Buyers are having to update their travel policies to cater for the rise in more ‘eco-conscious’ business travellers, according to Accor’s managing director for UK and Ireland, Thomas Dubaere.
Speaking to BBT Dubaere said the industry is seeing a “new generation” of travellers who are not only switched on digitally but are also have strong environmental standards.
He said more and more companies are “evolving” their policies and choosing brands that demonstrate they are acting in a sustainable way.
“We have buyers who as well as ask us different questions on the pricing, loyalty programmes, different products and brands, are increasingly asking ‘what is your sustainable development programme?’ and ‘What does your hotel do to help the environment?’
“Travel managers are having to evolve their policies to cater for these travellers,” he said.
Dubaere, who has been with the company for more than 20 years, said hotels had fallen behind on meeting the needs of the millennial (18-30 years old) traveller especially when it comes to their digital needs.
“We are in a digital revolution and all generations now expect the same level of choice and ease of booking in their business life as they do in their personal one.”
He said there has been a shift in the way people book their travel over the past few years, “It’s moving so fast now, five years ago people wouldn’t think to use a mobile phone for their travel but now our mobile apps have risen in popularity.”
Last week Accor announced the opening of its second Ibis hotel in Edinburgh – the Edinburgh Centre South Bridge, which joins the Ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile.
Dubaere confirmed there will be another two Ibis properties opening in the Scottish capital by the summer, this will ensure Ibis “has the monopoly” on this range of hotels in the city.
Accor has a development plan to increase its network of properties to 300 by 2015.