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SEDONA, ARIZ.—The Sedona Verde Valley Tourism Council (SVVTC) has partnered with National Geographic to launch a new Geotourism website. The newly released website features more than 200 local businesses as part of the sustainable tourism initiative in the Verde Valley.
CAMPBELL, CALIF.—The newest program from ChargePoint, ChargePoint Places, connects participating businesses to the largest community of electric vehicle (EV) drivers and provides EV drivers access to exclusive offers from destinations that offer charging. ChargePoint Places in a unique and innovative program where companies in retail and hospitality can increase their sales by promoting special offers and experiences to ChargePoint’s extensive community of EV drivers.
SANTA MONICA, CALIF.—Shore Hotel was honored at the 1st annual Best of the Best Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) awards ceremony last month, winning the Los Angeles Best Green Hotel award for 2015. This award coincides with the hotel’s fourth anniversary and recent technology enhancement, reinforcing its commitment to the environment, guests, employees, and community.
CORAL SPRINGS, FLA.—Nubo Bottle Co. announces the release of its Gen II Filtered Water Bottle. Both ends of the bottle are removable for superior cleaning it features a gravity fed filtration system which filters water on its way into the bottle.
DALLAS—Committed to making the world a better place one trip at a time, Travelocity selected Courtney Vaudreuil, a local resident of Los Angeles, as the first of three travel award recipients for this year’s Travel for Good program. Courtney will receive an all-expense-paid voluntourism trip to Central America to assist and help improve the lives of animals in developing countries with World Vets. In addition, Travelocity will make a $10,000 donation directly to World Vets.
SAN DIEGO—Paradise Point, A Destination Hotel on San Diego’s Mission Bay, has partnered with San Diego International Airport on a new sustainable travel program. The Good Traveler program, piloted by San Diego International Airport, seeks to offset environmental impacts of travel by encouraging guests to purchase carbon offsets in the form of merchandise or add-ons to hotel reservations. For just $1, a traveler can effectively offset 500 miles of air travel or 200 miles of driving. All of program funds will go directly towards conservation projects counteracting the environmental impacts of greenhouse gas emissions. Paradise Point is the first hotel to participate in The Good Traveler program, encouraging and inspiring sustainable travel by resort guests. Seeking to make conservation approachable and inclusive for all travelers, The Good Traveler provides participants with a collectible sticker that can be proudly displayed.
NATIONAL REPORT—A little more than six years after it first began taking applications, the Tennessee Green Hospitality program now has 82 businesses certified. Sixty-five of those businesses are lodging establishments. Among the certified hotels that are part of the Tennessee program are the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jackson, Nashville Airport Marriott, and the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Knoxville At Cedar Bluff. Perhaps a first for welcome centers in the United States, all 14 Tennessee Welcome Centers are also certified. Each of the businesses in the program have submitted applications and then undergone an on-site inspection by Skye Con’s Dobbin Callahan. Callahan helped initiate the Tennessee Green Hospitality program in 2009. Tom Cupo, General Manager of The Chattanoogan, a Benchmark Hospitality International property, was also instrumental in the program’s launch. The program was developed with encouragement from and in consultation with the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. Callahan says the on-site audit adds credibility to the certification, especially if a facility is being considered by meeting planners for a green event. There is no charge to undergo the certification process but a reasonable audit fee is charged to cover the travel expenses of the auditor.
CHENGDU—China’s Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain is going the extra mile with conservation and environmental responsibility. The resort, which opened August 1, incorporates all the Six Senses sustainability benchmarks for which the group is recognized and has now taken a step further with the introduction of a Tesla Model S electric vehicle for airport transfers. As the first hotel in Chengdu to offer such a sustainable experience, it is a testament to the eco-friendly initiatives that drive Six Senses. The vehicle, which accommodates three to four passengers and offers generous luggage capacity, travels up to 310 miles (500 kilometers) on a single charge from a standard power outlet. Using the Tesla Supercharge system, the vehicle can be fully charged in less than one hour. A guest’s arrival experience is also enhanced with the addition of the vehicle’s all-glass panoramic roof constructed from lightweight safety glass, which gives the feel of a convertible yet with total protection from the elements. In the setting of Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, this feature is important.
NATIONAL REPORT—As of September 8, according to Plug In America, 360,236 plug-in vehicles had been sold in the United States. Since the introduction of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) about five years ago, total sales are on pace to double that of plugless hybrids for their first five years. Today, there are more than 32,000 charging stations listed on the PlugShare website. Undoubtedly, there is a shift taking place in how folks get from point A to point B. According to the most recent AH&LA Lodging Survey, prepared by STR and funded by AHLEF, 11 percent of surveyed properties offer electric vehicle charging stations for their guests who drive electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles. Some properties are even using electric vehicles for in-town or airport transfers, making it even more essential to have on-site charging stations. Most properties that have invested in charging stations for visitors, guests and others have done so at Level 1 or Level 2. A 120-volt Level 1 charger can charge a battery two to three miles per hour, depending on the vehicle.
LAS VEGAS—Hosted buyers, visitors and exhibitors alike can all enjoy a greener IMEX America this year thanks to a host of sustainability initiatives focusing on waste reduction and education. A new charity recycling initiative, becoming part of the Green Team and attending relevant education sessions will help attendees to reduce waste and increase their awareness of corporate social responsibility. This follows the results of the MeetGreen Sustainability Report for IMEX America 2014 which showed a 31 percent reduction in total waste from the previous year. The use of locally sourced foods increased by over 150 percent and food waste decreased by 56 percent. The organizers of IMEX America 2015, which takes place October 13 to 15 in Las Vegas, are building on this success as Carina Bauer, CEO IMEX Group, explains, “IMEX America is committed to encouraging the meetings and incentive travel industry to address sustainability issues and to tackle these issues in a proactive, practical way. The intention is to raise the green bar across the board and strengthen our sustainability efforts.”
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