Date of Conferral
The management practices of the hotel industry are under scrutiny for having an adverse impact on the environment. This study addressed the problem that hoteliers in Jamaica only focus on foreign exchange earnings and job creation, rather than on sustainable development in their operations. There is a lack of research on small hoteliers' integration of sustainable practices in their operations. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and understand the lived experiences of 8 small hotel managers on the effect sustainable practices have on small hotel optimization. The conceptual framework consisted of stakeholder theory and corporate social responsibility. Focusing on small hoteliers' perceptions of sustainable practices, the research questions addressed managers' efforts in preserving the local heritage, maintaining the economic and environment and identifying the challenges. The phenomenological design included 8 small hotel managers who participated in telephone, email and Skype unstructured interviews. The data analysis involved transcribing and coding unstructured interviews which resulted in the emergence of 14 themes and 101 subcategories. Results revealed that successful sustainable practices include providing education on the history, culture, and heritage and respecting the environment. The analysis from the transcripts showed that high cost was one of the primary factors for the lack of sustainable practices in small hotels. The findings also showed that there was a need for government assistance in providing funding and education on the benefits of sustainable practices and development. This study could contribute to new and existing hoteliers, government policymakers and business leaders in sustainable strategic planning and development.