Tourism is one of the leading growth sectors of the global economy, bringing in billions of dollars annually in developing countries and transporting millions of people internationally. But the tourism industry’s growth through the years has created an increasing amount of stress on the environment. Ecotourism is nature-oriented and environmentally focused and is growing rapidly.
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Ecotourism aside, many in the hotel industry have recognized the negative impact their business activities have on the environment and have taken action to alleviate those impacts. Environmentally responsible business practices dovetail well with the newfound popularity of ecotourism. They harmonize tourism and environmental sustainability.
Eco-hotels are a name given to represent a hotel or an accommodation that has made the surroundings improvements to its structure so as to reduce its impact on the environment. This is known also known as green hotel which are environmentally-responsible accommodation that follow practices of green living. To be considered as environmentally responsible these hotels have to be certified as ‘green’ by an independent third-party or by the state they are located in. Traditionally, these hotels are qualified as Eco Hotels because of their location, their design inspired by the use of traditional building and the eco activities they offer.
1.0 Criteria for eco-hotel:
An eco-hotel must as a rule meet the following criteria:
- Rely on the natural environment
- Environmental sustainability
- Should be able to safeguard the ecology
- Should sensitize people about the environmental training programs
- Should be able to bring intercultural exchange
- Should be able to increase the country’s revenue
- Maintaining the organization building by using non-hazardous cleaning agents and laundry detergent
- 100%organic cottonsheets, towels and mattresses
- Non-smoking atmosphere
- Renewable power sources like solar or wind energy
- Bulk natural soap and facilities as an alternative of individual packages to reduce waste
- Guest room and hotel lobby recycling bins
- Towel and sheet re-use (guests can tell housekeeping to leave these slightly used items to reduce water utilization)
- Energy-efficient lighting
- On-site transportation with green vehicles
- Serve natural and local-grown food
- Non-disposable dishware
- Offers a fresh-air exchange structure
- Gray water recycling, which can be used in the kitchen, bath and laundry water for garden and landscaping
- Newspaper recycling plan
1.1 Hotels having this Criteria
Copenhagen: No.1 Green hotel in the World.
Eco star: 1
Copenhagen Towers in line with the Green Building Standard is the first hotel in Denmark that has got linked with the UN’s Global Compact. It has been considered that the building can saved about 1.373 tons of carbon dioxide annually and it has also been awarded the golden nail for being the most pioneering eco-friendly building. The Crowne Plaza Towers was constructed in 2009 using the most modern renewable and most sustainable resources. According to the president of Copenhagen Hotel Management, Sandeep Sander, the notion used by the hotel was to be more sustainable first to produce most of the energy used and to save as much energy as possible.
“One of the key power saving initiatives is the mechanism of a groundwater based system, is based on the idea of recycling energy, and provides both heating and cooling to all 366 hotel rooms, the conference room section, kitchen, restaurant, and the ancillary office building.”Actions such as intelligence control of lightning and low-energy light sources have been taken to guarantee that the consumption is kept low. The majority of the part of the hotel’s IT infrastructure were used on foundation of energy saving and renewability.
Managing director for Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, Allan L. Agerholm acknowledged: “The bikes invite the guests to move in new habits that benefits their personal health and wellbeing as well as the environment in general. The guests plainly provide the energy in the hotel. On one hand, the biking might represents an emblematic sustainable act. Yet on the other it also presents that the socio-eco-awareness now also apply for the service area.”
The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen has used this new concept- green concept- for the interests of the hotel, its employees and the guests. the prominent Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, the Hotel Nikko Hongkong occupies one of the city’s choicest locations in Tsimshatsui East…ISO 14001 plus other awards.
Eco star: 2
Country: Hong Kong
In line with ISO 14001, Hotel Nikko Hong Kong has dedicated itself to the ecological shield. Its purpose has been to give environment-friendly services in their industry so as to be distinctive competitive as compared to others. Its aim is to provide good biodegradable services for its guests. It has also committed itself into taking appropriate techniques to stay away from pollution and towards the preservation of resources. To sponsor tourism marketing, Hotel Nikko has joined Friends of the Earth’s 2008-09 as a Saturn corporate member, the second highest contribution tier. The hotel management and staffs also helps to support environmental services to the guests so as to diminish wastage of natural resources and pollution done to the environment. To encourage its employees, the “Green Innovator Award” was the mechanism used to award the most innovative and convenient environment initiatives anticipated by the hotel. The concept used by Hotel Nikko Hong Kong is the 6R. The 6R concept consist of the following aspects: Reduce, Reuse, Replace, Repair, Refill and Recycle. The hotel has used this concept to control waste water organization. It is done in the safest way.
