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The Concept of Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry

Discuss about the Luxury and green are incompatible goals to the hotel industry.

The concepts of tourism and luxury have always been associated with each other. In contemporary era it has been witnessed that several tourism destinations have gained recognition for mass tourism after they being identified as a place of interest to elites anticipating for luxury experience. In recent times, hotel industry has been providing immense opportunities to adapt a different persona as well as lifestyle to its consumers. In recent times, the concept of ‘luxury and green’ or maintaining eco-tourism has been regarded as a popular option within the hotel or hospitality industry (Benavides-Velasco et al. 2014). The definition of sustainable is challenging. Historically, the term has been utilized in order to refer to the performances that do not cause any harmful effects towards the environment. In recent years, the notion has expanded in order to incorporate practices that encourage social, economic as well as environmental equality. Though, luxury and eco traditionally belonged at the opposite ends of the hotel industry (Jones,  Hillier and Comfort 2016). However, in recent times, the hospitality industry has been responding to the trends towards luxury that has taken environmental sustainability from niche to requisite. The report intends to focus on the way luxury and environment sustainability have been mutually correspondent to each other. The thesis statement of this report is “green and luxury being the current trend in hotel sustainability”

Evolution of Green Luxury in the Hotel industry

Through the process of design, construction, performance as well as end-of life cycle procedures that incorporate a building’s life, the built environment of which it has a role to play wields positive and negative influences on the earth, its resources along with the people living on it as well as their communities (Kandampully, Zhang and Bilgihan 2015). However, as part of the effort in order to decrease such unconstructive effects and further enhance the benefits, the idea of ‘sustainability’ has gained immense recognition and widespread reception over the past one decade which includes factors such as ecological, economic as well as social aspects of the human made surroundings. With the recent shifts hotel industry is seeking to be environmentally accountable, both for economic as well as financial productiveness and further to accomplish the industry’s personal principles, ethics thus introducing green building practices (Baker et al. 2014). However, this trend related towards environmental sustainability not only concentrates on environmental issues and concerns by promoting energy consumption, water as well as resources but is further desired to enhance the satisfaction and comfort level of the consumers. Furthermore, the contentment level, who intent to return along with the probable recommendations are considered as significant aspects for the growth and success in the hotel industry (Chan 2013).

Luxury and Sustainability - Mutually Correspondent

Competencies of comfort and environmental sustainability to thrive together

At this juncture, it is significant to recognize that with the growth of the recent luxury travel sector, sustainability along with luxury travel possess the competencies to flourish together. However, eco tourism of the hospitality industry has been benefitting the local communities, wildlife as well as the natural environment in significant ways further maintaining the sustainable growth of the industry. In nations with low-resource level, wild natural resources along with wildlife are often regarded to be less significant in comparison to the economic competence of farming, agricultural estates (Cherapanukorn and Focken 2014). As a consequence, these wildlife retreats are gradually getting decreased while species and plantation go extinct. However, the recent luxury hotel industry that inquires authentic, reliable adventures and wildlife will be beneficial as it would facilitate extra premiums to experience natural beauty, further making environmental safeguard economically beneficial and sustainable in comparison to the alternative and undignified forms of land utilization (Molina-Azorín et al. 2015).

Towards a New Synergy of Luxury Travel along with Sustainable Tourism

The evolution of promoting green sustainability in hotel industry initiated with small efforts in order to reduce waste materials such as introducing paperless checkouts along with refillable soap dispensers that further developed to incorporate efforts that emulate the fundamental characteristics of sustainable growth and development in the tourism industry such as the economic, social as well as environmental as per the reports revealed by United Nations (UN) (Bruns-Smith et al. 2015). The Australian hospitality sector had been enhancing its eco-friendly innovations in recent time further gathering a wide range of tourists to the nation. The hospitality segment in Australia is considered as a major consumer for real estate growth that is advanced of commercial growth like shopping malls and administrative centre spaces. However, the shove has been originated from the purpose to gather tourist from all over the world for entertainment commercial as well as medical tourism purposes (Wang et al. 2013). It must be noted that in recent era, majority of the luxury properties in the hotel industry of Australia have incorporated green practices or environment sustainability practices as they choose for LEED certification in the building framework. However the initial expenditure has reportedly stated as higher with the choice of materials along with addition of waste recycling equipments, the operation expenditures are anticipated to witness a level of reduction of 20 to 25%. It is further to know that most ethical conscious hospitality businesses share these advantages outcomes and benefits with their consumer base (Hsiao et al. 2014).

