Hotels are seriously underestimating consumers’ desire to stay at a ‘green’ hotel, delegates at the Deloitte Hotel Investment Conference were told.

In research conducted by TNS, more than 40% of US and UK travellers said they would choose a hotel which promoted environmentally-friendly tourism. Around half of Spanish and 45% of Italian tourists would also opt for green accommodation.

However, when asked before the conference, just 2% of delegates said consumers were very likely to alter their travel plans to reduce damage to the environment.

Starwood Hotels president Roeland Vos said: “It is a wake-up call for us that customers are making changes to their travel habits. The challenge is that it is not one big change, but many small ones. Starwood will have to set targets, train staff and go beyond the buzzwords.”