The orchid- ECOTEL licensed by HVS Eco Services website has a wealth of good information…
Eco star: 3
“A tree always grows from its roots; every building needs a strong base”
The Orchid Hotel is found in Mumbai and it is Asia’s first qualified environmental friendly five-star hotel and it has been approved the ISO 14001. They just think in having a sustainable development which can build up an experience where:
“Deluxe need not disturb, Comfort need not compromise and Enjoyment need not be insensitive.”
The creation itself was designed particularly in such a way that is eco-friendly and even the resources used are sustainable and can be conserved. For the civil work, they have used:
- Cement – They have opted for the PPC (Portland Pozzalana Cement) which hold 15-20% fly ash, as compared to OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement)
- Their internal partitions were built from wall panels made of compost waste and they can be reusable later.
- AAC (autoclaved aerated concrete)
- Water conservation by adopting the 6R theory
- Aerators/flow restrictors
- Sewage management plant
- Drip irrigation
- Drinking water treatment (aquazone)
- Rubber wood
- Medium thickness fibre wood
- Reused wood
- Triple glazed windows
1.2 Environmental Management
In the 1980s and 1990s environment pressures has greatly affected the various industries and nowadays it has become such an important thing that it is not only affecting the outputs but even the inputs and process. Hotel industry has provided a major benefit to local and national economies; its growth has also put in danger the environment and socio-cultural area of where it’s developing. David Kirk (1981) argue that the hospitality sector is more affected as most hotels restaurant are situated near beauty and historic places where the need to protect is greater and even more vital. The addition of services to attract more tourists has already affected such places and thus more constrains crops up when building such facilities.
Moreover tourists don’t care about their action which contributes to the degradation of the environment. They expect to be pampered and don’t pay attention to lashings of hot water, long time showers, and huge amount of supply of towels, copious food and more the need to be taken to the airport in limousines. We can say that nothing can be done to reduce the amount of waste without the help of the tourists, even if manager applies new ways of doing in the management of waste guests’ plays an important role.
Environmental management is such a broad concept that it encloses aesthetic, cultural, ecological and social. There is a whole big work that should be done to educate people about the importance of a proper management of them.
The hotel industry is one that consumes a lot of energy as a huge amount is to provide comfort and service to guest that are ready to pay for a unique treatment and entertainment. The amount of energy varies from Hotels due to their size and volume of guests. In the investigation of Paulina Bohdanowicz (2001) she finds out that Heating and air conditioning represent the highest energy consumption and is even consuming twice as catering which can be found at the second position.
There is a wide misconception in the hotel industry about reduction of energy use. Tourism is not giving an important consideration to this aspect as there is no proper planning to directly influence the output of energy consumption.
Local resources could be used like solar, wind, hydro these are excellent source of alternative energy as they have low impact over the environment. As tourism is a growing and evolving industry eco-(sustainable) tourism represent a currently small market but with time it may become the leading industry with millions of environmentalists and more consumers aware of environmental issues. Unfortunately more developers, planners believe that doing a sustainable development cost more and take more time. It will also provide less profits as more investment and less services will be available.
It is true that green building offer many advantages like better economic opportunities, more
comfort and convenience, better working and enhanced working environment, competitive advantage through the marketing and technology advancement, greater profits as building green cost less if it is correctly control and operated, offer an increase product and asset value as it represent the new era.
The slogan “think globally, act locally” has been around in green politics for a long time but it is still very relevant. Problems are created at a local level through the business, leisure and activities provided by hotels. Robert F. Bruner (2004) clearly states that when you look around, it as if as economy has gone global, each one is copying on others ways of doing. These activities may result in effects on the environment at a local level and collectively at a national and global level therefore to change global trend one must change locally.
Tourism objective is to offer service entertainment, comfort and luxury as well as a numerous range of services in an aggressive competitive market. There is a must to consume more energy to provide such services. The only way to control the production of such services is to get in close cooperation with all the stakeholders involved right at the beginning of the planning stage.
1.3 Some Important events in Environmental management:
1956: Clean Air Act;
1970: Department of Environment established;
1972: publication of “Limits to Growth”;
1973: formation of Green Party;
1974: Control of Pollution Act;
1987: Montreal Protocol (CFC emissions);
1987: Treaty of Rome;
1987: Bruntland Report (sustainable development);
1987: HM Inspectorate of Pollution;
1990: European Environmental Agency;
1990: White Paper on Environmental Strategy;
1992: Rio Earth Summit Conference;
1993: UK National Sustainability Plan.
