The CEO of Lindner Hotels AG and President of the German Hoteliers Association (IHA), Otto Lindner, has been applying sustainability principles to his hotel chain for many years. In 2019 he had certified the entire chain with a Green Mark. “By adopting ecological consciousness, we are also a successful business,” he said. To continue this, he called on policymakers to shape the prospects for his industry. He protested, saying: “We are the safest place to survive a pandemic, but we stay out in the cold.”
The director of Landhotel Saarschleife Mettlach-Orscholz and president of the German Association of Hotels and Restaurants (DEHOGA) in the Saarland, Michael Buchna appeared convinced that visitors would be more attracted to quality products in the future. Certification is an excellent way to communicate this, but at the same time, he expressed fears that there would be a wave of bankruptcies after the pandemic. He believes that policymakers are mistreating both him and his industry.
The director of the InfraCert Institute, Suzann Heinemann, stressed that the pandemic has shown “how vulnerable we all are”. Sustainability existed in the minds of consumers even before Covid-19, but the crisis has led to more informed consumers. Hoteliers who never had time before, during the lockdown, began to work out their ideas for sustainability. “We are overwhelmed by research,” said Ms. Heinemann. Many providers have already realized the importance of the environment, but now there is a strong interest in green certification.
René Skiba, CEO of Tourismus GmbH Nördlicher Schwarzwald, said his area has always had a thriving mid-range hotel industry in rural areas, where customers could engage in a green experience. “The Black Forest has an excellent reputation for environmentally conscious visitors and offers outdoor activities, encourages local value chain purchases from agricultural stores and provides sustainable food,” Skiba said. However, there is room for improvement in local transport links, offering shared electric cars and the expansion of public transport.