Pinehurst Inn Eco-Friendly Focus – Does It Matter?

Pinehurst Inn Bayfield WI solar panelsPinehurst Inn has worked hard over the years to establish ourselves as an eco-friendly lodging, placing a high amount of energy into our sustainability and responsible tourism efforts. We are excited by recent recognition of these efforts:

These awards do certainly validate a lot of the work we’ve put into our business here at Pinehurst Inn. A definite “feel good.” But truly, does it matter? Do our guests select us because of our efforts? Do our guests find that our practices actually enhance their stay?

A recent report put out by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) provides broad evidence of increasing interest in eco-friendly tourism selections.  This report explores Responsible Tourism from 2 perspectives: (1) Consumer Demand for Responsible Travel, and (2) The Business Case for Responsible Tourism.

In this post, let’s simply focus on the first – what are consumers looking for? Some interesting points:

  • In a 2012-2013 TripAdvisor survey, 79% of travelers “think that it’s important that accommodation provider have eco-friendly practices”.
  • A TripAdvisor survey of 1200 U.S. travelers indicated that nearly two-thirds “often” or “always” consider the environment when choosing hotels, transportation and meals.
  • In a 2011 survey by Conde Nast Traveler, reader survey said that travel companies “should be responsible for protecting the environment, and 58% said their hotel choice is influenced by the support the hotel gives to the local community.”

Clearly we see a trend here. While it would be great fun to do a survey of our guests, perhaps we will simply make our assumptions based on recent comments and reviews.

  • “The best part was their commitment to sustainability (the hot water is heated with solar energy!)”
  • “The Sandstroms nailed every detail from solar panels for heat, to water bottles for daily use , to cut down on plastics! you gota love an Inn that loves the Earth, and they do!”
  • “We loved the fact that a real effort was made to use local products and be as green as possible.”

While the awards and recognition that comes from them is wonderful, it is truly these types of comments that feed us. Thank you. We will move forward working to focus on how we can make your visit one filled with adventure, comfort, and relaxation – all within the framework of an eco-friendly inn.