Environmental management was given more importance with the rise of health problem due to pollution from industries. Industries expanding themselves caused great damage to environment with the massive pollution they were doing. Without the interest of the highest level of an organization it is less likely that a company will involve itself in environmental management. Therefore to be able to do such thing there should be the participation of everyone in a company so that ideas develop flourish.
The first step is to have a vision and to transform them into objective and targets with clear monitoring so as to have control and communication being done for everyone to go into the same direction. The next step is to conduct an environmental audit into the company so as to identify areas to be made targets.
Environmental Management touches sector like purchasing policies, waste management and waste disposal in a company. A department should be created in order to fulfill those required task so as to enhance and to show a real endeavor towards environment protection.
1.4 Environmental management in the hospitality industry
Not much interest was put in the hospitality sector until the creation of the International Hotels Environment Initiative, which was launched by the Prince of Wales. The first main objective was to create a manual on environmental management for hotels.
The Hotel Catering & Institutional Management Association (HCIMA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council have established an initiative on environmental management awareness. The programme, known as “Green Globe”, has as its main objective the aim to provide practical and low-cost means by which hospitality companies can follow rules to undertake environment improvements base on international guidelines.
1.5 Policies and Standards set for Eco-Hotels
There are several places in the world whereby green hotels/ eco hotels are now being practiced. In most cases, by setting up several laws and regulations on hotel construction, government has forced the hotels builder in constructing eco-hotels. There are also several associations which are fighting for a more eco-friendly buildings and hotels.
A few key building environmental assessment tools presently in use comprise of:
- Canada: LEED Canada / Green Globes
- China: GBAS
- India: Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) / GRIHA
- Japan: CASBEE
- United States: LEED / Living Building Challenge / Green Globes / Build it Green / NAHB NGBS / International Green Construction Code International Green Construction Code (IGCC)
- United Kingdom: BREEAM
A few key building environmental assessment tools such as BREEAM (United Kingdom), and CASBEE (Japan) are a great help for the consumers in determining a structure’s aim and level of the environmental accomplishment. They reward credits for optional construction features which sustain green model in categories such as the site location and upholding of building site, conservation of water, etc. The stage of achievements are then determined through the number of credits.
Governments have begun to command a reduction in the use of energy and emissions. In US in the construction industry, “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” also known as “LEED,” is being developed as a widely-accepted standard. The LEED certification has been modified by the U.S. Green Building Council to give facilities to all buildings to earn points in many categories, helping thus the hotel operators to be able to obtain certification for their existing services.
They thus earn points by being sustainable in:
- The low energy use which reduces the release of air pollutants and greenhouse gases
- By reducing water consumption by 30%
- The use of recycle products to renovate.
- The use of innovative technologies that help in reducing energy usage thus achieving other types of sustainability.
There is on about 1,200 LEED-certified buildings till the end of 2008, most of which are new instead of renovated buildings.
The government also plays a very significant role in the industry’s eco- environment, not only by creating environmental resources to help the industry. The government officials also shared their acquired experience on ecological work with the practitioners.
According to the United Nations Environmental Program, 2001, the French Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment along with some hotels has been sponsoring the making of teaching materials for environmental issues. The Hong Kong and French government also shows the importance of pursuing sustainable tourism by funding two cases.
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Referring to: Hotels’ environmental management systems (ISO 14001) by Wilco W. Chan and Kenny Ho we can see the chart with the different departments and its aims. Introduced in China during the year 2003 with the publication of China Hotel Association’s standards for green hotels, it was targeted to build and develop 10,000 green hotels by 2010.
In May 2007, URBN Hotels & Resorts, a hotel situated in Shanghai, entered into an accord with Emissions Zero, a company which sells offsets greenhouse gas emissions. URBN plans was to calculate the hotel ‘s total amount of energy consumed, to then purchase credits in order to reduce its footprint by investing In the local green projects.
In the islands where tourism industry is backbone for economic growth, due to the fear of losing developers, there is often a lack of regulations. Two examples are Barbados and Jamaica, whereby they utilize funds raised to coordinating the Plan for a Sustainable Tourism and the Tourism Product Development Company. They have developed curriculums concerning sustainable practices for the different hoteliers.
The Government initiatives for examples such as Energy Conservation Building Code 2007 are mostly focused on how to preserve environment. A new code had been launched June 2007 clearly specified that only the energy performance requirements for all commercial buildings will constructed in India.
