- publication: 6 March 2018
New article in the ‘Guests on earth, sustainability in hospitality’ research line by professor Elena Cavagnaro
The new issue of Hospitality & Society features and article by Elena Cavagnaro, Frans Melissen and Anna Düweke entitled 'The host-guest relationship is the key to sustainable hospitality: Lessons learned from a Dutch case study'. This article is a follow up of our study published in the Journal of vacation Marketing and is dedicated to guests' expectations about sustainability measures; communication about sustainability and waving comfort for the sake of sustainability. The article concludes with a reflection on the host-guest relationship and states that a more unreserved and collaborative dialogue between hosts and guests is needed before further steps toward sustainability can be set by hoteliers. Hereby the article citation and abstract:
Cavagnaro, E., Melissen, F.W. and Düweke, A. (2018) The host-guest relationship is the key to sustainable hospitality: Lessons learned from a Dutch case study, Hospitality & Society, 8 (1), 23-44.
As for any other business, our collective challenge to realize sustainable development requires hotels to incorporate the principles of sustainability in their operations and to simultaneously create economic, social and environmental value. Although hotels are increasingly engaged with specific aspects of sustainability, many if not most hospitality professionals still seem to assume that guests are predominantly driven by hedonic and gain motives, view sustainable measures as a threat to their hospitality experience, and are therefore not willing to accept more progressive sustainability measures. This article explores whether this assumption is correct and whether guests are willing and able to focus on sustainability related (normative) values during their stay in a hotel, and thus accept an adjustment to the current host-guest relationship in hotels. By reviewing relevant literature and analysing the results of interviews with hotel guests, this article concludes that as far as the guest is concerned, the host-guest relationship within hotels need not be limited to a purely economic transaction but actually offers room for an open and informed discussion 24 Hospitality & Society between host and guest on ways to transform this relationship to one that actually supports sustainable development of the hotel sector and wider society. This conclusion will hopefully inform a more mature approach by hotels to the integration of sustainability in their strategy and operations, and a more unreserved and collaborative dialogue with guests about current and future sustainability measures.