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TAMPA, FLA.—Advanced air purification, circadian rhythm lighting, dawn simulation and aromatherapy are just some of the new amenities in the newly opened Stay Well rooms at Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. Created by Delos, the Stay Well room concept offers evidence-based health and wellness features to help travelers while they’re on the road.
RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF.—Enveloped within the Santa Rosa Mountain range with striking panoramic views of the greater Palm Springs, The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage boasts some of the best night sky viewing in the continental United States. To take advantage of the desert’s canopy of stars, The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage hosts complimentary stargazing sessions every Saturday evening with the luxury resort’s recreation ambassador.
NEEDHAM, MASS.—TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, today announced its commitment to launch a set of industry-leading actions, including changes to its policy on selling tickets to animal attractions, and the launch of a new education portal to help inform travelers about the standards of care for wild, captive, and endangered species in tourism and their interactions with tourists, and their impact on wildlife conservation. TripAdvisor and its Viator brand will discontinue selling tickets for specific tourism experiences where travelers come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species, including but not limited to elephant rides, petting tigers, and swim with dolphin attractions. While some attractions will cease booking through TripAdvisor immediately, the company plans to have both the educational portal and booking policy changes fully launched and implemented by early 2017. TripAdvisor is also committing to the development and launch of an education portal linked to every animal attraction listing on TripAdvisor. The portal will provide links and information on animal welfare practices, helping travelers to write more informed reviews about their experience.
PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Wyndham Worldwide commemorated five years of sustainability leadership with a milestone tree planting ceremony through its partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, the largest environmental nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. In an outdoor ceremony including Wyndham Worldwide executives and partners from the Arbor Day Foundation, the company celebrated the fulfillment of its goal to plant one million trees and reinforced the commitment to reducing its environmental footprint by 25 percent by the year 2025. “At Wyndham Worldwide, we work every day to minimize the environmental impact of doing business,” said Faith Taylor, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Wyndham Worldwide. “Our success in planting one million trees was driven by the Wyndham Vacation Ownership team of associates and owners led by Sam Buckingham, Vice President, Resort Renovation & Design.” Wyndham Worldwide’s partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation is part of the Wyndham Green sustainability program and embodies the company’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint, preserving natural resources, and developing innovative solutions to manage climate change.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND—MCI, a key driver of innovation in global meetings, events, association and congress industries has launched its 2015 Sustainability Report: Harnessing the Power of Community. The seventh sustainability report to date, Harnessing the Power of Community reports on MCI’s annual progress according to the U.N. Global Compact principles and follows the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Framework to improve the structure, completeness and comparability of its reports.
NATIONAL REPORT—It is often said that trees are the lungs of the Earth. Unfortunately, since man started chopping trees down, the Earth has lost about half of its trees. Rainforests once covered about 14 percent of the planet; now they cover only 6 percent. If not protected, rainforests could be gone in 40 years. “We often forget that deforestation has been one of the major contributors to climate change,” says Jared Carlson, Director, Innovation & Business Development, the Arbor Day Foundation. As trees rot or are burned they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Live, healthy trees consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. “Trees should be part of the solution,” says Carlson, adding that if reforestation occurred on a large scale it could be as much as a 10 percent solution to climate change. The hospitality industry has certainly been a contributor to deforestation—not in all cases of course, but it often has done its part to put development and growth ahead of sustainability.
DALLAS—Freeman, a leading global provider of brand experiences, announced it has received the prestigious ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification, the first in its industry to do so on a global scale. The certification is an international standard designed to help organizations involved in the events and hospitality industries integrate sustainability into management practices and processes.
FRANKFURT, GERMANY—The Steigenberger Hotel Group is expanding its Green Meetings project to cover the whole of Europe. Thirteen pilot hotels have been involved thus far, but now all conference services will switch to the sustainable Green Meetings model with immediate effect. This will enable hotel guests throughout the continent to stage meetings which are carbon neutral and therefore particularly environmentally friendly. The ecological use of resources does not merely take place behind the scenes. Organic snacks produced by regional farmers, sustainable fair trade beverage specialties, specially prepared drinking water in multi-use bottles and conference materials made from recycled raw materials are all on offer. The carbon footprint left by each conference participant is fully offset by supporting U.N.-certified climate protection projects. “We are proud of our Green Meetings,” says Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG. “We are acting in a future-looking way by giving our guests the opportunity to make their contribution towards preserving the environment.” Green Meetings were pioneered at the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt in Berlin, which opened in 2014.
BALTIMORE—The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) Sustainable Meetings Conference will be held September 15 to 16 in Baltimore at The Hilton Baltimore. Hosted annually by GMIC, the event brings together professionals from all corners of the meetings and events industry—planners, suppliers, service providers, and destination representatives—around a single mission: transforming an industry by integrating sustainability into the entire lifecycle of event planning and execution. The event is an opportunity to gain new tools, share best practices and transferable lessons, network with peers and leaders in the industry, and get inspired to continue your efforts alongside like-minded professionals in the community. The Wednesday Welcome Reception will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center. Thursday's events will take place at both the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor and Baltimore Convention Center. Friday's events will take place at Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor. At the opening session on Thursday, attendees will learn what is new since the GMIC merger with the Convention Industry Council.
NATIONAL REPORT—Two months ago, Delos announced the expansion of its Stay Well hotel room program into six Marriott hotels in the United States. According to Paul Scialla, Founder and CEO of Delos, the Marriott properties are the first hotel additions to the Stay Well program since October 2012. It was then that Delos landed the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as a client. (Delos has since launched a Stay Well Meetings program.) Stay Well rooms feature a number of upgrades to enhance the health and quality of a room environment—water purification, vitamin C infused shower, mattress and pillow encasements, etc. Stay Well rooms at the six Marriott hotels will be available for approximately $30 per night above prevailing rates. The notion of packaging together a group of green amenities and features, with the idea of making a guestroom healthier and more eco-friendly, and even deserving of a higher rate, is not a new one. For at least 10 years, PURE Solutions NA has worked with hotels around the world to offer PURE Rooms.