Current Trends in Green Architecture and Eco-Friendly Hotels in Australia

Contemporary Hotels introducing innovative ideas to promote luxury and green practices

 The Australian Tourism industry despite of offering luxury rooms the eco friendly hotels provide and incorporated experience to the visitors as they are outlined in order to safeguard neighbourhood environment. Thus it can be state that the walking green, bird sanctuary, lake or reserve forest establishes the appropriate ambience for the stay. For instance, the ‘Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort’ in Pokolbin or the ‘Kingfisher Bay Resort’ in Fraser Island has developed itself around larger boulder from the natural landscape (Mensah and Dei Mensah 2013). These luxury Hotels are certified as eco friendly and as the world's ‘ecotel’ (Environmental Management Standard). However these recent design trends despite of offering a broad range of natural lighting along with climate control is recognized to provide immense luxury to its customers at affordable costs. Several other hotels in this industry have been utilizing glass facets as well as valves which are considered to be as the easiest tools to enlighten the areas (Chen and Tung 2014). However these glass products have concentrated on the confrontations with advanced technology and innovation for colour lighting, solar energy capture along with other conveniences. Utilization of room space of the hotels which are providing utmost is comfort to its customers along with solar energy facilities is almost regarded as a no in current days. Several groups of hotels in Australia have been implementing in green architecture or environmental sustainability for its constructions across the nation. However, several hotels and resorts are reportedly been credited with the concept of pioneer responsible luxury in the country. Significant projects like the ‘Eco Lodges’ and ‘The Canopy Treehouse’ in Australia have gained image recognition for its implementation in dream services and also providing utmost luxury to its visitors.


(Resort and Lee Mylne 2018)

Australian Tourism Industry Environmental Sustainability

Australia in the past few years have come up with environmental concepts like ‘treesorts’ or Treehouse Resorts which seek to offer unique opportunity experience relaxation in the form of sympathetic or luxurious away as the visitors would desire high above from the ground. Not only drawing connections with childhood memories these Tree House Resorts amalgamate the elegance of a hotel with nature and further serve adults along with their families with an opportunity and scope (Kim, Njite and Hancer 2013). Further to the above discussion, despite of the Treehouse Resorts locations the immersion in nature is referred as a unifying characteristic whereby the nature is solely dependent on the location and can further create a sense of adventure or further a sanctuary escape to the visitors. However by providing small structure with less or rather minimal plumbing or fully equipped accommodations the Treehouse resorts in Australia permits a visitor to enjoy nature at its best (Paul,  Modi and Patel 2016). However certain Treehouse Resorts even have introduced modern level of comfort and luxury to its visitors such as amenities like Wi-Fi and satellite televisions. In addition to this several Resorts also comprise of and on property activities along with hiking trails or mountain inviting exploration. One of the significant examples of ‘treesort’ in Australia is ‘The Canopy Treehouses’ that is reportedly been situated within the hundred acres of rainforest where buy this property solved accommodation for its guests to relax in privacy environment friendly atmosphere along with luxury (Baker et al. 2014). Furthermore as per Australian hotel industry reports the canopy tree houses utilizes 100% renewable energy to power its operations and facilities (Benavides-Velasco et al. 2014). However the other environment friendly decisions involve the uses of natural soap and linens along with a self-contained waste disposal system.

Treehouse Resorts - Luxury Accommodation in Nature

( 2018)

Arguments Regarding the Co-Existence of Luxury and Environmental Sustainability in the Hotel Industry

However there are certain theorists believe that luxury resorts or hotels serve an opportunity to take on a varied persona and lifestyle although temporarily. They further state that luxury and green in the hotel industry are mutually contradictory to each other and thus will be incompetent to prove its effectiveness on the hospitality industry. However the relationship between tourism and luxury is specifically complex phenomena related to more remote as well as peripheral destinations. Several observations have revealed that there are plenty of necessary amenities in a luxurious hotel that produce critical waste in regular basis. The hotels catering the tourism industry in recent times have placed enormous emphasis on the ‘sleeping experience’ of their visitors (Erdem and Tetik 2013). However these unnecessary amenities cost huge proportion of water to be spent in order to clean the bed sheets and pillow covers used by the guests in any 5 star rated hotel. It is further to state that from the super size king linen bed sheets to the small plastic water bottles that are offered to the visitors during their stay reflect the way environmental waste is ubiquitous. Regardless to the usage of abundant amounts of water in order to serve guests with a comfortable and luxurious shower experience in the resorts and hotels of the tourism industry revealed that sustainability and luxury can cause severe contradictions to each other. However instead of providing immense luxury to the guests the hotel groups in recent times must focus on deserve more sustainable guest rooms for the visitors whereby the focusing on green floor or environmental friendly dream rooms with smaller beds and lower thread count sheets along with minimum number of amenities (Line and Hanks 2016). However, it is significant to recognize over here that all human activities comprise of some kind of an influence on nature. Thus, formula of the coexistence of luxury and stream cannot fully be stated as null. However by considerably designing hotels resorts the hotel industry of contemporary era must take into consideration the significance of natural surroundings which is thought to be creating a lower influence with certain amount of possibilities (Erdem and Tetik 2013). It has also stated that if the operations in the hotel industry are executed in an effective way with sustainability related to environment keeping in consideration the tourism industry can reflect constructive as well as positive effect on the local communities of the area which in return will be able to enhance the impact of the environment.

