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Half of hotels mislead guests with eco-friendly claims

By Becky Paskin , 12-Jul-2010

Related topics: Trends & Reports

Over half of accommodation providers are misleading guests by using ambiguous terms to relate to green policies that aren’t in place

Hotels need to adopt clear green policies, the GBTS says

Hotels need to adopt clear green policies, the GBTS says

Over half of accommodation providers are misleading guests by using ambiguous terms to relate to green policies that aren’t in place.

 

According to eco-certification organisation Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS), more than 50 per cent of hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses use misleading terms such as ‘locally sourced’ to describe food bought at a nearby supermarket, in a bid to boost their green credentials.

 

Other top claims used by businesses include describing themselves as ‘low energy’ for using low-voltage light bulbs, and using ‘recyclable’ instead of ‘recycled’ products.

 

The GTBS also found that many businesses also used terms such as ‘wherever possible’ and ‘as much as we can’ to skirt around fulfilling green obligations.

Unethical claims

 

Andrea Nicholas, managing director of GTBS, said businesses misleading their guests were ‘unethical’ and void of common sense.

 

“Being seen to be green is undoubtedly a marketing advantage but the majority of environmental policies from accommodation providers contain avoidable inaccuracies,” she said. “Typically this is based on a misunderstanding but it is not unheard of for one of our assessors to come across a property claiming adherence to a policy that is patently not in place.”

 

She claimed that a more rigorous approach was essential to ensure businesses’ environmental policies are credible, adding that ‘poorly considered platitudes are far too common’.

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