Alternative green initiatives – axing newspapers

Straitened economic times combined with the imperatives of going green compel the hospitality industry to come up with initiatives that are meaningful. Paying lip service to the environment via hackneyed measures such as exhorting guests to re-use towels won’t cut it anymore. It is also true that hotels with real green initiative are hard to come by particularly for business travelers as this article in the Financial Times (subscription required) notes. However hints of adversity in the economy are causing, somewhat unwittingly, hoteliers to pay deeper attention to the environment by axing free newspapers as happened to this hostelry in Las Vegas albeit for reasons beyond raw economics.

For decades the delivery of a free newspapers for guests at their door was one of the Ten Commandments of the industry. That near sacred notion may go by the wayside with some help from newspapers such as the Dallas Morning News. According to this article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the “The Morning News said last year that its efforts to reduce bulk circulation — free copies sent to hotels and airports — as well as a smaller delivery zone, would cause it to lose circulation at a faster rate”. Hotels could do well to consider alternative means of delivering the news in print to those who like to hold a paper in their hands by printing the news on site for delivery via services such as The resultant savings in newsprint could really be viewed as a green initiative by hotels.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.