Green intiatives picking up pace

Dusit Thani Maldives was recently awarded the Silver Certification by EarthCheck

AN increasing number of business travellers are opting for green-certified hotels in an effort to curb the environmental impact of their frequent travelling, a new survey has recorded.

According to the Global Business Traveler Survey 2013 report conducted by market research firm Timetric, 47 per cent of respondents confirmed that it is ‘important’ for them to stay in green-certified hotels while seven per cent considered green certifications an ‘extremely important’ factor in their choice of hotel.

A survey by TripAdvisor, conducted last year, showed 57 per cent US travellers often make eco-friendly decisions and 71 per cent said they would make more eco-friendly choices in the year that followed. Also, 30 per cent of travellers said they would choose a destination for a trip if it is considered eco-friendly.

Several hotel companies have been engaging in sustainability programmes and taking initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Trimetric research further showed that the Bali Hotels Association (BHA) was successful in reducing the use of plastic in 2012 with its ‘Say No to Disposable Plastics’ campaign, with 30 hotels within the island attaining average reduction in plastic use by 23 per cent.

The Rimba Jimbaran Bali resort in Indonesia, ahead of its opening this month, planted over 50,000 trees to reduce its carbon footprint and preserve its natural surroundings.

Located in the Maldives’ only Unesco world biosphere reserve, the Dusit Thani Maldives received the Silver Certification by EarthCheck, a sustainable certification organisation in the hospitality industry, in just its eight month of operation.

Sharjah, meanwhile, is promoting the emirate as a green destination with its Kalba eco-tourism project which will be located alongside Kalba Lake and will comprise a number of restaurants, retail outlets, children games, parks, and places to monitor animals and birds in the reserves. 

Hotel companies, tourism boards and environment monitoring agencies across the globe are now accelerating this green revolution by working towards a healthier planet.

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and 23 leading global hospitality companies rolled out a methodology for their properties and for communicating the initiative to a wide range of stakeholders, including industry associations, certification bodies and corporate customers. Version 1.1 of the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) methodology was issued on the World Environment Day and more than 15,000 hotels have adopted it. The programme allows them to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in a consistent and transparent way.

The Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference (APTDI) 2013 to be held from October 21 to 23, 2013 in Singapore will discuss sustainability and future of tourism developments.

Also, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) and EC3 Global have pledged to promote sustainable tourism and raise awareness of environmental and social responsibility good practices amongst their stakeholders.

By Shilpa Chandran