By Expedia Guest Author, on January 26, 2012

Survey of Expedia Consumers Reveals That Hotels Can Drive Growth Through Sustainability But Consumer Benefits Are Critical

Survey of Expedia Consumers Reveals That Hotels Can Drive Growth Through Sustainability But Consumer Benefits Are Critical

More than 60% of consumers will give better ratings to hotels with high indoor air quality, LEED certification, and programs in place to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and recycle


Los Angeles January 24, 2012 – MindClick SGM and® today announced the results of a study of 5,000 consumers conducted in early January 2012 that measures awareness, expectations and the impact of hotel sustainability efforts. The study revealed that consumers applaud such efforts, but need to better understand the tangible impact to their travel lives.


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Over the past decade, hotels have implemented and promoted sustainability programs including greener operations-energy efficiency, water conservation and recycling, and green building through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® certification program.  With operational sustainability awareness levels at 80% among consumers surveyed, the industry has succeeded in telling at least part of the story.


This means that the concept of hotel sustainability is being factored into hotel purchase consideration. Hotel air quality is a prevailing consumer concern: four in ten consumers list indoor air quality as a highly important in their selection criteria. Hotels that promote higher indoor air quality earn higher favorability ratings among almost two-thirds of consumers surveyed. 


At the same time, the study showed that there is a gap between how the industry communicates its sustainability efforts and the areas of sustainability that consumers see as important. On the one hand, emphasis on promoting the operational aspects of sustainability has resulted in high consumer awareness of energy efficiency, water conservation and recycling. At the same time, in spite of the fact that consumers see air quality as important, only one-third of those surveyed recalled promotion of indoor air quality as part of a hotel’s offering.


75% of the Expedia®consumers surveyed completely agree that sustainability for hospitality should be defined as: building, furnishing and operating hotels in ways that are better for the guest, better for the community and better for the planet.™  (See below for a listing of some of the questions the survey addressed.)


According to MindClick SGM CEO JoAnna Abrams, “By emphasizing the direct consumer benefits associated with sustainability, especially related to guest health and well-being, hotels have the opportunity to drive growth.”  


She concluded, “Sustainability can be integrated into the design, construction, furnishing, and operations in ways that provide guests a better hotel experience while taking care of the community and our planet. Hotels and brands who figure this out first will have a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.”


 “As more and more people start to think about their impact on the environment when they travel, Expedia is here to help them find the right trips with sustainable hotels that share their values,” says Joe Megibow, Vice President and General Manager, Expedia®.


About the Survey

Findings are based on the Consumer Sustainability Engagement Report for Hospitality, a survey of Expedia consumers conducted by MindClick SGM in conjunction with Expedia. The report presents the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of 5,000 U.S. consumers in response to hotel sustainability initiatives.

Among the topics covered, consumers were asked to respond to questions such as the following:


  • Thinking about all of the hotels you stayed at in the past year, do you recall whether ANY of the hotels have one or more of the following in place? 

                  Existence of U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification

                  High indoor air quality of the room

                  Efforts by hotel to be energy efficient, conserve water and recycle

  •  How did existence of environmental and community efforts impact your perception of the hotel itself?
  • Please rate your agreement with the following statement: Sustainability for the hospitality industry should be defined as hotels that are built, furnished, and operated in ways that are ‘better for the guest, better for the community, and better for the planet.’

Further research results will be available in the coming weeks highlighting the impact to hotel selection that results by integrating sustainability into guest-room furnishings. 


Information on purchasing the MindClick Expedia Consumer Sustainability Engagement Report will also be available shortly, the report presents consumer preferences on sustainable issues relating to the hospitality industry The report also contains editorial commentary from MindClick SGM and tips and tools on how to implement these findings into your hotel.



MindClick SGM, a leading sustainability research and consulting firm, provides clients with performance measurement tools to develop, implement, improve and promote product and company sustainability.  Serving clients ranging from global Fortune 1000 companies in consumer products, automotive, and hospitality, to family owned building products suppliers, to government municipalities, MindClick drives growth through sustainability.  Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in San Francisco and Seattle, MindClick combines a decade of experience in sustainability with 20+ years of research, product development and marketing expertise, serving brands such as Nestle, Microsoft, AT & T, Time Warner, Toyota, Lexus, DuraFlame and Skechers.  The result is sustainability performance rating services that provide executive decision makers with the knowledge to maximize business success.  For more information, visit 



Established in June 2011 by MindClick SGM™, the Consortium is comprised of a group of leaders in the hotel industry representing brands, suppliers, architecture and design firms, purchasing companies, owners and sustainability experts. Led by MindClick, Consortium members are working collaboratively to provide the industry with a unified approach to greening the global supply chain. The Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Index (HSP Index) will set the criteria for sustainable purchasing and create a repository of supplier performance in the areas of corporate social responsibility, product, and environmental sustainability. For more information visit


ABOUT EXPEDIA is the world's leading online travel site, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. ( aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packages, flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and in-destination activities, attractions, and services. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.

Expedia, and the Airplane logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Expedia, Inc. CST #2029030-50.

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Survey of Expedia Consumers Reveals That Hotels Can Drive Growth Through Sustainability But Consumer Benefits Are Critical.
More than 60% of consumers will give better ratings to hotels with high indoor air quality, LEED certification, and programs in place to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and recycle.

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