Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide strategic recommendations for Indian hotel administrators for improving sustainability practices: environment, economic and social with respect to the supply chain members by analyzing performance dimensions and the importance attached to them. Design/methodology/approach: Importance performance analysis is a tool to analyze the perception of top-level, middle-level and first-level managers in hotels. Questionnaire is developed to collect the hotel manager’s perceptions. The snowball sampling method is used for data collection. Findings: The paper introduces specific sustainability practices, namely, environment, economic and social factors, at the interface of the tourism supply chain (TSC). This will allow the hotels to identify the importance and performance of various sustainability practices to achieve a long-term competitive advantage. The present work finds that the responding hotel managers have given highest importance to the sustainability practices within the organization and the hotel manager’s perception of sustainability practices in the TSC will vary with respect to the supply chain members. Research limitations/implications: The effort has been made to capture specific sustainability practices across the supply chain. The paper reinstates the fact that sustainability practices are not firm specific and should be practiced at the supply chain interface. The data for the study were taken from focal organizations perspective which is the hotels. Practical implications: Results provide the hotel administrators to develop appropriate strategies to improve their practices and functions by analyzing their strengths and weakness regarding their tangible and intangible assets. The identified sustainability practice attributes can act as a benchmark and drive the hotel industry toward possible cost-saving conditions by prioritizing the allocation of the resources while taking care of overall performance. Social implications: Results will help the hotel administrators to identify the better sustainability practices which will reduce the negative effects and protect the Mother Nature. Originality/value: The study included hotels/resorts from tourism locations: hill station, backwaters and coastal areas, specifically in the Indian context. © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.