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Prioritising social values, the environment, and health and wellness

More consumers are prioritising social values, the environment, and health and wellness in their purchasing decisions than ever before—and travellers are no exception. To stay competitive, hotels not only need to make these values a priority but also ensure that their claims can be substantiated by real actions and evidence.

For hoteliers, this often means supporting local economies, reducing environmental footprints, committing to diversity and inclusion, and providing more amenities supporting mental and physical well-being. Procurement operations are key to addressing these demands. What hotels source—and where they source it from—will determine where your hotel stands when it comes to sustainability and other emerging consumer values.

Adapting to changes in guest expectations

However, relying on legacy procurement systems isn’t a smart approach. Decentralised, clunky software makes it difficult to quickly and easily source local, sustainable, or diverse-owned suppliers. Outdated systems make it even harder to do this while adhering to budgets and coordinating with other departments. They also lack the capabilities needed to accurately measure and report on the impacts and return on investment (ROI) of your values-based procurement efforts.

Thankfully, procure-to-pay (P2P) software, which integrates the entire procurement cycle into one user-friendly platform, can demystify the process and help your hotel adapt to shifting guest expectations.

Demand for more sustainable and wellness-based experiences

In recent years, more travellers are favouring environmentally-friendly accommodations, including those with strategies around water conservation, lowering carbon emissions, and reducing waste. According to Booking.com research:

  • More than three out of four travellers say they want to travel more sustainably.
  • Nearly half are willing to pay more for travel options that include a sustainable certification.
  • When given the option, 70% are more likely to choose a sustainable accommodation, even if they weren’t specifically looking for one.

Influence of environmental values on guest preferences

In another survey by Skift, 70% of surveyed travellers say that they would avoid a destination if it didn’t seem committed to environmental sustainability. Travellers are also becoming more savvy around greenwashing and empty sustainability claims, putting more pressure on businesses to follow through with their commitments and publish outcomes.

As younger generations enter the travel market, environmental values are likely to continue dominating guest preferences. According to FirstInsight, nearly three-quarters of Generation Z, which is forecast to become the largest group of US consumers by 2026, are willing to pay more for sustainable offerings.

Increased commitment to social responsibility

Guests are also increasingly committed to social responsibility. Industry experts are anticipating a greater focus on travel experiences centred around local community engagement. More travellers also value diversity and inclusion, which hotels must consider in their marketing, amenities, and supply chain strategies. What’s more, the tourism market is seeing a rise in wellness offerings, which cater to guests who want their travel experience to support their physical and mental well-being. In a 2023 report, American Express Travel found that over 70% of travellers are more focused on self-care than they were in 2022 and aim to better their mental health while travelling.

Building a values-based supply chain

When devising strategies to meet these demands, procure-to-pay software might not be what first comes to mind. However, it’s an investment that can make a significant difference in meeting your hotel’s environmental and social responsibility goals and gaining a competitive edge over time.

This is partly because procurement teams can use P2P systems to filter suppliers by categories that fit their values easily. For example, supplier databases can be filtered by location so that hotels can source more from local businesses. This helps improve community engagement and reduces transportation-related costs and carbon emissions. P2P supplier databases can also pinpoint diverse- and minority-owned suppliers and those with sustainable practices in their own supply chains—like using renewable energy sources, minimising packaging, or offering organic food. With better transparency into supplier options, P2P systems empower hotels to refine their sourcing practices over time to better balance guest demands with supplier value and budgetary constraints.

P2P system integration for greater visibility

Additionally, P2P systems integrate easily with inventory and customer relationship management tools and Point Of Sale systems for greater visibility into supply availability and demand. This can further support a hotel’s sustainability initiatives by optimising inventory and avoiding overstocked items that can contribute to waste. This is particularly useful for hotel kitchens that want to be more mindful of food spoilage.

Procure-to-pay software typically offers some degree of automation throughout the procurement cycle, making operations more efficient. Procurement personnel have more time to focus on building strong supplier relationships, especially with suppliers that are essential for addressing social and environmental responsibility goals. Hotels can ensure that these suppliers are reliable partners, even through market uncertainties and supply disruptions.

Bringing transparency to your procure-to-pay processes

As guests demand more value-based amenities and services during their stay, hotels must also be able to demonstrate the impact of their practices. This is notoriously hard to measure for any business—not just hotels—but P2P software can make it a lot easier. For example, P2P systems can keep track of how many local, sustainable, or diverse-owned suppliers a hotel engages with and make product traceability clearer. This information can be leveraged in marketing materials and reports to attract guests and differentiate your hotel from competitors. Many P2P systems can automate procurement reports, which makes it easier to assess whether suppliers are delivering sufficient value and if there are better options available.

Level up your purchasing strategy with procure-to-pay

Today’s consumers don’t just see hotels as places to stay—they’re also a reflection of guests’ core values and avenues to mental and physical well-being. Building long-term partnerships with key suppliers, particularly those that deliver value through local, sustainable, and socially conscious offerings, is crucial for hotels that want to stay relevant in this environment. 

Align your supply chain with evolving guest values

A procure-to-pay system can help your hotel easily and efficiently align your supply chain with evolving guest values. It’s a prudent investment that can both boost your bottom line and cement your reputation as a responsible hotelier. Contact FutureLog today to discuss how we can help you level-up your purchasing strategy.