According to the ” Survey on Sustainable Travel Awareness ” conducted in February 2022 by “Expedia”, a major comprehensive travel website, targeting 1,000 people in 11 countries around the world, including Japan, it was revealed that approximately 90% of all respondents answered that “they are aware of whether or not their travel is sustainable when they travel”. In particular, respondents from Japan and Australia have been more conscious of whether or not their trip was sustainable in the past. Respondents from Japan and Australia, in particular, have shown a sharp increase in interest in sustainable travel over the past two years.
Therefore, in this column, we introduce 14 sustainable hotel accommodation plans. We hope you will use them as reference case studies for strengthening customer attraction at a time when the number of inbound customers is expected to increase due to deregulation to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, as well as an increase in domestic customers due to the extension of national travel support.
Table of Contents
- 1. Explore the museum and take a quiz. Accommodation plan for children to learn about the SDGs in a fun way
- 2. Learn about conservation of satoyama environment and biodiversity. Experiential lodging plan for adults
- 3. Accommodation plan to learn about the SDGs through helping local agriculture and forest conservation activities
- 4. Utilize captured gibier as a resource. Accommodation plan with dinner that contributes to local production for local consumption
- 5. Accommodations donated to Hawaii’s ocean water quality improvement projects
- 6. Accommodation plan where the amount equivalent to two picture books will be donated to children around the world
- 7. Accommodation plan in which self-support funds are donated to children in orphanages
- 8. Concept Room Accommodation Plan to experience art by artists with disabilities
- 9. Onsen Accommodation Plan for wheelchair-accessible baths
- 10. Accommodation plans that contribute to the reduction of plastic waste
- 11. Accommodation plan for easy participation in “food drive” food donation activities
- 12. Accommodation plan with breakfast box supervised by a 3-star sustainable rated chef for local production for local consumption
- 13. Accommodation plan to enjoy hotel stays while experiencing fair trade
- 14. Accommodation Plan with Vegan Esthetics & Dinner
- Editor’s Note
1. Explore the museum and take a quiz. Accommodation plan for children to learn about the SDGs in a fun way
Imperial Hotel Tokyo
“The Imperial Hotel Tokyo” is offering an overnight stay plan for children to learn about the SDGs in a fun way under the title of “Lodging Plan to Learn about the SDGs at the Imperial Hotel.
In this plan, children are challenged to take quizzes set up throughout the hotel according to the “Imperial Hotel SDGs Book,” and if they answer all the questions correctly, they will receive the hotel’s original eco-friendly goods. If they do not know the answers, hotel staff members wearing SDGs badges will assist them, which will also promote communication with guests.
In addition, a limited-time event was held at the same time, where guests could make potpourri from recycled roses and other flowers displayed in guest rooms, and explore the barrier-free rooms guided by bell staff while experiencing riding in and pushing a wheelchair.
2. Learn about conservation of satoyama environment and biodiversity. Experiential lodging plan for adults
“Biwako Hotel” is offering an experience-based accommodation plan that allows guests to learn about the preservation of the satoyama environment and biodiversity through the experience of harvesting rice in Ohgi, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, where environmentally friendly agriculture is practiced. Under the motto of the hotel’s SDG slogan, “To eat is to protect”, “to touch is to nurture”, and “to enjoy is to connect”, this is an event for adults to experience the beauty of satoyama and the blessings of nature through an agricultural experience.
On the first day, a lecture by Mr. Imamori, a photographer who has been involved in activities to preserve the satoyama environment, and an exchange party were held at the Biwako Hotel. On the second day, after harvesting the rice and experiencing “shear-hanging” to dry the rice naturally, a dinner rich in local ingredients, including Omi beef barbecue and tempura lake fish, was served. The dinner was served with locally produced foods such as Omi beef barbecue and lake fish tempura.
3. Accommodation plan to learn about the SDGs through helping local agriculture and forest conservation activities
Karuizawa Prince Hotel
“The Karuizawa Prince Hotel” has implemented two “SDGs Stay Plans” with the aim of connecting people with the region and nature, and offering guests eco-friendly and ethical travel.
