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Prieto 1 Jasmin Prieto 23 October, 2013 ENC1102 Ecotourism and Environmental Sustainability: The Importance Of Going Green The

hospitality industry is one of the largest industries in the U.S. and other industrialized countries, making up over 70% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (Barber, Deale, Goodman, 8). With that being said, this industry has a huge influence on everyday lives which should not be taken lightly. For the purpose of this paper, I will be narrowing my focus to the hotel sector of hospitality. Members of this sector are always striving to find new ways to enhance the guest experience while also maximizing profits, and one of the hot topics in discussion is the green movement; in other words, ecotourism and sustainable hospitality. Hotels consume lots of energy, water and other natural resources on a daily basis which, as a result, have negative impacts on the environment. With that being said, ecotourism is the idea of reducing the use of natural resources in order to preserve the surrounding environment for present and future generations to enjoy (hence the term green movement). Not only is it good for the environment, but research has showed an economical benefit as well. Ecotourism and the overall concept of it has multiple synonyms, such as going green, sustainable hospitality, and other like terms that will be used frequently throughout this paper. The concept of sustainable hospitality and going green has been an ongoing conversation between members of this community since the 1980s. Within this conversation, some recurring ideas include giving certificates and eco-labels to hotels who demonstrate ecofriendly initiatives, networking with different stakeholders in order to further develop and implement this idea, Environmental Management Systems to help preserve the environment, the lack of

Prieto 2 knowledge towards the concept, and most importantly, the lack of a clear definition. Another recurring idea within this conversation is the idea of incorporating sustainable development education into hospitality management curriculums. The topic of ecotourism has been getting a lot of attention from many different persons who are concerned with preserving the environment. Other members who would also be interested in this conversation include hotel managers and owners, stakeholders within the hospitality community who would like to make a positive difference to the environment while also cutting costs (college students taking hospitality courses, hospitality college educators, and professionals within the industry), and travelers who consider themselves eco-tourists because they would like to help preserve the environment while away from home. The primary stance of this conversation is the idea of moving from mass tourism to sustainable tourism. It is mainly viewed as a great movement from both an economical and environmental stance. However, it isnt heavily demanded in various places. This is partially due to the lack of sustainable tourism education and concerns regarding initial high costs for implementing ecotourism techniques. Through academic journals and periodicals as well as various case studies, I explored these recurring ideas within this conversation to research the different views members have on implementing sustainable hospitality policies and procedures. Through this research, I noticed the lack of clarity for a true definition of the terms ecotourism and sustainable hospitality which is due to the fact that there are many different perspectives of how to implement sustainability within the hotel sector.

Prieto 3 Anderson, Wineaster. Promoting Ecotourism Through Networks: Case Studies In The Balearic Islands. Journal Of Ecotourism 8.1 (2009): 51-69. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 12 Oct. 2013. Wineaster Anderson, who works for the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Balearic Islands in Palma, Spain, performed case studies on how effective ecotourism is in the Balearic Islands and how to promote it through the use of networks throughout all of the Islands. The purpose of this issue-based network theory is to market the economic and environmental benefits of ecotourism in order to promote going green in the hospitality and tourism industry (54). Anderson used a qualitative research methodology and informally interviewed the key stakeholders involved with networking ecotourism within the Balearic Archipelago. The results of this research identified the different networks within each Island that were composed of stakeholders between the government, the community, and academia. Each network promoted different sectors of ecotourism, such as environmental education, management of wastes, and sustainable use of resources. Although the demand for implementing ecotourism is not high in these islands, stakeholders and Anderson agree that sustainable tourism development is overall beneficial to preserving the environment while also attracting higher clientele, thus why these case studies fit into this conversation. Ayuso, Silvia. Comparing Voluntary Policy Instruments For Sustainable Tourism: The Experience Of The Spanish Hotel Sector. Journal Of Sustainable Tourism 15.2 (2007): 144-159. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. In this academic journal, Silvia Ayuso, who works at the Center for Business in Society, IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, took a different approach to this study as opposed to previous studies in the field. She evaluated each sustainable tourism tool and policy based on the incentives

