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PHOENIX—The Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North, a contemporary hotel with convenient access to the Phoenix metropolitan area, will add 10 allergy-friendly guestrooms by PURE Solutions to its list of offerings. PURE Rooms are treated according to a patented seven-step process that kills and protects against 98 to 100 percent of viruses, bacteria and other harmful irritants.
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS—Though many travellers want to minimize the environmental impact of their trips, it can be tough to find an eco-conscious hotel, and it can be even tougher to separate the truly sustainable hotels from those that just claim to be. BookDifferent, an Amsterdam-based nonprofit, is the first hotel booking site to bring together lodgings certified by the world’s most reliable sustainability programs. After adding more than 4,500 new spots over the last year, BookDifferent now has 6,980 certified hotels, resorts and campgrounds, making it the largest eco-focused booking site on the web.
BOSTON—Warm weather is finally upon us, which means more people than ever will once again be using bike-share programs across the country, including those who travel frequently. This spring/summer, Massachusetts-based brand Bern Unlimited is partnering with the Boston Lenox Hotel—the same hotel that Bern named one of their popular helmets after—to offer guests complimentary biking helmets.
NATIONAL REPORT—Earlier this year Green Lodging News updated its readers on the many state level green lodging certification and recognition programs. That article followed a series of articles in 2013 on national certification programs. This article focuses on local or regional green certification programs in which lodging establishments can participate. By our count there are six—in Annapolis, Md.; Los Angeles; McAllen, Texas; New York’s Catskill region; Ohio’s Hocking Hills region; and San Francisco. In Annapolis, properties can participate in the Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Certification Program. The Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Certification Program is a part of the Department of Neighborhood and Environmental Programs’ Sustainable Annapolis initiative. Launched in 2009, the Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Certification Program awards best practice certificates to homes, restaurants, lodging establishments, auto repair shops, schools, retail stores, places of worship, and office buildings. In order to be eligible for the two-year certification, the applicant must earn enough qualifying points from a comprehensive checklist of environmental best practices and pass a verification inspection.
LAS VEGAS—Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced that two of its properties in Asia have become the first integrated resorts in the region to receive a prestigious sustainability certification. Marina Bay Sands and the Venetian Macao, Las Vegas Sands’ integrated resorts in Singapore and Macao, have both earned the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification. ISO 20121 is developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards. The standard provides meeting venues and event planners a framework of policies, procedures and processes that have been designed to address the management of environmental, economic and social sustainability issues throughout an event cycle. “By earning this certification, The Venetian Macao and Marina Bay Sands Singapore have significantly improved their capability to help meeting customers achieve their sustainability objectives and improve their event results,” said Norbert Riezler, chief procurement and sustainability officer for Las Vegas Sands.
PHOENIX—The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) recently launched the state’s first Electric Vehicle Travel Guide. As ownership of fully electric vehicles (EV) gains speed and the infrastructure to support EVs continues to grow throughout the state, Arizona is poised to be a destination for EV drivers looking to travel with zero tailpipe emissions.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC), the largest convention center in the Upper Midwest, has achieved Level One certification to the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows and Conferences. The international sustainability venue standard is one of nine standards introduced by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry in 2012 to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner. “We are proud and excited to attain the ASTM Venue certification,” said Jeff Johnson, Executive Director, Minneapolis Convention Center. “Certification to the industry’s global standard is further evidence of the MCC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.” “This is great news for the MCC and all of us working to make Minneapolis the sustainable destination choice of convention planners,” said Melvin Tennant, President and CEO, Meet Minneapolis, convention and visitors association. Meet Minneapolis is in the process of obtaining Level One certification to the ASTM Destination Standard later this year.
SHELTON, CONN.—Continuing efforts to build its iCompli sustainability assurance services, BPA Worldwide has named Joel Charron as Vice President, Sustainability Assurance. He will be based in Houston. In his new position, Charron will have direct responsibility for marketing and business development for iCompli’s suite of sustainability assurance services related to reporting in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.
SINGAPORE—Agoda.com, one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group, announced the results of their Global Earth Day Hotels Survey, which shows that while most travelers like environmentally friendly hotels, they don’t want to pay much more to stay in them. The survey, conducted online in March, 2014, asked 57,000 Agoda.com customers how they felt about environmental efforts by hotels. While 58 percent of all travelers said they preferred hotels that claimed to be environmentally friendly, only 39 percent said they would pay an extra $10 or more per night to stay in one. Travelers from the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom cared the least about eco-friendly hotels*. Only 35 percent of Danish and Dutch travelers and only 38 percent of U.K. travelers said they preferred them. They were among the least likely to want to shell out more cash, too, with 57 percent, 47 percent and 47 percent respectively saying they would not pay anything extra to stay in a green hotel.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Hilton Minneapolis has doubled its inventory of hypoallergenic rooms by PURE Solutions to create an allergy-friendly floor inside the hotel. PURE Rooms are treated according to a patented seven-step process that kills and protects against 98 to 100 percent of viruses, bacteria and other airborne particles. PURE technology creates a room that is more comfortable for asthma and allergy-sufferers.
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