - five star hotels in India as it is for their five star counterparts. The primary data also indicated how, for each of the green elements considered, what are the attributes that will have to be achieved and the steps that can be implemented to ensure that the hotels go green. The challenge is to create a perception amongst guests that the hotel is in fact following green management principles. How such a perception may be created has been indicated in the recommendations section.

Keywords: Destination Ratings, Tourism Products, Travelers Choices

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