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LISBON, PORTUGAL—The speed of technological innovation, growing realities of environmental sustainability and more demanding, value conscious customers are some of the most key near-term decision drivers for the hotel electronic distribution industry. These challenges and their various impacts were examined and debated during the final day of HEDNA’s recent 2008 EMEA Conference, held at the Corinthia Lisboa Hotel.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO—The last private preserve for nesting beaches of endangered sea turtles in Los Cabos is being threatened by a land dispute between the founder of environmental group ASUPMATOMA and a developer from Sinaloa, Mexico.
Rene Pinal, owner of the San Cristobal Nature Preserve and founder of the non-profit organization ASUPMATOMA (Association for the Environment and the Marine Turtle in Southern Baja) is battling a Sinaloa-based company from building on his property consisting of more than three miles of pristine shoreline.
KNOXVILLE, TENN.—The Great Smoky Mountains Sustainable Tourism Summit, designed to kick off and honor the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, recently brought together more than 500 community leaders and tourism professionals for two days of “green” discussions. Governor Phil Bredesen provided key remarks during the opening session, which included the participation of Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Tennessee Congressman John Duncan, North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler, Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.
LONDON—VisitBritain aims to encourage a rapid, widespread and significant increase in the adoption of sustainable tourism principles, while avoiding the burden of too much bureaucracy and, as part of a three-month pilot, is waiving the usual £25 cost for the first 500 businesses to register for the program. Participation in Green Start provides tourism managers and operators with a stepping stone towards accreditation by a validated sustainable accreditation scheme.
PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Beginning this month, a steaming hot cup of coffee at Wyndham hotels not only will taste great, it will feel good, too, especially to guests concerned about preserving the environment and supporting small, family coffee growers.
MCLEAN, VA.—The themes of economic downturn and corporate social responsibility were prevalent during the recent eighth Annual Resort Conference held at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. The event was presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the University of Denver’s School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management. The conference boasted record attendance of more than 250 resort industry professionals and included sessions on sustainability practices, travel industry research and the use of social media for marketing.
TORONTO—The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, two of the world’s leaders in environmental practices, announced a formal partnership aimed at promoting sustainability, conserving natural resources, and advancing the overall commitment to environmental stewardship. Involved in social awareness and conservation, The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation shares common interests with Fairmont’s award-winning environmental platform.
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CALIF.—Bentley Prince Street is taking a significant step toward its goal of becoming a completely sustainable enterprise by the year 2020 by launching a new carpet tile backing line using thermoplastic technology.
ST. JOHN, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS—Here at Maho Bay Camps, you have to be careful what you throw away. Your “trash” just might end up as part of a piece of art on sale to a visiting guest. For more than 10 years now, glass bottles, aluminum cans, worn tablecloths, napkins, towels, sheets, shredded cardboard and paper, and even laundry lint have been converted into saleable pieces of art as part of Maho Bay Camps’ Trash to Treasures program. Last year, the resort sold $250,000 worth of art made from items otherwise destined for the trash heap.
CHEVY CHASE, MD.—The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., L.L.C., and renowned diplomat for the environment, Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society, have signed a 10-year agreement to further develop and expand the award-winning Ambassadors of the Environment (AOTE) program from the current location at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman to a select group of the brand’s other resort and urban hotel destinations around the world, including Kapalua, Maui and Sanya, which opened April 24, 2008.
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