AccorHotels’ manager of sustainability, Arnaud Herrmann, said the resort was dedicated to implementing more sustainable practices on a massive scale through its Planet 21 program. He said that you do not wake up and say, ‘I need sustainability,’. He claims it involves a lengthy process of creating the company culture and incorporating the principles within the business.
It doesn’t hurt that the movement toward sustainability has buoyed AccorHotels’ bottom line. The business has saved millions of euros by inviting guests to reuse towels and invest in integrating water-restricting hot water service repairs and save cash – and a part of that money has become its Plant for the Planet program, which has planted five million new trees within the last nine decades. (A bulk of U.S. resorts also have programs that reuse towels and linens.) The purpose is to make environmentally sound decisions easy for the consumer and without imposing undue financial burden and environmental degradation in the hospitality and tourism-focused house extension designs for accommodation developments. Ecology should be not more expensive, and should have no negative effect on relaxation, according to Mr. Herrmann.
The significance of big chains moving towards sustainability does not mean you need to cancel your visit to the tiny lodge in Central America; chances to travel sustainably are everywhere. Travelers think sustainable travel is either too costly or out of what they would like to do when they travel. More often than not, this isn’t true. Kelley Louise, executive director of Travel+SocialGood, a sustainable tourism advocacy group, said that it can apply to any type of travel, whether you are going to New York City for its newly-built sustainable hotel or home extensions and renovations or Costa Rica or even Europe. When it gets more applicable, it grows more powerful to be utilised as a force for good.
What, then, has prevented sustainable travel from gaining wider acceptance? It may be a branding issue. The word sustainable isn’t very digestible, Ana Duék, editor of Viajar Verde, a news website about sustainable travel, claims. The idea is to convey it in a more appealing way to travelers, using words such as ‘authenticity’ and ‘experience.’
That type of demystification is what associations such as Visit.org are attempting to accomplish. The website curates different regional travel experiences – ranging from free to several million dollars per individual – in the name of societal good. Sustainability, the thought goes, isn’t always something quantifiable like a specific number of trees planted, a temporary general plumbing fix, or a quantity of food waste decrease – it may also be about cultural exchange. An experience in the League of Kitchens, where people can register to cook at home kitchens around New York, demonstrates that sustainable travel need not necessitate leaving the nation.
The immersive cooking workshops aim to enable immigrant and refugee women. It is not about people sharing their skills with the natives, Michal Alter, a creator of Visit.org, stated. He says it is about the community sharing their history and experiences with all the visitors. Other experiences visitors can reserve on the website include an art workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and a five-day wine tasting tour in Moldova.
Generally speaking, sustainable travel simply means being open to other cultures. Dare to speak to someone you usually would not speak to, Mr. Glaesser of the World Tourism Organization suggests. He adds to leave a favorable footprint, while it is a local purchase or some sort of respectful cultural or economic input.