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Sustainable and circular practices in the hotel industry in Southern Italy: opportunities, barriers and trends in food waste management

Giovanni Lagioia (Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari, Bari, Italy)
Vera Amicarelli (Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari, Bari, Italy)
Rossana Strippoli (Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari, Bari, Italy)
Christian Bux (Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari, Bari, Italy)
Teodoro Gallucci (Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari, Bari, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 25 August 2023

Issue publication date: 2 January 2024

721

Abstract

Purpose

The hotel industry is one of the leading producers of waste worldwide, and more than one-third of that waste is food. The purpose of this study is to investigate hotel managers' awareness of sustainable and circular practices, with a focus on their attitude toward and perception of food waste in Apulia, Southern Italy. The region has a tourist vocation, accounts for 3.3 million tourists per year and plays a key role in the Italian tourism.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted using a questionnaire administered to ten hotel managers located in Apulia. In light of the Checkup Tool Speditivo, a sustainability score indicates managers' awareness of and attitude toward sustainability and circularity, distinguishing between “beginner” (0–25 points), “concerned” (26–50 points), “proactivist” (51–75 points) and “sustainable” (76–100 points). The results have been analyzed using descriptive statistic tools.

Findings

The average sustainability score indicating the level of awareness of sustainable and circular practices among hotel managers in Apulia was 84, whereas the average score associated with their attitude toward food waste management strategies was 65. The greater the number of stars, the higher the sustainability scores. However, the greater the number of rooms, the lower the attitude toward food waste management strategies.

Originality/value

The study sheds light on the main opportunities, barriers and trends in the field of food waste management, highlighting the food commodities which are wasted the most and proposing further strategies to improve circularity and sustainability in hotels. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is the first on such topics in Southern Italy and could represent the basis for future research on the topic.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research was conducted in the field of the “Take it Slow - Smart and slow tourism supporting Adriatic heritage for tomorrow” project under Interreg-V-A Italy-Croatia program, whose aim is to develop the Adriatic region as a place to travel experience and enhance sustainable tourism, slow tourism, innovation and creativity toward environmental protection and circular economy. In addition, the authors would like to express sincere gratitude to the editor and the anonymous referees for the insightful and constructive comments.

Citation

Lagioia, G., Amicarelli, V., Strippoli, R., Bux, C. and Gallucci, T. (2024), "Sustainable and circular practices in the hotel industry in Southern Italy: opportunities, barriers and trends in food waste management", British Food Journal, Vol. 126 No. 1, pp. 428-452. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-12-2022-1144

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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