What makes an eco-hotel or eco-resort truly sustainable? . 7 indicators.

In recent years, sustainable hotels have sprung up across the planet, catering to increasingly sophisticated tourists that demand only the most exclusive, authentic and eco-friendly experiences.

Nowadays is not easy to explain the difference between a truly eco-friendly hotel and a hotel that just uses marketing tools to communicate that it is sustainable… but doesn’t really care about its nature or community impact.


Essentially, an eco-friendly hotel is one that is built or operated in a way that minimizes both the carbon footprint of the business operation as well as the carbon footprint of employees and guests. They are designed and run to have a positive impact on the environment as well as the local community.


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Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) says that eco-resorts are generally committed to a carbon-zero existence and preserving their surrounding environment. The word “resort” connotes luxury, and many claim to provide luxury sustainably.

Responsible travel maximizes the benefits of tourism while minimizing its negative consequences on the environment and society. Here you can read the key energy efficiency solutions for smc hotels.

“Luxury and Sustainability must work together to recover tourism industry delivering the best experience for the tourist, the local communities and the environment” Hector De Castro, Founder at EcoHotelProjects

GSTC doesn’t offer certificates directly for businesses, but you can get an accreditation of sustainable hotel through certification bodies like the Luxury Sustainable Hotels Int’l Association, Bureau Veritas or Control Union.

The LUSH association was created to unify, empower, educate and advocate for a growing community of hoteliers and hotels within the dynamic realm of sustainability. Luxury is powerful. Eco luxury is beautiful, captivating, and generates an impact on nature and local communities. And above all, LUSH is a global movement that promotes hotel sustainability.

Make sure that your hotel or resort is truly sustainable.

The 7 key pillars to be an eco-friendly hotel or eco-resort:

  1. Sustainable hotels measure and monitor their impact
  2. Sustainable hotels provide healthy accommodation
  3. Sustainable hotels have energy saving systems and renewables
  4. Sustainable hotels make use of water saving systems
  5. Sustainable hotels make use of non toxic products
  6. Sustainable hotels have a design with low environmental impact
  7. Sustainable hotels always support to local communities

GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels assesses hotels and resort on how it functions as an eco business and showing care within its community, prioritizing sustainable management, socioeconomic impacts, cultural impacts, energy consumption, and conservation involvement.


Sustainable tourism, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), is defined as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.” Read more here