Guests’ Reactions to In-Room Sustainability Initiatives: An Experimental Look at Product Performance and Guest Satisfaction

Alex M. Susskind, Cornell University

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Subtle energy saving changes in guest rooms did not diminish satisfaction, based on a study of 192 guests at an independent four-star hotel. Two changes were tested, a television with three energy settings and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in place of the standard compact fluorescent lightings (CFLs). While overall satisfaction was not affected by these changes, some guests, notably those with high incomes, did react to the energy saving settings. Contrary to some studies, 45 percent of the guests agreed that they would pay a higher room rate to support sustainability programs. On balance, this study indicates that hotels can gain cost savings and improved sustainability by implementing judicious energy saving approaches without harming guest satisfaction. This article is based on a paper presented at the 2013 Quality in Service Conference (QUIS 13), in Karlstad, Sweden.