Experts: Going green means money

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SOUTH YARMOUTH — Going green and being socially conscious can make business sense and draw more tourists.

A conference room filled with hospitality professionals tackled those concepts at an “industry trends” meeting held by the Cape Cod Hospitality Marketing Association Thursday.

Amanda Converse, who runs the Cape & Islands Green program through the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, said businesses that focus on environmentally friendly practices often draw customers and employees that market this fact. And by cutting down on resources, a business can save money.

“Your business will be more efficient,” she said.

The Cape & Islands Green program works with a business to meet several green standards, then helps it market its initiatives. Converse told the group that one local hotel saves about $25,000 by printing materials using double-sided copying. Another hotel, in order to eliminate water bottles, gives each customer one water bottle then allows the guests to refill it from a water filtering system.

Martha Honey, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsible Travel, spoke about “travel philanthropy” — the concept of tourists lending their expertise and time when visiting an area. A growing number of travelers are attracted to volunteer trips and getting closer with an area they are visiting, Honey said. Businesses can leverage this by working on specific charitable projects.

“The industry has to step up to the plate and provide what the customers are demanding,” she said.

Cape resident Jill Talladay is heading a fledgling Cape effort to start something similar. The concept could draw in local businesses to work with tourists on specific projects across the Cape. Talladay said an advisory group would help hammer out project ideas, but much needs to be decided on what to do, how to raise money and publicize the concept, she said.

Several at the meeting suggested a more focused and specific approach regarding the concept, but lauded its potential. More information can be found at www.careforthecapeandislands.org.

The group also hosted Web professionals who discussed several issues, such as converting business websites to make them friendly to smartphone users and how to improve visibility on search engines.

Source / Fuente: http://www.capecodonline.com/

Author / Autor: Robert Gold rgold@capecodonline.com

Date / Fecha: 23/03/12

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