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Hotel & Resort Sustainability – So…What’s the big deal anyway?

A Lot of Words. Is it Truly An Issue?

For the last few years, the word “Sustainability” has been the confusing buzzword of the hotel industry. I first heard the word in 1998. I was dealing with a large master plan projects in Aruba and Madagascar where I was a consultant with the latter for a student who was writing her master’s thesis on the topic. Importantly….do the major players in the industry even know what sustainability is?

There are many considerations when it comes to sustainability. Most importantly, growth potential is directly related to the long-term sustainability of the project with emphasis on eco-friendly options, incentive programs, or marketability. And everyone in the hospitality industry knows it.

It seems most hospitality movers and shakers….internationally…. spout the term sustainability, though, without much true understanding of the actual meaning of the word. This is changing, as it must if they and their firms truly wish to keep their piece of the hospitality pie. Sustainability….TRUE sustainability….is the future!

Here are my Top Ten sustainability criteria (we’ll explore each of these in separate posts so stay tuned):

  1. Start Early/Plan Ahead
  2. Lead the Way
  3. Effective Partnerships
  4. Incentivize Sustainable Development
  5. Analyze to Capitalize
  6. Educate and Communicate
  7. Integrate Place Making in Development Process
  8. Sustainable Design
  9. Embrace the Local Culture
  10. Protect the Environment

Investors are equally conscious of the need for long-term growth potential. Considering environmental and societal impact, as well as what the consumer will want in order to be long-term customers, is how developers and owners are becoming self-educated in the matters of sustainability.

Everything is being considered in the development and redesign of hotels, from the negative footprint to eco-friendly product uses. Advanced technologies and innovative solutions are not “extras,” they are requirements for a successful and sustainable hotel.

But will consideration of the environmental impact of development and inclusion of innovative designs be enough to ensure sustainability? That is the real question.

Do you believe it’s necessary to consider environmental impact to succeed? Whether you believe it or not, your customers and probably your investors believe it. Therefore, you have to live it to be competitive in the hospitality industry.

So embrace it, find the most innovative solutions, newest considerations, to tackle environment impact. Consider the culture of where you are developing and be proactive in your design and offering of amenities. Only those that look from all angles during development will be truly successful.

The best of the best will pull ahead of the masses and be the sustainable development investment if they choose to consider environmental impact, cultural needs, and incentive programs that appeal to their anticipated consumer base.

Those that don’t think these are important to sustainability will not survive, whether they like it or not.

Until Next Time,


Robert Colin Bryant - Founder, TBG Innovative Ltd.

TBG Innovative specializes in the planning & development of international 5 star hotels, blending real estate, branding, master planning, and construction to create “great destinations”.  To learn more about TBG Innovative visit us at