Sustainable Travel 2022: An Outlook

How will awareness of sustainability continue to develop among holidaymakers? Which factors will be most important in 2022, and what are hoteliers and holiday home providers doing to convince guests of their sustainable offers in the future? In part two of our inquiry, we asked some of our Green Pearls partners what the most significant trend topics will be for them in 2022.


Those who can talk with the leaders and masterminds of sustainable tourism destinations immediately become inspired and enthusiastic about the bold ideas, fantastic realisations and passion that the sustainable concepts bring with them. However, this often remains hidden from many, especially potential guests. Filling this communication gap is at the top of the to-do list for the coming year. ‘Do good and spread the word’ is, therefore, the motto for 2022.

Ilona Jeckelmann from the CERVO Mountain Resort in Zermatt sees a different focus among the new generation of travellers: ‘Luxury and pleasure should go hand in hand with sustainability. The tool of storytelling is important here. We have a very large section on our website that informs guests about our measures, and we would like to expand this even further. We also want to use social media, our blog, and the newsletter to convey our visions better and more clearly.’

Kristin Okelmann from Hotel Okelmann’s in German Lower Saxony is also planning increased time and budget for social media, blogger relations and other distribution channels to report on the family hotel and its sustainable ideas in 2022. Only recently, the hotel created a more sophisticated concept, set up a yoga and sound massage room and invested in a wooden whirlpool. So, there’s plenty to talk about.

The Mawell Resort in Hohenlohe uses a mix of communication tools to promote the hotel’s initiatives, which is sustainable from the ground up. Internal guest mail introduces guests to the concept from energy generation to the use of certain foods, focusing on nature, and raising awareness of sustainability in general. Social media, the second communication pillar, will be expanded in 2022 and optimised to suit the target group. This also includes a stronger presence within the regional network.

Hannes Müller from Genießerhotel Die Forelle on Lake Weissensee sums up his communication strategy simply: ‘We must live our operating philosophy 100% honestly. Guests have become brutally sensitive greenwashing is recognised early on. That’s why we are simply authentic in everything we communicate. Everything we communicate to the outside The guest on site must feel everything we communicate to the outside world best marketing option for us.’

Digital guest communication

Digitalisation reduces paper consumption, especially when it comes to communication. However, digitalised communication also considers the changed behaviour of our time and enables a continuous exchange of information between providers and guests.

The Lifestylehotel SAND on the Baltic Sea increasingly relies on digital guest communication and has reduced its paper consumption to zero. Paperless check-in, paperless questionnaires, and paperless guest requests have proven more efficient and 100% more environmentally friendly. This has been an excellent success for the hotel.

In 2022, the SAND is expanding digital communication with guests before arrival and after departure using the Customer Alliance rating platform. As mobile phones are increasingly the communication tool of choice, the hotel is saying goodbye to the digital info folder via SuitePads and introducing the Gastfreund app.

Schloss Wartegg at Lake Constance particularly values the benefits of positive customer reviews: ‘With top ratings on Tripadvisor & Co, we have set ourselves apart from the competition. Of course, sustainability is a USP, which we try to communicate as often as possible via social media, newsletters and press coverage. We use sustainability labels such as Swisstainable and Green Pearls so that guests can orient themselves to defined standards,’ says Richard Butz.

Innovations in sustainable technologies

Sustainable business is an ongoing process constantly shaped by new ways of thinking, technological progress, and the budget available. The Green Pearls partners have ambitious plans for the coming year.

CERVO Mountain Resort is fully committed to the topic of energy and already started to optimise its energy concept back in 2020 – this development is to be continued. ‘Thanks to boreholes and geothermal probes, we have succeeded in covering 95% of our energy needs with geothermal energy. Likewise, all wastewater heat is reused in the plant to heat water. In addition, we are working on establishing the entire grounds of the resort as permaculture.’ The SAND Lifestyle Hotel will also invest in energy efficiency in 2022 and has already had an energy consultation carried out.

The SCHWARZWALD PANORAMA in Bad Herrenalb has big plans. To achieve the goal of embedding sustainability through 100% of the value chain, from 2022, all 96 rooms are to be completely renovated and redesigned according to the cradle-to-cradle principle. All materials are permanently part of natural cycles or closed technological loops.

Sustainable wellness + health

In addition to the unbroken interest in sustainable spa and wellness offers, the Green Pearls partners believe that the health focus will become more and more of a priority. Therefore, the Mawell Resort is planning an entirely new MediSpa hotel area with treatment rooms and therapy options in the long term. Health & prevention courses and individual fitness & nutrition advice are also included. In addition, the construction of a large indoor pool for the wellness area of the resort is in the planning stage.

Due to the enormous demand for wellness and cosmetic services creates more space for the Almwiesn Spa in the Berghotel Rehlegg with a new treatment room. This will allow the number of treatments to be increased and the spa offers to be expanded by several new facets.

In 2022, the Hubertus Mountain Refugio in the Allgäu Mountains will continue to rely on its Holistic Life concept to awaken new life energy. The holistic approach is being implemented in the hotel on three levels: Holistic Touch (spa + wellness), Holistic Spirit (coaching, mindfulness) and Holistic Food (slow food). From treatments to movement, relaxation and coaching sessions to nutrition, the offers are oriented to the seasons and thus also to the human biorhythm.

Wellness and health will be important for the ALDER Lodge Ritten in South Tyrol. It will play an even more significant part in 2022. Apart from the already extensive range of spa, cosmetic, and sports offers, the hotel will work together with a local farmer. They plan to manage property directly for fruit and vegetable cultivation and animal breeding.

Gentle city tourism

The topic of sustainability will also shape city tourism in 2022. Rail travel is on the rise, and hotels that have already adopted a sustainable approach, such as the Hôtel Le Pavillon in Paris or the zero-emission Hotel Milano Scala in Milan, are facing increased demand with their range of e-charging stations, organic cuisine, zero-waste breakfast, special air filters and electrosmog-protected rooms.

Innovative concepts such as Creativhotel Luise’s regrowing Hotel Room are attractive flagships for sustainable city tourism. Sustainability is also high on companies’ agenda, so the topic of green meetings & events continues to gain importance. Therefore, the Creativhotel Luise in Erlangen expands its business offer with two new conference rooms.

Contemporary guest communication, new technologies, sustainable wellness and business travel, the topics and plans of the Green Pearls partners for the coming year are diverse. They all have in common that they are future-proof and consistently sustainable to bring on 2022.