Sustainability has been an important global issue for decades and it is being adopted by most industries (Warnken, Bradley & Guilding, 2005). Also in the tourism accommodation sector sustainable measures are increasingly being taken by providers. However, there is still a high variation in awareness, understanding, interpretation, interest and implementation of environmental sustainability in the accommodation sector (Hobson & Essex, 2001).
The aim of this research project was to find out how sociotechnical innovations for sustainability occur in the accommodation sector. The opportunities and constraints to broader implementation of sustainable technology in this sector were also explored. This was done by doing a comparison on two leading and progressive, yet very distinct project cases of Cradle2Cradle Islands and Landal GreenParks. The theory on strategic niche management was used as a basis for the research questions, but openness and flexibility to new information allowed for adding different insights to the existing literature. Qualitative research methods were used, such as desk research and interviews. The findings of this research have indicated that constraints to broader implementation lie in difficulties with the technologies itself, lack of marketing and the preferences of the users of technology or the tourists. The most important opportunities for broader implementation of sociotechnical innovation are the internal opportunity of marketing, the global discussion on sustainability, the initiatives of accommodation providers and the course of time, which will have to continue developing in a co-evolutionary way.
Author: R. Bleijenberg (2014)