Implementing environmental management systems in small- and medium-sized hotels: Obstacles

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159 Citations (Scopus)


Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the vast majority of businesses in Hong Kong. However, a review of the literature about environmental management and environmental management systems (EMSs) reveals that very few studies have examined EMS implementation in small- and medium-sized hotels (SMHs). This study aimed to identify the barriers to the adoption and implementation of a formal EMS by SMHs in Hong Kong. Exploratory factor analysis indicated that nine factors can hinder the adoption of such a system by SMHs, five of which are unique to these hotels. In descending order, they are (a) lack of a sense of urgency, (b) ambiguity of EMS standards, (c) lack of qualified verifiers/consultants, (d) conflicting guidance, and (e) inconsistent support. The findings offer some explanation for the limited action taken by these hotels to improve their environmental performance. The policy implications for hotel managers who are committed to implementing an EMS are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-23
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • barriers
  • EMS
  • hotel
  • ISO 14001
  • SMEs
  • SMHs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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