The debate on social and environmental challenges is slowly but steadily changing the sustainability understanding of a growing number of hoteliers, with the focus increasingly shifting to the perception of innovation opportunities, away from sustainability as a tool for image enhancement. It is of particular importance that sustainability is perceived as an innovation opportunity, with the possibility of gaining a competitive advantage in order to stand out from the competition.
Suggestions on the extent to which sustainable innovations can be implemented in the holiday and city hospitality sector are given in particular by four best practice examples, which were investigated by the IMC Fachochschule Krems.
In all case studies, it is clear that corporate values play a key role in sustainability and responsibility. The hotels have essential ideals and values that they live with and which have often existed since the company's foundation or for several generations. They influence the assessment of new solutions and the future orientation of the activities of a hotel to a considerable extent.
Sustainability is seen as an opportunity rather than a risk in our study. Developing solutions for societal challenges does not necessarily mean that this will lead to a cost increase for companies, but the use of innovative technologies, processes and management approaches can lead to increased productivity and an expansion of markets. Companies can discover a variety of opportunities to take on social responsibility, while at the same time expanding their competitive edge.
The project is a result of the project "CSR and Innovation", funded by the COIN "Aufbau" (capacity building) funding line of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency.