Proliferating Sustainable Initiatives in the Local Hotel Industry Through Communication Networks: A Case Study
Thal, Karen Irene
Burkett, Tracy L.
MetadataShow full item record
A proposed eco-hospitality program by the City of Charleston served as the catalyst for this study which considered the most effective means by which the City might proliferate sustainable initiatives within the local hotel industry. An initial literature review traced growing awareness of environmental impacts as well as subsequent efforts to incorporate sustainable initiatives within the hospitality and tourism industry internationally. Disincentives and hurdles to the adoption of sustainable initiatives from an industry perspective, with respect to hotel general managers' points of view, and finally as a matter of local public policy were also considered. The subsequent study used a mixed methods approach that included in-depth interviews with local City representatives and affiliates, as well as an area study of hotel managers' communication networks. The interviews served to assess the City's capacity to implement an eco-hospitality program. Results suggested that given noted constraints including, for example, limited support from within City hall and little direct control over utility providers, a public-private collaborative approach is best suited to such an area initiative. A communication network study and subsequent analysis further suggested that the Charleston Area Visitor and Convention Bureau (CVB) may be a particularly influential within the hotel industry. Although not included in the initial network survey, the study nonetheless concluded that the CVB, a quasi-government organization with existing ties to the City, may hold particular promise as a communication broker to encourage the adoption of sustainable initiatives locally.