Going Green: How Hotels & Resorts can Support Sustainable Tourism

These days, sustainability is more than a buzzword. Preserving the beauty of popular destinations is necessary to maintain sustainable tourism. What’s more, many visitors prefer hotels that do their part to Go Green. After all, many people travel to enjoy stunning natural attractions. If these aren’t flourishing, or a property is clearly engaging in behaviours harmful to the environment, there’s little reason to invest time and money in travelling to a far-flung destination.

 

Promoting Conservation in Seychelles

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa

Many resorts know much of their appeal comes from their gorgeous surroundings. Therefore, they use eco-friendly policies as a selling point. The Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa website ensures guests the property’s remote island location is a protected area and promises one of the “richest biodiversity hot-spots in the western Indian Ocean.” By promoting conservation so directly, the resort connects with visitors desiring an authentic experience that agrees with a green lifestyle.

 

Natural Cooling at Park Royal Hotel, Singapore

park royal pickering going green

Other places are taking things a step further by using sustainable tourism features to stand out. And not just that, but even to save money and help the planet! At the Park Royal Hotel on Pickering Street in Singapore, lush greenery spreads across the property’s exterior. These tropical plants help cool guestrooms while decreasing energy use. The landscaped sections of the hotel are reliant on rainwater and require few resources to thrive. The creative use of living design elements enhances the hotel’s ambiance as well. This natural facade definitely helps it rise above the competition in a crowded marketplace.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at Naumi Hotel, Singapore

naumi hotel going green

At Naumi Hotel on Singapore’s Seah Street, plants are also used to control the building’s temperature. This cuts AC use, reducing harmful emissions. Naumi encourages guests to re-use towels and linens before replacing them. Garbage is also carefully separated to prevent recyclable items from going to a landfill. These steps are helping Singapore meet its zero-waste goal. The brand’s other hotel in the city, Naumi Liora, is located in a historic 1920s building that includes original windows and flooring, as well as antique tiles. These vintage details look stunning and demonstrate a commitment to reusing and recycling instead of disposing of things that can be given a second life.

 

There are dozens of other ways hotels are going green and attracting eco-minded guests, including on-site gardens of organic food, reef preservation projects and custom-built recycling centres. In the years ahead, we expect these kinds of features will grow in popularity and become must-haves for successful resorts around the world.

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4 Tips on Choosing the Right Materials for Coastal Climate Resorts

Choosing furniture for your home is different to selecting pieces for a resort that welcomes thousands of guests each year. Delicate items made from luxurious materials suited to a beautiful house or apartment aren’t designed for serious wear and tear, after all. Quality resort furniture, on the other hand, combines good looks and durability to ensure it lasts at least a year or two before a replacement is needed.

1. Know which Furniture Materials withstand the elements

resort furniture materials to withstand the elements

PER AQUUM HUVAFEN FUSHI, Maldives

Travellers from around the world flock to blue skies and warm temperatures. However, beautiful weather can quickly destroy furniture. A typical wooden dresser, for instance, will absorb moisture from the humid seaside air at a beach resort in Thailand or the Seychelles, causing it to swell and crack. To avoid this problem, consider pieces made from something like teak. This strong, beautiful wood grows in tropical rainforests and is suited to outdoor use, making it a smart choice for resorts.

 

2. Try manmade materials for extended durability

velassaru wicker materials

Velassaru, Maldives

Many natural fibres, including hemp and seagrass, fall apart when exposed to intense sunlight and corrosive ocean air, and may survive only a few months somewhere like Malaysia’s tropical rainforests, which are hot and sticky throughout the year. Man-made materials, like plastic and synthetic wicker, stay in good condition for longer, though. Stainless steel is another smart option. Sleek, elegant and sturdy- These materials will last and and won’t corrode.

 

3. Which Furniture Materials Hold it together?

summer island resort

Summer Island Resort, Maldives

Different types of wood joinery offer different levels of strength. For example, butt joints, in which two pieces of wood connect (usually at a right angle) with mechanical fasteners, are fairly weak. These may shift and fall apart when exposed to humidity. Try something like a dovetail joint, in which two pieces of wood interlock like the fingers of clasped hands. This is often preferable, especially for heavily used furniture. It’s also best to make wooden items with waterproof glue and treat it with several coats of finish to seal out moisture.

 

4. Indoor or outdoor Furniture Materials?

park royal hotel singapore, outdoor furniture design

Park Royal Hotel, Singapore

To extend the life of resort furniture, avoid putting indoor pieces outside. Chairs, tables and other items built for outdoor use are tough enough to last, unlike a delicate coffee table or leather bench. If your resort features areas that are heavily climate controlled, like a lobby or meeting room, you can outfit them with furniture that might mould or rot if used on a balcony or patio.

Finally, don’t forget that certain areas of your resort may have specific needs when it comes to furniture. Restaurants should feature chairs covered in water and stain-proof fabric that make them easy to clean. Anything near open flames, whether they come from a tiki torch, grill or kitchen, should be fire resistant, as safety should always come first.

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How your Resort can Attract Millennial Travellers to the Maldives

Traditionally, visitors to the Maldives were usually older travellers in search of peace and quiet, or honeymooners enjoying a romantic getaway. The market has shifted though, and young people are now flocking to the island nation. Their presence has given the tourist industry a welcome boost and hotels and resorts have much to gain by connecting with this key demographic.

millennial travellers to the maldives

According to TrekkSoft’s Travel Trends Report 2018, millennials will comprise 75 per cent of the world’s workforce by 2025, ushering them into a new age of spending power. Recent surveys have also shown millennials are willing to invest in travel before purchasing a home, buying a car or paying off debt. All of this adds up to an enormous opportunity for the Maldives’ tourism industry, and many businesses are taking active steps to attract them.

For example, the Emboodhoo Lagoon Project, which is currently under construction, will feature a centre dedicated to Maldivian culture. This is a great way to attract millennial travellers to the Maldives, who prioritise authentic experiences, learning opportunities and the chance to live like a local. Millennials also care about the Earth, and many properties are using their eco-friendly practices as marketing tools. Kurumba Maldives, for instance, features an engaging video on its website asking guests to protect the environment by using waste bins and leaving shells on the beach for the sake of hermit crabs.

If your business is looking to tap into the millennial market, there are many steps you can take to catch their interest:

  • Ensure your website is functional and attractive, like the W Maldives site. Millennials are digital natives accustomed to doing everything online. If they encounter a slow, outdated or unappealing site, they will likely go elsewhere.
  • Offer free, fast WiFi. Millennials love sharing their experiences on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, so help them out with a reliable connection. Best of all, this can even translate into free, organic advertising for your business.
  • Invite satisfied guests to leave a review of your property on a site like Yelp or TripAdvisor. In a 2016 Stride Travel survey, 95 per cent of participants said they were more likely to trust reviews from a third-party site than a corporate site, making this kind of exposure invaluable.
  • Consider adding budget options to your offerings. Though millennials love exploring, TrekkSoft states they spend over US$1,000 less on travel than older folks, so they are likely to find deals enticing.

While establishing a relationship with millennials can require a little hard work and ingenuity, you’ll enjoy a host of long-term benefits, including more bookings, higher profits and even a healthier environment. .

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