Forbes Travel Guide to Launch
Responsible Hospitality Verification

ATLANTA – April 19, 2023 – Forbes Travel Guide, the global authority on hospitality excellence, today announced the upcoming launch of VERIFIED™ Responsible Hospitality, designed in partnership with highly respected hotelier Hervé Houdré, a leader in the field. The program verifies hotels on best practices to protect the environment and support the well-being of employees, guests and the community—creating a global standard for the world’s finest hotels and a trusted third-party verification for guests.

“Forbes Travel Guide’s Responsible Hospitality program is designed specifically for top-tier properties,” said Hermann Elger, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide. “Serving the world’s most elite hotels, restaurants and spas in 81 countries, we understand that sustainability and exceptional guest experiences must go hand in hand—which is why we partnered with Hervé Houdré, who has pioneered this accomplishment at many fine hotels.”

Houdré has been a leading advocate of sustainable hospitality since 2004, ensuring hotels such as the Hôtel de Crillon and Hôtel Plaza Athénée (Paris), Willard InterContinental (Washington, D.C.), InterContinental New York Barclay, and Kempinski Hotels and Resorts became diligently focused on the delicate balance of the Triple Bottom Line: Profit, People, Planet.

“Responsible Hospitality is about creating a welcoming, luxurious experience for guests, while being considerate of the environment and human welfare,” said Houdré. “Many hoteliers know this is the right thing to do—and something their guests are seeking. This program helps them proceed in a meaningful way, providing clear guidance and best practices that hotels can activate immediately, as well as goals to work toward.”

Successful properties will display the VERIFIED™ Responsible Hospitality badge, which allows discerning guests to make purposeful choices based on consistent, expertly designed global standards. The program guides hotels through topics such as single-use plastics, food and water waste, local and seasonal food, recycling programs, electric vehicle usage, health security, integration with the local community and culture, and other touchpoints.

“The world’s best hotels are consistently on the forefront of hospitality,” said Elger. “And the best hoteliers understand that what is better for people and the planet is better for business. We are here to help by providing guidance and best practices that embrace the spirit of luxury while ensuring that hotels are responsible partners to the environment and their local community.”

FTG’s Responsible Hospitality program, slated to be available mid-year, is an evolution of VERIFIED™ Health Security, which Forbes Travel Guide launched with the health technology company Sharecare early in the pandemic to help hotels and others demonstrate their commitment to best practices for the well-being of guests and employees. That program eventually spanned thousands of hotels, cruise ships, venues and restaurants in more than 100 countries.

About Forbes Travel Guide:
Forbes Travel Guide (“FTG”), the global authority on genuine Five-Star service, provides world-class professional services to the hospitality industry and other service-oriented businesses such as luxury retail, residential, healthcare and private clubs through bespoke training solutions, evaluation services and custom service standards. Started as Mobil Travel Guide in 1958, the company created the first Five-Star rating system in the United States. Today, in addition to providing professional services, FTG is the only independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruise ships. FTG’s prestigious annual Star Awards can only be earned through the company’s objective, in-person inspection process. For more information on FTG services, please visit

About Hervé Houdré
Hervé Houdré is among Europe’s and America’s most respected hoteliers, having managed Hôtel Plaza Athénée (New York), Hôtel de Crillon and Hôtel Plaza Athénée (Paris), Willard InterContinental (Washington D.C.), InterContinental New York Barclay and others. He also served as Chief Operating Officer for Kempinski Hotels and Resorts. A leader in sustainability since 2004, he has taught Responsible Tourism at New York University and has lectured widely for educational and professional organizations. Houdré has also served on several boards, including 10 years at the destination marketing organization NYC & Company and 10 years at the Hotel Association of New York City, which he chaired in 2017.