The Challenges of Combining Luxury and Sustainability


Therefore from the above discussion it can be concluded that hotel industry in contemporary era has successfully embraced environmental sustainability and along with providing luxurious services to its consumers. As tourism being a globally complex business the players in this industry must learn to effectively implement these practices in order to enhance their rate of productivity and market growth. It can be stated that luxury and sustainability can work in amalgamation however it takes an alteration in the behavioural characteristics of the travellers as well as the hotel industry to make it constructive and productive.

The Australian hotel industries along with other hospitality industry across the globe need to preserve the sector to a higher standard. The report has explicitly evaluated the development of luxury green practices in the tourism industry by further shedding light on the way contemporary hotels are progressing towards a new idea of green practice and encourage environment friendly services by focusing on the way certain hotel groups have created hotels within the natural environment amidst the flora and fauna. However, certain studies have also focused on how hotels have been affecting nature direct or in an indirect manner to extract their own means of success.


Baker, M.A., Davis, E.A. and Weaver, P.A., 2014. Eco-friendly attitudes, barriers to participation, and differences in behavior at green hotels. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 55(1), pp.89-99.

Benavides-Velasco, C.A., Quintana-García, C. and Marchante-Lara, M., 2014. Total quality management, corporate social responsibility and performance in the hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 41, pp.77-87.

Bruns-Smith, A., Choy, V., Chong Ph D, H. and Verma Ph D, R., 2015. Environmental sustainability in the hospitality industry: Best practices, guest participation, and customer satisfaction., 2018 . The Canopy Treehouses - Cairns Luxury Wildlife Accommodation and Eco-Friendly Resort at The Canopy Treehouses, Atherton Tablelands. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 May 2018].

Chan, E.S., 2013. Managing green marketing: Hong Kong hotel managers’ perspective. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 34, pp.442-461.

Chen, M.F. and Tung, P.J., 2014. Developing an extended theory of planned behavior model to predict consumers’ intention to visit green hotels. International journal of hospitality management, 36, pp.221-230.

Cherapanukorn, V. and Focken, K., 2014. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability in Asian luxury hotels: Policies, practices and standards. Asian Social Science, 10(8), p.198.

Erdem, B. and Tetik, N., 2013. An environmentally-sensitive approach in the hotel industry: Ecolodges. International Journal for Responsible Tourism, 2(2), p.22.

Hsiao, T.Y., Chuang, C.M., Kuo, N.W. and Yu, S.M.F., 2014. Establishing attributes of an environmental management system for green hotel evaluation. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 36, pp.197-208.

Jones, P., Hillier, D. and Comfort, D., 2016. Sustainability in the hospitality industry: Some personal reflections on corporate challenges and research agendas. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(1), pp.36-67.

Kandampully, J., Zhang, T. and Bilgihan, A., 2015. Customer loyalty: a review and future directions with a special focus on the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(3), pp.379-414.

Kim, Y.J., Njite, D. and Hancer, M., 2013. Anticipated emotion in consumers’ intentions to select eco-friendly restaurants: Augmenting the theory of planned behavior. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 34, pp.255-262.

Line, N.D. and Hanks, L., 2016. The effects of environmental and luxury beliefs on intention to patronize green hotels: the moderating effect of destination image. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(6), pp.904-925.

Mensah, I. and Dei Mensah, R., 2013. International tourists' environmental attitude towards hotels in Accra. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(5), p.444.

Molina-Azorín, J.F., Tarí, J.J., Pereira-Moliner, J., López-Gamero, M.D. and Pertusa-Ortega, E.M., 2015. The effects of quality and environmental management on competitive advantage: A mixed methods study in the hotel industry. Tourism Management, 50, pp.41-54.

Paul, J., Modi, A. and Patel, J., 2016. Predicting green product consumption using theory of planned behavior and reasoned action. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 29, pp.123-134.

Resort, K. and Lee Mylne ,2018. Kingfisher Bay Resort. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: [Accessed 10 May 2018].

Wang, Y.F., Chen, S.P., Lee, Y.C. and Tsai, C.T.S., 2013. Developing green management standards for restaurants: An application of green supply chain management. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 34, pp.263-27

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