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Environmental awareness, initiatives and performance in the hotel industry of Macau

Yim King Penny Wan (Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao, China)
Sow Hup Joanne Chan (University of Macau, Macau, China)
Hui Lan Wendy Huang (Xiamen LDT Asset Management Co., Ltd, Fujian, China)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 18 April 2017




This paper aims to examine the environmental awareness, initiatives and performance in the Macau hotel industry.


A mixed research method was adopted involving quantitative surveys with 31 hotels in Macau and 11 face-to-face interviews with the hotel managers, facilities managers and engineers.


Response from surveys and interviews with 31 hoteliers show that hotels in Macau have a high level of environmental awareness. Most hoteliers actively introduce initiatives that contribute to cost savings. Initiatives including using energy conservation light bulbs, having an active system to detect/repair leaking facilities and installing water conserving fixtures are widely implemented, while programs involving using solar lawn light, recycling leftover food and reusing wastewater are not. Major barriers for going green include the lack of government regulations on environmental management (EM), financial constraints, the lack of employees to handle EM and the fear that environmental initiatives may negatively impact the guest’s experience, especially those VIP and hardcore gamblers and customers who expect enjoying the luxuries services in Macau hotels. Lower star hotels experience more difficulties in adopting green approaches.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents a single case study of Macau; therefore, the results in this research may have limited generalizability.


This paper is one of the very few attempts that investigate EM in Macau – a renowned world tourism and gambling destination, where the vast majority of hotels have their casino facilities. Results show that apart from the financial consideration and the lack of government enforcement to adopt green measures similar to hotels in other destinations, EM practices of Macau’s hotels are also constrained by its customer base and the acute shortage of human resources that is caused by the tourism boom.



Wan, Y.K.P., Chan, S.H.J. and Huang, H.L.W. (2017), "Environmental awareness, initiatives and performance in the hotel industry of Macau", Tourism Review, Vol. 72 No. 1, pp. 87-103.



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