Survey reveals green hotel interest doesn't carry over to room rates

Hotels have made strides in pushing for more environmentally friendly construction and operation in recent years, both to benefit the planet and to attract green-minded guests. Travelers have asked for a higher standard of sustainability in recent years, and hotels have stepped up to the plate in search of LEED and other certifications, but are travelers themselves willing to put their money where their mouth is?

According to Digital Journal, Agoda.com recently provided an answer to this very question, and it isn't looking good. The Asian hotel booking site launched the results of its Global Earth Day Hotels Survey yesterday, showing that while guests are attracted to environmentally attractive hotels, they are unwilling to pay more to stay in them. The survey was conducted online throughout March 2014. Over 57,000 Agoda.com customers were polled on their opinions of hotels and their efforts towards sustainability, with 58 percent of travelers saying they prefer environmentally friendly hotels. Despite this, only 39 percent of respondents claim they would pay an extra $10 or more per night to stay in such a hotel.

The results were also available based on geography. Travelers from the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK cared the least about eco friendly hotels, with only 35 percent of Danish and Dutch travelers and only 38 percent of UK travelers reporting they prefer them. In addition, 57 percent, 47 percent and 47 percent, respectively, said they would not pay anything more to stay in a sustainable property.

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Phil Star reported that Filippino travelers were ranked highly among international travelers when it came to environmental travelers. Seventy-six percent of Filipinos said they would be more likely to stay in a green hotel, and 60 percent said they would be willing to pay more than $10 per night.

Highest ranked in the survey, according to ABS-CBN News, were Chinese travelers. Seventy-nine percent of Chinese travelers are attracted to green hotels, but only 35 percent claim they are willing to spend anything extra.

Specific environmentally-friendly hotel practices were cited in the report as well, with travelers most responsive to environmentally-friendly cleaning products and recycling, with 37 percent of the total votes cast selecting these as their favorite practices. The least popular practice was the re-use of towels and sheets, which only garnered 23 percent of the votes.