SUSTAINABLE TOURISM - A BENCHMARKING STUDY APPLIED TO HOSPITALITY FIRMS

Teresa Costa, Luísa Carvalho

Abstract


In an era of economic growth, achieving sustainable development is undoubtedly a challenge. Meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability to respond to those of future generations may seem more a dream than a real possibility. New choices and innovative new ways of thinking and acting are needed to encourage sustainable development.
This study aims to demonstrate and understand the importance of sustainability in Portugal through a benchmarking study applied to the Tivoli, Vila Galé and Pestana groups. The overall objective consists of the following specific sub-objectives: 1) to present the guidelines and conceptual approaches on issues of sustainability in tourism; 2) to find out about different approaches to sustainable practices in the hospitality industry through case studies; 3) to analyze possible gains resulting from the implementation of sustainable practices.
Case study methodology was used for the empirical research. A questionnaire was directly applied to key respondents (hotel managers, general managers, operational managers and quality managers).
Analysis of the empirical results corroborated the hypotheses tested and confirmed that there were several kinds of sustainable practices in leading Portuguese hotel groups, such as the less important sustainable practices that require higher investment costs and the priority of sustainable practices that allow cost reduction. The discussion of the theoretical approach and empirical results also disclosed important aspects that highlight the relevance of sustainable practices.

Keywords


Benchmarking; Sustainability; Hospitality; Tourism





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