Prieto 4 to implement them and the obstacles that came along with the implementation of the tools within the Spanish hotel sector rather than the instruments themselves. She utilized a qualitative research methodology (in-depth interviews with hotel managers, direct observations, and reviews of different documents) to examine a total of 30 environmentally active hotels throughout Spain (147). Ayuso concluded that certain sustainable tourism instruments have high costs and may jeopardize customers satisfaction, but incentives to implement them come from an ethical stance, improved hotel image and internal company management, and financial gains. The two instruments that had the highest impact on the environment were eco-labels and Environmental Management Systems (EMSs); however, despite the fact that these instruments show a great improvement in the environment through Ayusos research, lack of interest or commitment prevents hotels to further implement these tools. This article is of relevance to my research because it shows evidence that hotels who do show incentives to implement these tools reduce the negative impact that the business has on the environment. Barber, Nelson, Cynthia Deale, and Raymond Goodman Jr. Environmental Sustainability In The Hospitality Management Curriculum: Perspectives From Three Groups Of Stakeholders. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education 23.1 (2011): 6-17. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. This research took a different approach to this conversation by focusing on how important sustainable development education is in the hospitality management curriculum. Nelson Barber, Ph.D., Cynthia Deale, Ph.D. and Raymond Goodman, Jr., Ph.D., observed three groups of stakeholders in hospitality management programs: college students, who are the future business

Prieto 5 leaders in the industry; college educators who are members of the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE); and industry professionals who are members of the hospitality advisory board of Northeast University. The stakeholders were given questionnaires to evaluate where each respondent stood with regards to their attitude towards the environment and their environmentally friendly (or non-friendly) behaviors (12). The results of the research demonstrated that college students showed the most interest in environmental sustainability, whereas industry professionals showed more interest in economic sustainability than the other two groups (15). Since sustainability is increasing in popularity among the hospitality industry, it is important to include sustainability in the hospitality management curriculum in order to acquire knowledge on how to be more sustainable within hospitality. All in all, each stakeholder group agreed that sustainability in education is important to help gain more knowledge to preserve the environment when operating within the hospitality industry and should be a required mind set of all employees (7). Blank, Christine. Going Green Saves Green. Hospitality & Motel Management 222.16 (2007): 23-96. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. In this periodical written by Christine Blank, contributing editor for the Hospitality & Motel Management, she interviewed managers and vice presidents of several hotels who have started to implement sustainable operations. Analogous to what has been discussed within this discourse community, embracing this green movement not only preserves the environment, but also tremendously cuts costs for hoteliers. To illustrate, IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi, Miss., saves $38,000 a year in paper costs by switching to paperless registration, on top of reducing electricity costs by using compact fluorescent bulbs (23).

Prieto 6 Vice president and chief engineer for Rosen Hotels, Daniel Gutierrez predicted to save $350,000 a year in electricity costs since the Rosen team began implementing sustainable environmental behaviors. Such behaviors include reducing the amount of light bulbs used in fixtures and tinting all the windows of the hotel. This periodical further emphasizes the economic and environmental benefits experienced by hotels who have begun encompassing this green movement thus fitting into the conversation of sustainable hospitality. Buckley, Ralf. Evaluating The Net Effects Of Ecotourism On The Environment: A Framework, First Assessment And Future Research. Journal Of Sustainable Tourism 17.6 (2009): 643-672. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. Member of the International Centre for Ecotourism Research at Griffith University, Ralf Buckley did a review on the environmental goals and outcomes that resulted from implementing ecotourism with regards to the environment. After conducting his research, Buckley established that there are barriers to evaluating the net effect ecotourism has on the environment, thus only being able to evaluate the relationship on broad terms (666). Barriers include lack of agreement on what is included in regards to the direct effect of ecotourism on the environment, technical difficulties on calculating the aggregate bottom line for the ecotourism sector, and the fact that theres an insufficient amount of research done in order to provide a general image of how the environment is impacted by ecotourism (665). In other words, Buckley is calling for more members involved in this discourse community to join this conversation in order to come up with a more specific definition of ecotourism and what it consists of.