1.6 IPD Environment Code
In February 2008 the IPD Environment Code, which was supposed to be a good practice global standard, has been launched. The Code was introduces in order to measure the environmental performance of corporate buildings. Its aim is to accurately assess, evaluate and deal with the environmental impacts of commercial buildings. The Code covers a broad array of building types which have as aims to:
- environmental plan creation
- Communicating a responsibility to the improvement of the environment.
- Create performance targets
- Environmental improvement plans
- Life cycle assessments
United Nations (UN) has introduces an Agenda 21 which is connected to sustainable development, a blueprint of action. It is supposed to be taken internationally, on a national scale and locally by different types of organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups that is in every part in which the humans has an effect on the environment.
A great number of organizations, due to the increasing interest in eco-building concepts, are now developing the different standards and rating systems which are encouraging the government’s regulators as well as the construction professional in adopting eco-buildings with more conviction. There are also different codes being written which are now being adopted by the government in order to reduce the different environmental impacts of all the buildings.
1.7 Eco activities offered to tourists by Eco-Hotels
Over the past years, the tourism industry has begun to promote and expand and some tourists adopted and supported the concept of ecotourism, especially in coastal and marine locations (Miller, 1991; Miller & Auyong, 1991b; Grenier et al.,). Ecotourism dates to year 1965 when Hetzer required a reconsidering of cultural education in tourism context and promoted ecological tourism (eco-tourism). Today eco-tourism has become an international concept that makes up the principles of preservation, conservation and sustainable development. According to Valentine (1991) in the literature ecotourism is also recognised as ‘adventure tourism,’ ‘nature-oriented tourism,’ ‘alternative tourism,’ ‘appropriate tourism,’ ‘soft tourism’, ‘responsible tourism,’ ‘ethical tourism,’ ‘environment-friendly travel,’ ‘green tourism,’ ‘sustainable tourism,’ and ‘nature tourism.’ The list could be extended with other alternatives like ‘equality tourism,’ ‘ethnic tourism,’ ‘cultural tourism,’ ‘socio-ecological tourism,’ ‘photo-safari tourism,’ ‘dive tourism’ or ‘surfing tourism’. A tourist activity, a private venture or government service, and a guide for ethical conduct are some technical definitions given to ecotourism. For Hetzer (1965), responsible ‘eco-tourism’ is assessed against four standards:
- Minimum environmental impact;
- Minimum impact on– and maximum respect for– host cultures;
- Maximum economic benefits to the host country’s ‘grassroots; and
- Maximum recreational satisfaction to participating tourists.
The Ecotourism Society, a non-profit organisation created in 1990 to serve tour operators, conservation professionals, protected area management specialists, researchers, and guides, among others, defines ecotourism as responsible travel that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people. For example in Shanti Maurice hotel, along with the local inhabitant, use composting for waste reduction. However, there is not yet any standard method to quantify the amount of ecotourism. Bangs (1992) notes that, while generic tourism increases around 4% annually, ecotourism is growing at a rate of 30%. Lindberg (1991) stated that nature-based tourism contributed between $2 and $12 billion in 1988 to the economies of developing nations. According to Miller (1993), today, demand for travel shows greater deviation and magnitude than ever before, so making the tourism industry the biggest business on the earth.
The increase in availability of public transport, car ownership, outbound travel, and new interests in nature based ecotourism, with the increased leisure time implies a promising future to marine eco-tourism. As a result more careful and detailed preparation and planning is necessary to accommodate the estimated arrival of tourists to coastal areas. But still ecotourism is often disadvantaged by limited access, lack of transport and poor resort facilities, including lodging facilities. It is essential to achieve a good balance between the development of leisure and the preservation of natural resources is to sustain the high quality of recreational activities.
The concept of the 3s (sea, sand, sun) tourism is changing to more sustainable tourism activities. There are different eco hotels which offer different activities to tourists depending on their surrounding environment. Hereunder is a list of eco hotels of different eco star ratings and the eco activities they offer to the tourists.
3 star Eco hotels
Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat(Central America-Costa Rica)
Guests learn about consequences of deforestation and its effects on biodiversity, climate and water during their stay at Leaves and Lizards. Information is shared and discussed during guided tours, through casual conversations and written material in guests’ rooms.
Activities available there to tourists are horse riding, white water rafting, zip lines (Tyrolean traverse) and canyoning.
Admiral’s Inn-north (America- USA)
Information of all the local environmentally-friendly activities that are in the area, including beach walking and hiking are given to guests.
