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NEW YORK—New York State Division of Tourism’s iconic “I Love New York” heart logo has had a green makeover to celebrate the launch of responsibletravel.com’s new guide to responsible tourism in New York State. The guide encourages travelers to escape the confines of the Big Apple and to discover an even bigger secret—the rest of New York State’s 11 regions. Searching out wilderness hiking trails connected to the city by mainline railways, motor-free lakes best explored by kayak and enthusiastic local New Yorkers dedicated to sharing and preserving their local environments, the guide highlights the best, most inspirational travel experiences which also support local New York State communities. The guide, written by Catherine Mack, is now live at responsibletravel.com/holidays/new-york-state/travel-guide. I Love New York celebrated the launch of the guide by showcasing the green heart logo as sponsor of the “Best in Water Conservation” category at the World Responsible Tourism Awards, held at World Travel Market, London on November 6, 2013.
NEW YORK—Underscoring sustainable hospitality and the importance of honeybees for the environment, InterContinental New York Barclay and The Center for Sustainable Design Strategies at Pratt Institute announced the launch of the Barclay the Bee comic series. Aiming to educate and sensitize children to the environment in a fun way, student artist Olga Andreyeva, a senior Illustration major at Pratt, has created sweet, savvy bees-in-the-city characters that playfully highlight the vital work of bees against the backdrop of their New York City home. Printed locally on 100 percent recycled paper using non-toxic inks and renewable wind-powered energy, the comics, starting with book one, are for free to download from the hotel’s sustainability blog New York Barclay Buzz and also available in print at the hotel for a $5 donation to support the Honeybee Conservancy. The first comic book, released this month, introduces the reader to the Barclay Bee character as she goes foraging in the city. Together with her young hive mate Cami, Barclay collects nectar for the hive and meets various city characters, both insect and human.
TORONTO—Tourism Toronto has become the first convention and visitors association outside of the United States to reach a new international sustainability standard. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Certification is awarded to destinations that achieve high standards in environmentally sustainable meetings, trade shows, and conferences. Tourism Toronto has been recognized as achieving Level One certification.
SAN DIEGO—Courtyard by Marriott and MindClick Global, a leader in supply chain sustainability performance and sourcing solutions, announced the launch of the Rest Better sustainability program, a MindClick initiative to educate travelers on the environmental impact of implementing green hotel purchasing practices.
ITHACA, N.Y.—An analysis of sales and rates for 9,000 hotels has demonstrated a net neutral effect for the hotel industry’s efforts to implement sustainability. The analysis was made possible by a massive database maintained by Sabre Holdings, including Travelocity. The Cornell study concluded that the hotel industry’s fears of losing business due to implementing “green” operations is unfounded. However, on average, hotels also don’t see a revenue boost from going green. The study, “Hotel Sustainability: Financial Analysis Shines a Cautious Green Light,” by Howard G. Chong and Rohit Verma, was published by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) and presented at the 2013 Sustainability Roundtable, at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The study is available at no charge from the CHR. The roundtable, held on October 18, 2013, brought nearly three dozen international industry executives and researchers to Cornell to discuss the status and prospects of future sustainability efforts. Sabre has created a green “Eco-Certified Hotel” label for hotels that have earned any of a dozen international sustainability certifications.
ORLANDO, FLA.—Hyatt Regency Orlando, formerly The Peabody Orlando, announced it will offer 25 new hypoallergenic rooms installed by PURE Solutions. Treated with a patented seven-step process to kill and protect against 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria, PURE rooms virtually eliminate all surface and airborne irritants and create a hypoallergenic and rejuvenating space for allergy-sufferers and health-conscious travelers.
PORTLAND, ORE.—The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) announced and launched a new campaign called Ask For It! in support of the APEX/ASTM standards that were completed and published in full this year. The campaign is targeted at planners, encouraging them to ask suppliers for sustainable practices. The easiest way to do this is by using the APEX/ASTM standards as a guide and resource. Once the conversation is started, the next step is to register their events and certify them at whatever level they find achievable to comply with the standards. It also is a call to action for suppliers to the event and meeting industry—venues, food and beverage, hotels and others—to certify against the standards at least to level one compliance. The standards cover the nine sectors of a meeting or event—destination, venue, accommodations, food & beverage, transportation, AV, exhibit hall, marketing communications and on-site office. These standards provide the common vocabulary and guidelines for anyone wanting to run a more sustainable meeting, whether planner or supplier.
PHOENIX—Food has always had a powerful way of bringing families together, and now families visiting Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix can enjoy a memorable private dining experience with the resort’s executive chef at his urban garden.
LONDON—Marriott International has launched a limited edition tote bag with an exclusive print by British luxury accessories brand, Lily and Lionel. The print is featured on a SleepingBags tote bag made in England from 100 percent recycled bed linen provided by U.K. Marriott hotels. This first of its kind bag is available to purchase with Marriott donating a portion from the sale of every bag to The Prince’s Trust.
WASHINGON, D.C.—Greenview and Twirl Management recently launched the first annual Green Venue Survey and Report, a collaborative effort, supported by Freeman, to collect information and generate a freely available industry report that captures the state of convention center greening and acts as an informed talking piece to stimulate constructive discussion.
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