Aligning luxury with responsibility
: an in-depth study of ESG implementation and communication in Boutique Hotel

  • Emma Cioccarelli (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This dissertation explores integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concepts into the operational framework of boutique hotels, explicitly focusing on the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel in Aruba as an exemplary case study. This study used a dual investigative strategy to take inspiration from the influential frameworks proposed by Elkington (1997) and Porter and Kramer (2006). The research began with a theoretical examination and transitioned into a practical evaluation. The text examines the growing phenomenon of ESG adoption and its connection to successful communication techniques in molding consumer attitudes and promoting a sustainable brand story. This analysis is informed by the contributions of Kotler et al. (2010), Crane and Matten (2016), and other scholars. The results, obtained via a combination of quantitative and qualitative assessments, show significant consumer support for ESG activities, subject to effective communication strategies. The importance of genuine and open communication, as shown in the case studies of Bardessono, Soneva Fushi, and Hotel Verde, extends to effectively conveying the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) story, improving the satisfaction of customers and guaranteeing the continued viability of operations in the long run. The central focus of this discussion is the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel, which serves as a prime example of the integration of luxury with sustainability. It challenges existing standards and aligns with the sustainable value-creation ideas proposed by Prahalad and Hart (2002). The assessment, conducted by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Criteria and the National Tourism Master Plan (NTMP) of Aruba, reveals a path towards enhanced market positioning through contemporary marketing tactics, alongside a solid dedication to sustainability and preservation of local heritage. Nevertheless, the survey analysis faced several limits and challenges, such as the restricted sample size, potential response bias, and restrictions associated with conducting an online survey. These factors influenced the outcomes of the study. Notwithstanding these obstacles, the research reveals noteworthy aspects of customer perception regarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities in the boutique hotel business. This provides a framework for similar establishments in the hospitality sector to imitate and improve upon. In conclusion, this dissertation comprehensively incorporates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles within the boutique hotel industry. It demonstrates the effectiveness of contemporary marketing platforms in effectively conveying a persuasive sustainability narrative. Furthermore, it establishes a robust framework for fostering a more inclusive and sustainable hospitality sector, adeptly adapting to the ever-changing global landscape.
Date of Award12 Dec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoão Simão (Supervisor)


  • Sustainability
  • Boutique hotel industry
  • ESG initiatives
  • Consumer perception
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Aruba


  • Mestrado em Ciências da Comunicação

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