The first plan is a farm assistance plan to revitalize local industries through farm work to grow the original “Mimaki Strawberry,” which originated in Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture and is in danger of extinction. The participants were presented with a letter of appreciation from Komoro City for their contribution to the revitalization of the local agricultural industry through farm work.
The second plan includes fieldwork, such as an experience of tree thinning in the hotel’s ski resort forest, and a learning program to deepen understanding of the natural environment and environmental conservation. Caring for the forest will promote photosynthesis, increase the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed, and contribute to the preservation of the forest ecosystem.
4. Utilize captured gibier as a resource. Accommodation plan with dinner that contributes to local production for local consumption
Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji
Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, where “the Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji” is located, has been working to capture an increasing number of deer to an appropriate number for effective use as food in response to the worsening damage to crops and nature caused by Izu deer living in the city’s mountain forests. In support of this activity, the hotel offered a dinner plan that included a taste of captured Izu deer.
For the main course of the dinner, “Roti of Bone-in Izu Deer Loin” marinated in salted malt to soften the meat was served. The rest of the dishes were served in a semi-buffet style, incorporating a wide variety of Izu’s marine and mountain products under the concept of “ethical” local production for local consumption.
5. Accommodations donated to Hawaii’s ocean water quality improvement projects
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
“The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach”, located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, will donate a portion of the room rate to the “Genki Ala Wai Project”, an effort to improve water quality in the Ala Wai Canal, the largest waterway on Oahu. The hotel will donate $10 from the room rate, and the hotel will match the donation with an additional $10 for a total of $20.
For many years, water pollution caused by mud, organic matter, and garbage has been a problem in the Ala Wai Canal. The “Genki Ala Wai Project” was launched to improve water quality by dropping “EM Genki Balls”, a collection of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria such as photosynthetic bacteria and fermentative lactic acid bacteria, into the canal. The EM Genki Balls are effective in decomposing sludge, purifying water, promoting the growth of phytoplankton, and controlling harmful bacteria and foul odors, and over the next seven years will improve water quality to the point where it can be used for swimming and fishing.
6. Accommodation plan where the amount equivalent to two picture books will be donated to children around the world
Shiba Park Hotel
“Shiba Park Hotel” is offering a stay plan in which 200 yen per night will be donated to “Room to Read Japan, a non-profit organization”. The 200 yen donation is equivalent to about two picture books in each local language that will be given to improve the literacy rate of children around the world through this organization. In addition, guests who took advantage of the plan were given an original hotel tote bag as a special gift.
7. Accommodation plan in which self-support funds are donated to children in orphanages
Hotel Granvia Wakayama
“Hotel Granvia Wakayama” is implementing a plan in which 200 yen out of the room charge will be donated to an orphanage in Wakayama Prefecture as part of its SDGs and community contribution efforts. The donation will be used through “the Japan Children’s Home Foundation to support children who have left orphanages” and are leaving for the world, helping them to overcome various social barriers such as the need for higher education and living expenses when they challenge their dreams and goals.
8. Concept Room Accommodation Plan to experience art by artists with disabilities
Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo
“Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo” is offering a concept room accommodation plan in collaboration with “HERALBONY Co., Ltd.“. HERALBONY defines the talent of artists with intellectual disabilities and the art they create as “unique” and is developing a variety of projects with an eye to expanding the field of welfare.
Artwork created by artists with intellectual disabilities is called “Art Brut (raw art)” or “outsider art” as art created by people who have not received art education and are self-taught. Through the experience of staying in a guest room that incorporates such “unique art,” the hotel aims to eliminate the invisible boundary between the fields of “welfare” and “disability,” which are difficult to relate to in daily life, and ordinary people, and provide guests with an opportunity to experience new values. We provide opportunities for customers to experience new values.
