Hotel Guests’ Reactions to Guest Room Sustainability Initiatives

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This study employs an empirical procedure to address a key issue regarding energy-saving manipulations to hotel guest rooms. That issue is how guests will react to changes that are intended to save energy—or whether the conservation efforts can be subtle enough that they will not interfere with the guest experience. The study involved the following experimental conditions: reduced television power levels and alterations in bathroom lighting in the guest rooms of the Statler Hotel, which is the 150-room, four-diamond property operated by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration as both a commercial hotel and as a student teaching laboratory. The study tested four power levels for the guestroom liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions, and also compared guests’ reactions to the existing compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in the bathrooms and to light emitting diodes (LEDs) which replaced the CFLs in some rooms. Guests were asked for their assessments of several aspects of the room. They noticed no differences in the televisions, regardless of power level, and they were likewise equally pleased with LEDs and CFLs. This study points to the likelihood that hoteliers can confidently reduce power to LCD television sets (or replace old sets), and they can at minimum replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs for considerable savings, or take a further energy conserving step and use LED lighting. This study indicates that guests either do not notice or are supportive of such energy-conservation measures. One other hopeful finding is that many respondents said that they would be willing to pay more to support a hotel’s sustainability initiatives.

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hotels; sustainability initiatives; energy savings; guest rooms


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