Prieto 7 Jurowski, Claudia, and Janne J. Liburd. A Multi-Cultural And Multi-Disciplinary Approach To Integrating The Principles Of Sustainable Development Into Human Resource Management Curriculums In Hospitality And Tourism. Journal Of Hospitality & Tourism Education 13.5 (2001): 36. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. Written by Claudia Jurowski, Ph.D., an associate professor at Northern Arizona University, this article stresses the importance of incorporating sustainable tourism into the curriculum of a human resource management course in hospitality and tourism. In order to develop a curriculum exercise to distribute to hospitality and tourism programs around the world, sustainability modules were produced in three subject areas: planning and development, marketing, and human resource management (36). The more students incorporate one of the sustainability modules into their hospitality management curriculum, the better prepared they will be to make sustainability operational within the hospitality industry (29). This fits into the conversation because it is generally agreed that there is a lack of knowledge with sustainable tourism thus fitting it into the curriculum of a hospitality major is beneficial. Kasim, Azilah. The Need For Business Environmental And Social Responsibility In The Tourism Industry. International Journal Of Hospitality & Tourism 7.1 (2006): 1-22. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 12 Oct. 2013. Azilah Kasim, Associate Professor and part of the faculty of Tourism, Hospitality and Environmental Management at Northern University of Malaysia, wrote a review on how tourism and the physical and social environments interconnect with one another, thus emphasizing the importance of ecotourism, especially within the hotel sector. Because there isnt a specific definition of how to operationalize sustainable tourism, Kasim believes this to be one of the reasons

Prieto 8 why ecotourism is getting a slow response from hotels. With that being said, there has to be a collective effort between hotels and governmental policymakers as well as key stakeholders (the society, non-governmental organizations, community based organizations and tourists) in order to successfully prioritize ecotourism (19). This review focuses on how the hotel sector and tourism has a negative, direct connection with the environment which is why it fits into this conversation. Kim Yunhi, et al. Understanding How Consumers View Green Hotels: How A Hotels Green Image Can Influence Behavioral Intentions. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 18.7 (2010): 901-914. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 12 Oct. 2013. Yunhi Kim from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, along with three other authors, surveyed a total of 416 hotel users to examine the connection between a green hotel image and how it can affect behavioral intentions. Unlike other studies, the focus of this article is on the green consumer rather than the hotels. One of the main indicators that show consumer interests to sustainable tourism is the rising increase of people willing to pay the extra dollar if it will benefit the environment, such as biodegradable toiletries (901). The definition of behavioral intentions varies, but according to a definition written by Han and Ryu used in this study, it is referred to as the likelihood to perform a purchasing behavior, whether it be favorable or unfavorable (905). This research suggests that hotels with a green image not only reduce costs but also positively influence guest loyalty, which fits into this conversation because it shows how ecotourism benefits both the consumer and the business.

Prieto 9 Kokkranikai, Jithendran, Rory McLellan, and Tom Baum. Island Tourism And Sustainability: A Case Study Of The Lakshadweep Islands. Journal Of Sustainable Tourism 11.5 (2003): 426-447. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 12 Oct. 2013. The authors of this academic journal, who work for the Scottish Hotel School at the University of Strathclyde, did a case study on the Lakshadweep islands, located off the coast of India, in order to analyze sustainable tourism development to preserve the islands delicate environment. Through telephone interviews and e-mail questionnaires, the authors were able to identify valuable tourism-planning and management patterns that could be beneficial for other island tourism planners (429). Since these small islands have many limitations such as limited resources and lack of infrastructure, it is important for Lakshadweep to implement sustainable tourism techniques. Without careful and proper ecotourism techniques, the environment of Lakshadweep islands could potentially become negatively affected. The authors observed the different types of tourism Lakshadweep utilized (controlled, segregated and enclave) and concluded that these approaches minimize, if not elude, the detrimental effects of tourism on small islands. Although most of the other articles in this conversation deal with sustainable practices such as eco-labeling, this case study ties into the conversation because it shows on a smaller scale how crucial it is to implement sustainable tourism. Lawson, Scott H. Ecotourism And Green Building Define The 21St-Century. Hospitality Construction 3.2 (2008):78-81. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. Written by Scott H. Lawson, president of The Scott Lawson Companies located in Concord, N.H., this periodical focuses on how the design of green hotels appeals to travelers decisions as well as the benefits of going green. According to Lawson and his

Prieto 10 research, the amount of consumers that are willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly product or service is increasing and thus should entice more hotels to go green (78). Many hoteliers are discouraged about building green because of the presumably high initial costs; however, they fail to acknowledge the overall profitability in the long run, not just economically but also environmentally. Business hotels save money and make money when they go green by reducing costs and gain the competitive advantage when consumers are willing to spend more at a hotel that is conscious of the environment. This periodical fits into the conversation because it demonstrates the positive outcome of ecotourism and going green. Melissen, Frans. Sustainable Hospitality: A Meaningful Notion?. Journal Of Sustainable Tourism 21.6 (2013): 810-824. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. Frans Melissen, member of the Academy of Hotel Management, explored the notion of sustainable hospitality, how it lacks a clear definition, and its effectiveness on the environment. Melissen roots this problem to the various perspectives people have across the globe when regarding the definition of hospitality and the definition of sustainability. Although all the numerous definitions of each term can relate to one another, no true progress can be made until there is a more precise definition of the two terms, according to Melissen. Indeed, going green has been proven to benefit hotels in multiple economic aspects (817), but whether sustainable hospitality has a direct, positive impact on the environment is understudied. Thus, this article goes along with this conversation since it calls for further research and enquiry about sustainable hospitality in order to obtain a more precise definition of the concept.

