Adoption of renewable energy innovations among hoteliers in Portugal



renewable energy innovation, hoteliers’ perceptions, investment, impediments, Portugal


This article examines the owners ­­­­and/or managers perceptions and attitudes towards the adoption of renewable energy innovations in hotels in Portugal, as well as the factors that affect the adoption. The study is based on an e-mail-based survey conducted with hoteliers in 2022 (n = 208). The results demonstrate, first, that despite the respondents’ positive perceptions of renewable energy, the adoption level of renewable energy innovations in hotels is low. Second, the reasons given for this gap relate mainly to unfavourable market factors. Third, market factors have a statistically significant influence on adoption, whereas the characteristics of the hotels and hoteliers, their opinion about the need to cut the carbon footprint of tourist accommodations and the type of hotel ownership have no significant influence.

Author Biography

  • Luís Silva, Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia (CRIA NOVA FCSH)
    Anthropologist, currently working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Anthropology


Author. 2021.

Author. 2022.

Bacon, P. (2021). The Portuguese Hotel Ownership Landscape. Retrieved from

Becken, S., Frampton, C., & Simmons, D. (2001). Energy consumption patterns in the accommodation sector – The New Zealand case. Ecological Economics, 39(3), 371-386.

Becken, S., & Dolnicar, S. (2016). Uptake of resource efficiency measures among small and medium-sized accommodation and food service providers. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, 26, 45-49.

Chan, E., Okumus, F., & Chan, W. (2018). Barriers to environmental technology adoption in hotels. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, 45(2), 829-852.

Coles, T., Dinan, C., & Warren, N. (2015). Climate change mitigation and the age of tourism accommodation buildings: A UK perspective. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(6), 900-921.

Dalton, G. J., Lockington, D. A., & Baldock, T. E. (2007). A survey of tourist operator attitudes to renewable energy supply in Queensland, Australia. Renewable Energy, 32(4), 567-586.

Dalton, G. J., Lockington, D. A., & Baldock, T. E. (2008). Feasibility analysis of stand-alone renewable energy supply options for a large hotel. Renewable Energy, 33(7), 1475-1490.

Dalton, G. J., Lockington, D. A., & Baldock, T. E. (2009). Feasibility analysis of renewable energy supply options for a grid-connected large hotel. Renewable Energy, 34(4), 955-964.

Delicado, A., Junqueira, L., Fonseca, S., Truninger, M., Silva, L., Horta, A., & Figueiredo, E. (2014). Not in Anyone’s Backyard? Civil society attitudes towards wind power at the national and local levels in Portugal. Science & Technology Studies, 27, 49-71.

DGEG. (2021). Renováveis. Estatísticas Rápidas No. 197. Lisbon: DGEG.

Dhirasasnaa, N., Becken, S., & Sahin, O. (2020). A systems approach to examining the drivers and barriers of renewable energy technology adoption in the hotel sector in Queensland, Australia. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, 42, 153-172.

Dhirasasnaa, N., & Sahin, O. (2021). A system dynamics model for renewable energy technology adoption of the hotel sector. Renewable Energy, 163, 1994-2007.

Eurostat. (2020). Energy, Transport and Environment Indicators – 2020 edition. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European.

Eurostat. (2022). Greenhouse Gas Emission Statistics - Emission Inventories. Luxembourg: Publications

Office of the European Union.

González, M., & León, C. J. (2001). The adoption of environmental innovations in the hotel industry of Gran Canaria. Tourism Economics, 7(2), 177-190.

Gössling, S. (2010). Carbon Management in Tourism: Mitigating the Impacts on Climate Change. London: Routledge.

Gössling, S., & Peeters, P. (2015). Assessing tourism’s global environmental impact 1900-2050. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(5), 639-659.

Heeringa, S.G., West, B.T., & Berglund, P.A. (2017). Applied Survey Data Analysis. Boca Raton, FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC.

INE. (2022). Estatísticas do Turismo – 2021. Lisbon: INE.

IPCC. (2018). Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. Retrieved from

Islam, M. F., Zhang, J., & Hasan, N. (2019). Assessing the adoption of sustainability practices in tourism industry: Insights from a developing country. Bottom Line, 33, 94-115.

