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Fri 1 Jun 2007 12:00 AM

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Green-eyed hotels see profitable future

A "convergence of attitudes" between guests, hotel owners and governments has been earmarked as a key driver towards sustainable hotel developments.

A "convergence of attitudes" between guests, hotel owners and governments has been earmarked as a key driver towards sustainable hotel developments.

Speaking at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, International Business Leaders Forum Tourism Partnership executive director Lyndall De Marco said hotels had a vested interest in sustainable developments.

"What is a beach resort without a beach, a ski chalet without snow, or a rainforest lodge without trees," she asked. "When we talk about responsibility, really hotels are mini-cities, and they have to lead the way. This industry is the largest in the world, with 10% of the GDP. We can make a huge difference if we want to."

Six Senses Resorts and Spas managing director Bernhard Bohnenberger said his company, which has a strong commitment to sustainability, had seen a lot of doubters when it began.

"But we found our guests developed a strong relationship with the hotels," he said.

"At the higher end, guests are willing to pay more for environmentally responsible properties. Looking at the premiums you get out of it, I think a lot of companies should be looking at [sustainable developments]."

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