The rooms are decorated with artwork throughout, and during the stay, guests can also freely use items from HERALBONY, such as cups made by the long-established ceramics manufacturer “Nikko Company”.
9. Onsen Accommodation Plan for wheelchair-accessible baths
The inn where you can be healed by the secret lake Suwa Kami-suwa Onsen Shinyu
Kami-Suwa Onsen Shinyu, a hot spring inn in Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture, is offering the “Wheelchair Accessible Hot Spring Comfort Plan” for guests using wheelchairs, which includes the privilege of using the “Elevated Private Hot Spring” for wheelchair-accessible bathing.
From the perspective of the 10th SDG target, “Eliminate inequality among people and nations,” the hotel has undergone renovation work to install eight universal design guest rooms with outdoor baths, an elevating private hot spring bath that allows wheelchair-accessible bathing, and an ostomate-accessible multipurpose restroom. The elevating type private hot spring bath is a system in which a special wheelchair can be moved to the flat floor of the bathtub, and when a lever is pulled, the floor lowers to allow bathing.
While the number of wheelchair guests has increased since the renovation, the hotel has discovered that many wheelchair guests use the general guest rooms instead of the universal design rooms with outdoor hot spring baths due to the number of rooms available and the price. Therefore, in order to allow guests staying in general guest rooms to enjoy the hot spring comfortably, the hotel decided to sell a special plan for wheelchair users, the “Comfortable Onsen Plan for Wheelchair Users,” which allows them to use the private elevated hot spring bath for 60 minutes free of charge, which normally costs 2,000 yen for 40 minutes.
10. Accommodation plans that contribute to the reduction of plastic waste
“JTB Corporation”, a major travel agency, implemented a “Plastic Waste Reduction Accommodation Plan” in response to the “Law Concerning the Promotion of Resource Recycling of Plastics,” which came into effect in April 2022.
The three hotels in the Shiga Kogen area of Nagano Prefecture are “Shiga Park Hotel”, “Suzurikawa Hotel”, and “Kidoike Onsen Hotel”. Through the plan that combines “no amenities” and “drink service in your own bottle,” the company proposes a new way of travel for guests: “When you travel, bring your own bottle and amenities. The new travel style is to “bring your own bottle and amenities when you travel”.
11. Accommodation plan for easy participation in “food drive” food donation activities
HOTEL EDIT YOKOHAMA
“HOTEL EDIT YOKOHAMA” implemented an overnight stay plan that allows hotel guests to casually participate in a food drive in order to further promote the “food drive”, a food donation activity.
Under this plan, guests can receive a 500 yen discount by bringing food items that cannot be eaten at home upon check-in. Food items that can be donated must have “a shelf life of at least two months from the check-in date”, “must be able to be stored at room temperature”, and “must not contain perishable food, frozen food, homemade food, or alcoholic beverages”. This is an accommodation plan that allows you to contribute to the reduction of food loss while enjoying your hotel stay.
12. Accommodation plan with breakfast box supervised by a 3-star sustainable rated chef for local production for local consumption
Fairfield by Marriott Okayama Hiruzen Kogen
“Fairfield by Marriott Okayama Hiruzenkogen” is offering a lodging plan with breakfast box supervised by Chef Oshima of “Bottega Blue“, which received three stars in the ” Food Made Good ” restaurant rating program to realize a sustainable food system.
The breakfast box, which uses a variety of fresh local ingredients such as “Hiruzen Jersey” cattle raised on pasture, Hiruzen vegetables, and local fish, communicates the attractiveness of the region and at the same time offers the value of “contributing to sustainability by eating”.
13. Accommodation plan to enjoy hotel stays while experiencing fair trade
Hotel JAL City Haneda Tokyo
“Hotel JAL City Haneda Tokyo” offered an overnight stay plan titled “Special Stay to Touch Fair Trade ” in which guests could experience and taste international fair trade certified products in the guestroom fixtures and breakfast.
