Green hotel opens in Baltimore

Green hotels, such as this property in Baltimore, have no advantage in drawing guests over regular hotels, a study concludes. (Jed Kirschbaum, Baltimore Sun / June 26, 2009)

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Going green may be a hot trend in the hospitality industry, but hotels that earn environmental certificates do not have an advantage when it comes to attracting guests.

The finding comes from a study published recently by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research. The study compared booking revenue at 3,000 eco-certified hotels with 6,000 other properties in North America. Environmental certificates include the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, or LEED, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Although hotels that earn one of several environmental certificates do not gain an advantage in booking guests after promoting the eco-friendly accomplishment, the study showed “green” hotels are not hurt by reducing their carbon footprint.

“In short, green is not a silver bullet strategy,” the report concluded.

Why? The report suggested that going green might attract guests who support such environmental efforts, but other hotel guests might worry that their comfort will be sacrificed at hotels that cut back on resources.

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