European hotels are missing out on business by failing to trumpet their environmental credentials as effectively as possible, experts have warned.
The third European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, by research firm JD Power and Associates, shows that, despite broad backing for green business practices among guests, hotels aren't doing enough to communicate the steps they are taking.
The survey - of 11,728 guests who stayed at a hotel in Europe between June and September - revealed that 44% were not aware of the environmentally friendly practices undertaken by the hotels where they stayed.
In comparison, nearly two-thirds of hotel guests in the US were aware of their hotel's green policies when they stayed.
Of hotel guests in Europe who are aware of the operator's environmental policies, over three-quarters said they were willing to participate in them.
Linda Hirneise, executive director of the travel practice at JD Power, said that it was "vitally important" for hotel properties to actively market their eco-friendly activities and to make the offerings easy for guests to recognise.
She said: "Without an increase in awareness, these properties may miss reaping the benefits of these programmes, which not only positively impact the environment, but also the hotel's bottom line."
JD Power also found that half of guests made their booking online, up from 34% in 2005. The number of guests in Europe who preferred a non-smoking hotel has also risen, from 69% in 2006 to 77% in 2007.
The research follows a Caterer survey which revealed that UK customers want hotels and restaurants to be more environmentally responsible, but many are not prepared to be less wasteful themselves.
Winners for guest satisfaction
Ranked on: costs and fees guest room hotel facilities food and beverage check in/check out hotel services and reservations.
"Upper upscale" Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts
"Upscale" De Vere Hotels
"Mid-scale full service" Clarion
"Economy" Park Inn
Source: JD Power
By Chris Druce
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