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Typically people will be prepared to spend more on organic foods, organic clothes, artisan foods, hand made craft work yet it would appear that this trend does not apply to environmentally friendly hotels and restaurants. We are finding that what a lot of people want is merely a cheap room, but one that has all the comforts and amenities of a more pricy room. Because we are partially solar powered it is expected that the room rate should be lower because our energy cost is reduced. But what about the cost of the investment in solar power? We are curious to find out other hoteliers' experiences. Our hotel is one of the most environmentally friendly in the world and many of our guests choose us because of this, yet there are still many who say we are too expensive. Our thought is that one is not paying just for a room, but for an experience, for the whole ambiance of the property, the service and so on and also by supporting us one is supporting the wider community, our staff who are paid much more than the government stipulated minimum wage and for whom we also pay health insurance, local farmers and fisher-folk, local guides, community projects and the whole concept of sustainable tourism. This certainly cannot be achieved with a $50 per night rate. Look forward to comments.

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Comment by Hotel Mocking Bird Hill on August 7, 2011 at 12:53pm
In Jamaica we get absolutely no tax breaks or incentives for using renewable energy. In fact the government recently reimposed sales tax and duties on renewable energy equipment. Some research seems to suggest that people will pay more, but it is not conclusive.
Comment by Sam Scribe on August 7, 2011 at 11:50am

Here in California, quite a few hotels find themselves in a similar situation. One big difference, I think, is that California hotels have gotten a lot of tax breaks and other subsidies for putting in solar power and other eco-friendly practices. My hunch is that you've gotten less assistance.

The inevitable question is, will people pay more for the green experience they say they support?

To you travel writers and marketers who are reading this: Is there any research about that?

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