Updated: Apr 18
A Sustainable hospitality needs to go through the animal free vanguard
Sustainability is a complex matter especially when it comes to tourism and hospitality. Finding a balance within what is good for the wellness of the environment and the society and the best guest experience is extremely complicated.
That is why it is often decided not to face one of the most important aspect of sustainability: an animal free approach. Energy, plastic, the supply of local products, social issues these are fundamental pillars of a Sustainable hospitality. But not considering the impact of animal derivates is a factual mistake. Let’s understand why and what are the ways to improve this aspect in your Hotel.
The environmental Impact of animal products is not a mystery, but It’s important not to underrate the fact that non everybody has truly understood why. The livestock industry and even the local animal farmings are one of the largest consumers of natural resources, such as water and energy and generates a considerable amount of waste. Deforestation, gas emissions, soil and water consumption are the main problems generated by the animal farming and animal products consumption. Implementing the availability of sustainable plant-based alternatives can help reduce the environmental impact of hotels and preserve natural resources for the future generations.
Beyond this there is a matter of animal welfare which should be a must in civilized societies and the great topic of biodiversity. Without talking about the tragic destiny of our oceans polluted and victims of intensive fishing.
The Hotels, as any other business, have the responsibility to operate in an ethical and adopting cruelty-free practices is a great way to display the commitment to sustainability. It will also effect the Hotel in terms of reputation and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Caring with facts, not words, about animal welfare and biodiversity can help hotels attract and retain customers and increase brand loyalty.
But how can a Hotel take action and englobing an ‘animal free’ philosophy?
As an Hotels aspire to personalize each individual’s experience, ‘animal free’ should be an area of knowledge and consciousness even before thinking about menus. Conscious travel is blossoming worldwide and food is arguably the biggest incentive for travelers, but the strategic planning of a guest itinerary that satisfies all moments of life in the hotel with definition of protocols and labeling is the only professional way to approach it. Beverage and lifestyle should get the same attention of food.
The main areas of improvement are: Food, Drinks, Lifestyle, Staff training.
Food is clearly the most consistent aspect that need to be refreshed in a more sustainable key. Implementing the menus at each outlet of the Hotel with plant based delicacies is a basic way to do that. There is such a great potential in the plant-based cuisine. Many chefs are already making magics by using exclusively vegetable ingredients. Surely these new dishes needs to be at the same level of taste and presentation (if not above) of the traditional ones.
Align the beverage offering to the food. First of all offer a selection of wines that are vegan. They can be certified or declared vegan by the winery. Vegan wines are wines for which animal derivatives have not been used at any stage of their production. From the vineyard to the cellar. The same philosophy can be applied to the cocktail list.
Opting for a cruelty-free design is certainly possible, but in some cases even eliminating just a few elements such as fur rugs or real feather duvets or leather brochure holders can already be a start.
Another element to pay attention to are the courtesies which, to meet the cruelty free standard, should be formulated vegan and not tested on animals.
Equally important as designing the experience is the service. The involvement of those who are in contact with customers and are in charge of providing the services will be fundamental. A service offered with detachment and without the right empathy is bound to make the experience fail. It is therefore very important that whoever is in charge of the project is able to convey the value and meaning of the inclusion of these new services.
Conscious lifestyles are increasingly influencing the choices tourists make in terms of the destinations they visit and hotels they stay in. In particular Vegan trend is driven by diverse target groups. From the pure vegans to the ‘flexitarians’ (people who actively seek to reduce their consumption of animal products without banning them from their menus altogether). These last are the growth segment with the highest potential: estimated at 10-30%. Almost one-third of Americans have reduced their meat and dairy consumption, and consider themselves flexitarians.
A Sustainable hospitality definitively needs to go through the animal free vanguard.- Camilla Parmigiani
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