An Examination of the Sustainable and Green Practices of Portuguese Hotels
Keywords:Sustainable Practices, Green Practices, Hospitality Industry, Portugal, COVID-19
The concept of sustainability in the hospitality and hotel industry has been the topic of much discussion and debate in tourism and leisure management literature over the last decade. Key industry stakeholders including hospitality and hotel operators, policymakers and DMO’s have been tasked with the challenge of transitioning operations towards more heightened levels of sustainable practice which has stemmed from EU, national and local level policies and guidelines. In Portugal, several strategies and plans have been developed with the aim of improving sustainable practices in hospitality and hotel industry, which focus on developing a more sustainable, competitive, and resilient sector moving into the future. However, there exists a current gap in knowledge in relation to the adoption and utilization of effective tools and models to measure and monitor sustainability performance in the hospitality and hotel industry in Portugal. It has been acknowledged that GDP from tourism in Portugal experienced a 75% drop, with overnight tourist stays in Portugal decreasing to 60% following a period of disproportionate impacts experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such shortfalls have accentuated the need to effectively measure and monitor sustainability performance moving into the future as destinations now begin to re-emerge and re-imagine the way they operate. Through the adoption and utilisation of sustainable approaches and practices, the hospitality and hotel industry in Portugal could save costs in the short and longer term, they could benchmark success year on year and ultimately lead to the development of more sustainable and competitive industries moving forward. This research, while in its early stages, will aim to critically examine what, if any, sustainable and green practices are being adopted and implemented at present by Portuguese hotels. It will also permit an insight into whether or not Portuguese hotels are currently measuring and monitoring sustainability performance and looking to achieve greater levels of sustainability within the industry.
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