The seemingly unstoppable march toward a green hotel industry has hit a bump in Florida. The state's new budget, which took effect July 1, includes a slashing of the budget for its Green Lodging Program. Sadly and ironically, the Florida program had been hailed as the most sophisticated and effective of any state green lodging initiatives.
According to press reports, the program's budget was cut from $337,000 annually to $63,000, resulting in the elimination of three of four people operating the department. More importantly, the department's revised guidelines now call for spot checks of hotels applying for green status, instead of full inspections, as was the procedure since the program launched in 2004.
It's another unfortunate sign of the devastation wrought by the current economic environment. It's a shame that such a promising approach to environmentally conscious hotelkeeping became a victim.