Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 20 2015

Why Is A Hotel Brand Getting Into Bed With A Hip Hop Star?

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The sheets at W Hotels are about to change — and not just because of the housekeeping staff’s morning responsibilities. Last week, the Starwood-owned brand announced EKOCYLE, a new partnership with hip hop star will.i.am and The Coca-Cola Company that will deliver new sheet sets to all W properties made from recycled 20 oz. plastic bottles. A release from the hotelier assures guests that they will not feel any difference. However, W Hotels hopes that the move will help guests feel like they’re making a positive impact on the environment.

“W guests want to live a stylish, more sustainable lifestyle, and this partnership is a way to allow them to do so when they are on the road,” Sarah Doyle, Global Brand Director, W Hotels Worldwide, said.

Guests won’t just be supporting the sustainability efforts while they’re sleeping. Their wake-up notifications will be eco-friendly, too, thanks to a Mobile Charger and Accessory Valet (MCAV). The USB charging device/watch stand/alarm clock is partially created from three recycled plastic bottles, and the hotelier plans to add them to rooms in every W property around the world.

SEE ALSO: How Eco-Friendly Is Your Room Block?

Plenty Of Guests Want To Go Green

So can embracing sustainability really pay off for hotels? Research from TripAdvisor suggests that eco-friendly efforts can be friendly to a hotel’s bottom line. In a survey of more than 1,000 travelers, TripAdvisor found that 34 percent of respondents were willing to pay more to stay in an environmentally-friendly hotel. In fact, we percent of respondents indicated that they would pay a 10-20 percent premium. Another study conducted by Cornell University found that LEED-certified hotels enjoyed significant increases in their average daily rates and their revenue per available room.

SEE ALSO: 4 Trends That Will Shape Hotels In 2015

New Steps In Sustainability

Many hotels have waste reduction initiatives in place such as options for guests to decline towel and sheet changes. However, some properties are getting further ahead on the green train. For example, consider The Sutton Place in Vancouver, which has an electric car charging station in the front turnaround, or The Alexander in Indianapolis, which has a storm water collection system to help irrigate the green spaces around the property. Starwood’s Phoenician in Arizona recently added 2,000 solar panels. As caring for the Earth continues to dominate the hotel industry conversation, I expect to see more properties take similar steps.

Hotels aren’t the only ones working to be more sustainable, though. Click here to check out five convention centers that are taking big steps toward smaller carbon footprints.

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