A wide variety of international fair trade certified products are available in guest rooms, including fair trade cotton towels made in Japan, JAS-certified organic coffee, and organic tea made from only the finest tea leaves from Sri Lanka. At breakfast, the menu included fair trade ingredients such as chocolate from “DIVINE”, which is run by a cacao farmer, and Uva tea grown in the Uva region of Sri Lanka.
14. Accommodation Plan with Vegan Esthetics & Dinner
Shimoda Tokyu Hotel
“Shimoda Tokyu Hotel” in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, offered a vegan dinner with no meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, or other animal products, and an overnight stay plan that included an esthetic treatment using a vegan skin care line.
The vegan dinner menu features six dishes that actively use locally grown vegetables from Minami-Izu, such as “Vegan Spaghetti with Local Vegetables and Tomatoes” and “Tonburi and Lettuce Salad with Avocado Puree. Vegan wines from Spain certified by the “European Vegetarian Union (EVU)”, a vegan certification organization, are also available.
The esthetic salon uses cosmetic oils that are not tested on animals and do not contain animal-derived ingredients, in addition to an organic skincare line created under the motto “We don’t make cosmetics you can’t eat”. This plan provides not only vegan guests but also non-vegan guests with an opportunity to start a vegan lifestyle as ” part-time vegans ” who do not eat animal products for a limited time.
How was it? In this column, we introduced 14 sustainable lodging plans with examples. Many hotels have begun to implement sustainable practices in response to the enforcement of the Plastic Waste Recycling Law. In this context, I believe that proposing a special plan that focuses on sustainability as well as reducing the use of disposable plastics in amenities and other items will lead to differentiation from other hotels.
*The plans introduced here include those that have already been discontinued.
[Reference Site] Spotlight On Sustainable Travel: Consumer Attitudes, Values, and Motivations in Making Conscientious Choices
[Reference site] [Data] Attitude survey on sustainable travel Expedia survey
[Reference Site] Learn about the SDGs with a hotel stay! Stay at the Imperial Hotel and learn about the SDGs” from July 17 to August 31.
[Reference site] [Biwako Hotel] “Mitsuhiko Imamori’s Satoyama Juku 2022 – What is an Environmental Farmer? ～A two-day and one-night hands-on tour will be held from September 18 (Sun.) to learn about the satoyama environment and biodiversity conservation.
[Reference site] [Karuizawa Prince Hotel] “SDGs Stay Plan” including assistance in local agriculture and forest protection activities is on sale
[Reference Site] Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji, contributing to local production for local consumption through “Izu x Ethical” activities, launches “IZU-SHIKAL Dinner Stay” accommodation plan
[Reference Site] The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach] Became a cooperative partner of the “Genki Ala Wai Project,” a project to clean up the Ala Wai Canal, Oahu’s largest canal
[Reference Site] Shiba Park Hotel, a hotel in Tokyo, is offering a stay plan in which 200 yen per night (equivalent to two picture books) will be donated to the local community
[Reference Site] Hotel Granvia Wakayama] Supporting children’s homes in Wakayama City “Stay at the Hotel and Make a Donation to Society!
[Reference site] First collaboration between Herald Bonnie and Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo
[Reference site] “Comfortable Onsen Plan for Wheelchair Users” goes on sale. Special accommodation plan for wheelchair users with the privilege of using the “Elevated Private Onsen” (Kamisuwa Onsen Shinyu)
[Reference Site] [Hotel Edit Yokohama] New plan to offer a discount on room rates for participating in the “Food Drive” food donation program
[Reference Site] JTB launches “Contribute to Decarbonization, Reduce Plastic Waste Accommodation Plan” to support the SDGs through travel!
[Reference Site] [Hotel JAL City Haneda Tokyo] Started sales of “Special Stay to Touch Fair Trade,” an accommodation plan to enjoy a hotel stay with sustainable goods.
[Reference site] Vegan esthetics & dinner included in the stay plan, a trip that is kind to the earth and to yourself / Shimoda Tokyu Hotel