Al Tarfa Desert Sanctuary Lodge & Spa- (Africa-Egypt)
Al Tarfa is an adventure destination, offering daily activities such as guided walks in the desert, local community experiences, camel or horse rides inthedunes or 4×4 visits to local pharaonic, as well as Islamic ruins and natural hot springs. Other rewarding experiences can be arranged, including trips to theadjacent Oases, theWhite Desert Protected Area and theGilf Kebir National Park.
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge- (Africa-Tanzania)
This offers a number of specialist safaris as activities to guests.
Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill- (South Africa)
The aim of Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill is to provide a uniquely flexible safari experience
Club Afrodit- (Europe-Turkey)
This hotel provides various activities like morning gymnastics, nature walks, tennis, ping-pong, aerobics, basketball, volleyball, darts, water polo.
Eco-Lodge Itororó- (South America-Brazil)
Eco-Lodge Itororó offers a range of activities from hiking tours to horseback riding and swimming in the crystal-clear natural pool.
Ferme de Candeloup- (Europe-France)
This eco hotel also acts as a Yoga centre .During the Winter, a forty minute drive brings guests to the nearest ski station, which is also just a short walk to the Spanish border. Whitewater rafting, horse riding and many other activities can also be pursued in the neighbourhood. For those of a more leisurely disposition, Candeloup is at the heart of the Jurançon wine region, which begs to be explored.
Finca del Buen Consejo- (South America-Ecuador)
They offer activities in many of the local beautiful sites such as waterfall visits, mountain climbing, fly fishing, and pre Inca civilization ruins
Hotel Planinka- (Europe-Slovenia)
Activities organised by the hotel for the guests include mountain adventure park, paintball, hiking & mountain biking, sledging, ice skating.
Best Western Kamloops- (North America-Canada)
In the area guests will find some of the finest golf courses in the country, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, fossil exploring, and Western Heritage visit. For more winter activities nearby is the excellent ski Sun Peaks Resort, which is quickly becoming one of the premier ski areas in the country.
Hosteria Huechulafquen- (South America-Argentina)
Guests can enjoy different excursions with diverse difficulty levels like horseback riding, trekking, mountain biking, long walks, kayaking, bird watching, scenery hiking, and the hotel specialises in catch and release fishing.
Ibo Island Lodge, Quirimbas Archipelago- (Africa-Mozambique)
Ibo Island Lodge provides turtle and hatching viewing opportunities to guests to the island.
Iglu-Dorf- (Europe-Switzerland and Germany)
Activities available there are snow show walking, igloo building and sculpting.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu- (South America-Peru)
Group eco-activities, such as bird watching or a guided orchid walk, are provided on their 12-acre grounds.
Laguna del Lagarto Eco Lodge- (Central America-Costa Rica)
The Lodge is operated in harmony with nature following extensive ecological guidelines. It is a perfect place for passionate bird-watchers and rain forest lovers. More than 10 km of well marked rainforest trails make birding and exploring easy, whether guests prefer to go alone or with a naturalist or birding guide.
Matemo Island- (Africa-Mozambique)
For guests who enjoy water sports, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and banana boats, these activities are offered. Kayaks and snorkels are also available for guests to explore the island’s clear waters.
Rivertime resort and Ecolodge- (Asia-Laos)
Rivertime resort and Ecolodge provide river tours to guests. And Tours most fascinating temples, monasteries, museums and many other sites of interest take guests to the city and local areas in the resort’s minibus.
Sosian Lodge-africa Kenya
Sosian offers a huge range of activities including walking, horse-riding, camel safaris, game-drives, night-drives, fishing, bird-shooting, archery, tennis and swimming in the waterfalls behind the ranch house.
4 star Eco hotels
- Belvedere Bed & Breakfast- (Europe-Italy)
- All sorts of activities, are provided at this hotel, like walking, trekking, mountaineering, cycling, skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing or just relaxing surrounded by good food, wine and beautiful scenery.
- Brompton Lakes- (Europe-England)
The site is directly on the Coast to Coast long distance footpath and ideally placed for walking, cycling and other outdoor activities. There is also a tennis court, free mountain bike hire and small rowing boats on the lakes.
Cedar House Inn and Yurts- (North America-USA)
Cedar House Inn and Yurts provide horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, tubing down the Etowah or Chestatee Rivers and swimming in Dicks Creek. Mountain biking on rugged trails or road bike on the same mountainous route used by professional racers is also available.
Chem chem- (Africa-Tanzania)
Guests at Chem chem can experience unforgettable walking safaris and bird watching excursions.
Cotton Tree Lodge- (Central America-Belize)
All guest excursions are focused on the local environment and community. Guests visit waterfalls, caves, Mayan ruins, wildlife reserves, an
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