Topic 3 Water consumption by type of accommodation

The following figure shows the water consumption of each hotel facility. The major areas of water consumption in accommodation are guest bathrooms, kitchens and laundry facilities, and communal toilet facilities.

Swimming pools and the irrigation of green areas can contribute an additional 10-15% and 20-25%, respectively and room cleaning approximately 12-47L/guest-night, according to Gössling et al. (2011). Depending on the cooling system installed, cooling towers may be responsible for a further 10-25% of water consumption in a hotel.

Source: Styles, Schönberger & Galvez-Martos, (2013).

Source: Gössling et al. (2012).

Specific water consumption per guest-night, and the distribution of that consumption across water using processes, also varies within accommodation types according to a range of factors. The following table offers data regarding consumption of water by type of accommodation unit on 375 enterprises in Austria and Germany.

Accommodation type

Water consumption




Holiday house


Bed & breakfast




Group accommodation


Data also suggests that some of the factors that influences in the consumption of water are:

  1. Number of services;
  2. Degree of perceived luxury.

Data indicates 60% less water consumption per bed space in 1-star compared with 3-star accommodation, and 111% more water consumption per bed space in 5-star compared with 3-star accommodation.

The provision of en suite bathrooms is an important factor affecting water consumption. En suite bathrooms account for approximately 30-40% of hotel water use. It is estimated that swimming pools increase water consumption for hotels and campsites by the equivalent of 60L per guest-night.