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Once you have built a green program, how do you use it to your advantage to put heads in beds? Green Lodging News reports on the ways hoteliers are incorporating the environment into sales & marketing to build business. Got a great idea about how to turn green into gold? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at

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Sustainable Practices Drive Destination Choice for Majority Of Travelers, New Research Unveils


NATIONAL REPORT—A majority of travelers in the United States spend more money per trip, travel more frequently and stay longer when destinations offer sustainable practices, according to a report released by Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research. The 2016 Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism report revealed compelling results, most notably that 60 percent of U.S. travelers (105.3 million) have taken a “sustainable” trip in the last three years and that these travelers are extremely valuable to the tourism industry. These travelers spend more (on average $600 per trip), stay longer (seven days compared to four days) and bring higher benefits to local communities including job creation, giving-back and volunteering. Visit California, a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the state’s travel industry to develop marketing campaigns that drive tourism to the state, was a lead sponsor of the study. “The findings show that tourists, especially California tourists, value and intentionally seek sustainable tourism options,” said Visit California President & CEO Caroline Beteta. “A sustainable mindset is woven into the California brand, and travelers who come here will find California’s travel industry is leading the way in sustainable practices.”

Vero Water Expands Water Brand Nationally


MIAMI BEACH, FLA.—Vero Water, a leading provider of luxury still and sparkling water to the hospitality industry, announced the debut of the Vero Water Tower and a sneak-peek at the VERO+4 at the National Restaurant Show. Both systems were designed specifically to meet the needs of large independent and national accounts. Vero Water offers great tasting luxury still and sparkling water—on site and on demand—swiftly, profitably, and sustainably by transforming tap water through its proprietary purification system.

Galena, Illinois Launches Program to Recognize Green Lodgings


GALENA, ILL.—The City of Galena, Ill., already a leader in green practices as a municipality, now features lodging properties that are earning green badges by meeting criteria set forth by the Galena Area Green Designation Committee. Since the program was launched two weeks ago, eight Galena hotels and bed and breakfasts have completed applications indicating their desire to reduce waste, improve efficiencies and meet certain requirements to earn the designation. Once officially approved, those eight will be able to market themselves as green lodging properties to help visitors seeking green destinations while improving the environment and enjoying the cost savings of green practices. “This committee first gathered one year ago to begin creating a program that was achievable but meaningful,” said VisitGalena President & CEO Chris Hamilton while recognizing the first eight applicants last week. “Having so many jump at the chance to join the movement so quickly indicates a desire in our hospitality industry to provide not only great service to our visitors but also to provide that service with a conscience.”

Delos Announces New Stay Well Rooms at Six Marriott Hotels


NEW YORK—Delos is expanding its Stay Well hotel room portfolio into a handful of Marriott International hotels. The company has now completed the installation of Stay Well rooms at six Marriott properties, including Charlotte Marriott City Center, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Richmond Marriott Short Pump, Residence Inn Orlando Lake Nona, Courtyard Orlando Lake Nona and Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.

Caesars Entertainment Expands Responsible Meeting Initiatives


LAS VEGAS—Caesars Entertainment Corp. announced that its Responsible Meetings (RM) group is expanding its service offerings with the release of a new “Meetings for Good” menu of community service opportunities at select properties. The new Meetings for Good menu will promote stronger community engagement among Caesars-operated resorts, their meeting customers, and local nonprofit organizations. Participating nonprofits include organizations dedicated to seniors, environmental sustainability, education, health and wellness, deployed soldiers and veterans. A meetings customer seeking an eco-friendly team building experience, for example, could help Clean the World build hygiene kits for distribution to impoverished people to help reduce hygiene-related deaths. “We strive to ensure that our clients hold outstanding meetings and events while also contributing economic, social, and environmental benefits to society at our meeting venue locations,” said Jordan Clark, Vice President of Sales for Meetings & Events. “That’s why it’s important to us that our corporate citizenship efforts are embedded in our meetings offerings, allowing clients to reduce costs and meet responsibly.”

Mandapa Offers Eco Adventures for ‘Mini Explorers’


UBUD, INDONESIA—Nestled in the heart of Ubud, where ancient stone carvings, scenic plantations, and rich cultural traditions await exploration, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve invites young experience collectors to go on a learning adventure with its new immersive program, “Mini Explorers” at Mandapa Camp. Tailored for children or the entire family to enjoy, Mini Explorers offers a chance to learn new skills, make new friends, and take part in a wide range of creative activities, all under expert supervision.

Westin Cooks up Competition for New ‘Eat Well Menu for Kids’


WASHINGTON, D.C.—From the fifth annual Building a Healthier Future Summit hosted by The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthier choices easier for busy parents and families, Westin Hotels & Resorts announces its continued commitment to build healthier futures for children.

Tom Rhodes Leads NC GreenTravel Initiative Towards 200 Participating Businesses


RALEIGH, N.C.—Later this year, the NC GreenTravel Initiative will turn five years old. It is very possible that 200 travel-related businesses in North Carolina will be participating in the program by that point. When the program launched toward the end of 2011, its focus was on hotels and restaurants. Today, led by Tom Rhodes, NC Green Travel Initiative Program Manager, many kinds of travel-related businesses have been recognized as green businesses—attractions, museums, parks, vacation rentals, convention centers, festivals and other travel-oriented establishments. “Although I wear several ‘hats’, the majority of my workday involves tasks associated with the green travel program,” Rhodes says. Businesses participating in the NC GreenTravel Initiative first fill out an application geared toward their type of business. There is even an application customized for breweries. There is no cost to participate. Applications are reviewed by Rhodes. While there is no mandatory site visit in order to become a certified business, Rhodes says there are 62 retirees in North Carolina who volunteer their time to do site assessments covering water, waste and energy.

Many Environmental, Operational Upsides to Generating Drinking Water from Air


NATIONAL REPORT—As reported in Green Lodging News earlier this year, a number of suppliers are making it increasingly easy to offer filtered water to guests through water bottle filling stations. These stations, connected to a water supply, allow one to eliminate plastic bottle waste and even create a new revenue stream through the sale of reusable bottles. Making the location of water dispensing easier, several suppliers are now offering atmospheric water generators. These water dispensers need no water supply connection because they pull water from the air before filtering it for guests. Technology varies per supplier with some even offering bottling machines for on-site water bottling. The advantages to atmospheric water generation are many. Machines can be placed anywhere there is a 110 volt connection. Solar powered “cordless” versions are also available. The machines do not pull water from sources that may be limited due to drought or other environmental conditions. There is no plastic bottle waste or recycling of plastic bottles. Storage of plastic bottles and the associated labor is eliminated.

Three Years After Launch, TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Tops 11,000 Participants


NEEDHAM, MASS.—Almost three years after launching its GreenLeaders program, TripAdvisor has good reason to be ecstatic about its success. There are now more than 11,000 participating properties in 66 global markets across North America, Latin America, Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand. In the last year alone, TripAdvisor has added nearly 3,000 GreenLeaders participants. “When we launched TripAdvisor GreenLeaders just a few years ago to help our community of millions of travelers plan and book greener trips, we never imagined it would grow so quickly to become the world’s largest green program,” says Ryan Dillon, Responsible Travel Specialist at TripAdvisor and manager of GreenLeaders. GreenLeaders hotels and B&Bs must complete an application in order to participate in the free, voluntary program. Questions in the application address topics ranging from towel reuse to staff training to preventive maintenance. Qualifying properties are marked with a badge on their TripAdvisor page. To see a list of the business’s environmentally friendly practices, travelers click on the property’s GreenLeader badge.

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