Prieto 11 Mensah, Ishmael. Environmental Management And Sustainable Tourism Development: The Case Of Hotels In Greater Accra Region (GAR) Of Ghana. Journal Of Retail & Leisure Property 6.1 (2007): 15-22. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. 11 Oct. 2013. Certified Hospitality Educator by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Ishmael Mensah studied the environmental management practices of fifty-two managers in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Even though Mensah believes the concept of Sustainable Tourism Development is still evolving, making it more difficult to implement sustainability, he noticed eco-labels promote and encourage a positive image for environmentally friendly hotels (16). A common trend that was noted within this study is the idea that more hotels are moving from mass tourism to sustainable tourism, which ranges from small hotels to larger scale resorts, although it is more commonly found in the latter. Going along with what other researchers are saying in this conversation, it can be concluded that reducing the consumption of natural resources, and conserving energy and water will not only increase profitability and benefit all hotels (and the environment), but also improve overall hotel image and reduce costs (17). Oderwald, Maureen. Green Hotels. Hosteur 17.1 (2008): 13-16. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. In this periodical written by Maureen Oderwald, an Undergraduate Student in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at the University of Delaware, she proves that although many hotels are concerned about the initial high costs of implementing ecofriendly tourism instruments, studies show that hotels who go green benefit economically with a profit (15). Hotels that make an effort to go green, especially with regards to electricity and water, can significantly reduce costs and preserve the environment by taking steps as small as fixing leaks to switching to

Prieto 12 fluorescent lighting within the hotel. According to researchers within this article, having a green image makes hotels more desirable to guests and are cost effective in the long run. This periodical is especially important to my research on sustainable tourism through hotels because it shows not only is going green beneficial to the environment but also the fact that the overall outcome and benefits of implementing sustainable tourism efforts outweigh the initial costs of implementing them. Sheehan, Patricia. Branding And Green Issues Drive Design. Hotel & Motel Management 222.22 (2007): 20-29. Hospitality & Tourism Complete. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. Patricia Sheehan, a hotel design managing editor, wrote a periodical on the importance of hotel appearance and how going green will enhance the overall guest experience. According to lodging and architectural experts, theyre focus is to appeal to the younger generations (specifically GenX and Millennial travelers) since they make up the majority of the business travelers and are referred to as the key drivers for everything green (29). However, one of the main concerns for implementing ecofriendly designs is how costly it will be. The premium for going green in 2007 was less than 5% which really motivated hotel owners and asset managers to look more into going green (29). As I further conduct my research on this conversation on sustainable hospitality within this community, cost is always one of the leading factors that either hold back or encourage hotels to go green. Similar to other articles, hotel owners and architects aspire to provide exceptional hotel experience with a sustainable design while also minimizing costs. Swami, Raghavendra, and Shivangi Sharma. Hotel Industry Embraces Green Revolution Across The Globe. International Transactions In Applied Sciences 3.3 (2011): 363-380. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. Raghavendra Swami, who is the

Prieto 13 Associate Professor & Head Department of Management Studies GRD at the Institute of Management & Technology, and Shivangi Sharma, a Sr. Lecturer from the same department as Swami, conducted research on the importance of adopting eco-friendly procedures through the Green Revolution within the hotel industry. Joining this ecobandwagon (366) not only saves costs (despite the initial high costs), but also appeals to the increasing tourists and travelers who desire to be eco-friendly while traveling, thus giving ecofriendly hotels the advantage over hoteliers who dont practice ecotourism. According to studies conducted by International Hotels Environment Initiative and Accor, 90% of hotel guests prefer ecofriendly hotels. Some ways to adapt to the green movement involve efforts that increase a hotels energy conservation (i.e. solar energy) and substituting products for more eco-friendly and biodegradable products. Going along with what others have been saying in this conversation, Swami and Sharma also pointed out how eco-labeling encourages hotels to become environmental friendly which, again, appeals to eco-friendly tourists (371). In other words, joining this green revolution is profitable in the long run while also preserving the environment.