International Tourism Partnership. (2017). Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report. Retrieved from

Karagiorgas, M., Tsoutsos, T., Drosou, V., Pouffary, S., Pagano, T., Lopez Lara, G., & Mendes, J. (2006). HOTRES. Renewable energies in the hotels. An extensive technical tool for the hotel industry. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 10(3), 198-224.

Knowles, T., Macmillan, S., Palmer, J., Grabowski, P., & Hashimoto, A. (1999). The development of environmental initiatives in tourism: Responses from the London hotel sector. International Journal of Tourism Research, 1(4), 255-265.

Lenzen, M., Sun, Y. Y., Faturay, F., Ting, Y. P., Geschke, A., & Malik, A. (2018). The carbon footprint of global tourism. Nature Climate Change, 8, 522-528.

López-Bernabé, E., Foudi, S., Linares, P., Galarraga, I. (2021). Factors affecting energy-efficiency investment in the hotel industry: survey results from Spain. Energy Efficiency, 14, 41.

Mahachi, D., Mokgalo, l., & Pansiri, J. (2015). Exploitation of renewable energy in the hospitality sector: Case studies of Gaborone Sun and the Cumberland Hotel in Botswana. International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration, 16(4), 331-354.

Michopoulos, A., Ziogou, I., Kerimis, M., & Zachariadis, T. (2015) A study on hot-water production of hotels in Cyprus: Energy and environmental considerations. Energy and Buildings, 150, 1-12.

Moutinho, V., Costa, C., & Bento, J. (2015). The impact of energy efficiency and economic productivity on CO2 emission intensity in Portuguese tourism industries. Tourism Management Perspectives, 16, 217-227.

Pinto, A., Afonso, A. S., Santos, A. S., Pimentel-Rodrigues, C., & Rodrigues, F. (2017). Nexus water energy for hotel sector efficiency. Energy Procedia, 111, 215-225.

Sardianou, E., & Kostakis, I. (2020). Perceived barriers to invest in renewable energy sources in the Cretan hotel industry. International Journal of Sustainable Energy, 39(3), 240-249.

Scott, D., Amelung, B., Becken, S., Ceron, J. P., Dubois, G., Gössling, S., Peeters, P., & Simpson, M. (2008). Climate Change and Tourism – Responding to Global Challenges. Madrid: United Nations World Tourism Organisation and United Nations Environment Programme.

Scott, D., & Gössling, S. (2018). Tourism and Climate Change Mitigation Embracing the Paris Agreement: Pathways to Decarbonisation. Brussels: European Travel Commission.

Smerecnik, K., & Andersen, P. (2011). The diffusion of environmental sustainability innovations in North American hotels and ski resorts. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(2), 171-196.

Taylor, S., Peacock, A., Banfill, P., & Shao, L. (2009). Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from UK hotels in 2030. Building and Environment, 45, 1389-1400.

Turismo de Portugal. (2020). Relatório de Sustentabilidade | 2019. Lisbon: Turismo de Portugal.

Turismo de Portugal. (2021). +Sustainable Tourism Plan 20-23. Lisbon: Turismo de Portugal.

Turismo de Portugal & NOVA Tourism and Hospitality Platform (2021). Guia Neutralidade Carbónica nos Empreendimentos Turísticos. Lisbon: Turismo de Portugal and NOVA Tourism and Hospitality Platform.

Zografakis, N., Gillas, K., Pollaki, A., Profylienou, M., Bounialetou, F., & Tsagarakis, K. P. (2011). Assessment of practices and technologies of energy saving and renewable energy sources in hotels in Crete. Renewable Energy, 36(5), 1323-1328.

Wüstenhagen, R., Wolsink, M., & Bürer, M. J. (2007). Social acceptance of renewable energy innovation: An introduction to the concept. Energy Policy, 35(5), 2683-2691.






Tourism/Hospitality: Research Papers

How to Cite

Silva, L. (2022). Adoption of renewable energy innovations among hoteliers in Portugal. Tourism & Management Studies, 18(4), 17-26.

Most read articles by the same author(s)