Hotels should keep their customers' rights in mind if they want to make environmentally-friendly measures customer-friendly, says an article in the Beijing News. An excerpt follows:
Beijing Tourism Group has taken the lead in bringing the "green revolution" to its hotel division. From Monday, each of its 13 hotels will no longer provide disposable toiletries in guest rooms.
The move's intention is to reduce unnecessary spending in the hotel business, and further protect our deteriorating environment.
The "green" hotel concept has been well received by many world-renowned hotel groups, who are working towards scientific and civilized consumer concepts along with attentive services.
In fact, China paid early heed to promoting a "green revolution" within its hotel sector. Some hotels in Chongqing and Shanghai proposed scrapping hotel toiletries some years ago. However, the implementation of the proposals met with difficulties.
It is not because Chinese people have a backward understanding of environmental protection. An online survey conducted by sina.com.cn in March revealed that 67.92 percent of those surveyed approved of the phasing-out of disposable daily hygiene items in hotels.
The problem lies in people's complaints about hotels' ignorance of consumers' rights when they choose to go "green."
Hotels have to take immediate action to inform their customers about the absence of disposable hygiene items, as most Chinese are accustomed to taking these for granted.
Hotels' toiletries might not cost much, but when customers are not provided with such toiletries, they have every right to ask for a lesser service charge, or improved services in compensation.
If the "green revolution" is to go deeper into the hotel industry, the government should get involved. They should urge all Beijing's rated hotels to adopt environmentally-friendly measures, or customer flow might be diverted from the 13 environmentally-friendly hotels.
(China Daily June 15, 2005)