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BONAIRE, DUTCH CARIBBEAN—In observation of World Oceans Day, Harbour Village Beach Club, Bonaire’s only luxury resort, announces a partnership with noted filmmaker, explorer and ocean preservationist Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of famed explorer Jacques Cousteau, in an effort to raise awareness for ocean conservation efforts among discerning Caribbean travelers. “This partnership perfectly complements Harbour Village’s ongoing conservation efforts,” said Frank J. Gonzalez, Managing Director of Harbour Village Beach Club. “As recipients of the PADI Green Star Award and proud members of Project Aware, we’re excited to supplement our legacy as an environmentally-conscious resort by working with Fabien Cousteau, ultimately achieving our mission to enhance the conservation, education and exploration of our world’s oceans, while exceeding guests’ expectations.” As the resort’s environmental ambassador, Cousteau will collaborate with the resort on a wide range of issues including ocean preservation and climate change topics through a series of high-level Global Ocean Summits held on Bonaire at Harbour Village. Continuing their shared commitment of researching and exploring the world’s oceans, Harbour Village will also host “Fabien Cousteau Voyages.”
LINCOLN, NEB.—The Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is commemorating the planting of the 60 millionth tree in the United States’ forests. Since 1990, the Arbor Day Foundation has been replanting on state and national forest land through the Replanting our Forests program—an initiative to revitalize forests devastated by natural disaster.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Hilton Prize Coalition, an independent alliance of the 20 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, announced the release of its short documentary film, “On Shifting Ground,” about the disaster relief efforts of development organizations in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake. The film premiered at Devex World 2016 in Washington, D.C. on June 14. On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. The earthquake and aftershocks killed over 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000. Among those who mobilized staff and resources in the world’s response to this disaster were six Hilton Prize Coalition member organizations that were embedded in Nepal—BRAC, Handicap International, Heifer International, HelpAge, Operation Smile and SOS Children’s Villages. Operating in Nepal before, during and after the earthquake, these organizations bridge the humanitarian divide between first responders and development agencies. The staff leveraged their longstanding history and roles in the impacted communities to achieve uniquely localized relief efforts, which helped to mitigate the long-term damage and loss of life.
ITHACA, N.Y.—Even though growth in China has eased, the nation’s hotel industry continues to expand at a rate far exceeding other parts of the world. However, many of the new hotels in China do not meet international sustainability standards, according to a new analysis published by the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The report, “Environmental Implications of Hotel Growth in China: Integrating Sustainability with Hotel Development,” by Gert Noordzy, Eric Ricaurte, Georgette James, and Meng Wu is available at no charge from CHR.
HOUSTON—Inns have always served not only as havens for weary travelers, but also as centers of community life. At the local inn, business was done, information exchanged, meetings and celebrations held. From its inception, the U.S.-based hospitality management company, Benchmark Hospitality International, has honored this tradition, giving back to the communities in the 40 domestic and global destinations it serves.
NEW YORK—Wild mason bees, some of the most effective pollinators on earth, can now visit 10 new luxurious bee hotels to rest their wings in the United States. These new oases were developed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in partnership with Pollinator Partnership to serve as habitat for nesting and reproduction. Habitat loss is a leading cause for the decline in wild bee populations, which are responsible for the pollination of one-third of the food produced in the United States. “Fairmont is the industry leader when it comes to supporting honeybee health and has been leading this charge over the decade,” said Jane Mackie, Vice President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “Expanding our focus to wild mason bees and their need for habitat is a natural evolution of our bee programming. Wild bees are incredibly efficient pollinators and we rely on them for 80 percent of the food we eat. Our hope is that these 10 bee hotels become the first of many that are built by businesses and Americans across the country.”
MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide reinforced its commitment to the environment by announcing multi-year sustainable seafood goals on World Oceans Day. In collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Hilton has committed to implementing strong, global sustainable seafood goals in conjunction with the company’s Travel with Purpose strategy, which was launched in 2011 to use Hilton’s passion for hospitality to make a lasting, positive difference in people’s lives and the wider world. Hilton’s sustainable seafood goals will comprise the global ban of procurement of endangered species as identified by WWF, and the transition of its seafood purchasing to sustainable and responsible sources. By 2022, Hilton will source at least 25 percent of its total global seafood volume for owned, managed and leased properties from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farms. The remaining seafood will be sourced from fisheries and farms working toward MSC and ASC certification, comprehensive fishery and aquaculture improvement projects, or those listed as “green” on WWF regional seafood guides.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS—Each summer, Houston-based Valencia Group embarks on a community initiative that seeks to connect guests and its national portfolio of hotels with deserving beneficiaries. Beginning on June 1, Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas, Hotel Valencia Santana Row in San Jose, Calif., Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE in Houston, Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo., and Lone Star Court in Austin, Texas will be asking travelers to “Give Us the Shirt off Your Back.”
SAN FRANCISCO—Leaders from Philips Lighting met with energy ministers attending the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) summit in San Francisco last week, where the company announced a commitment to sell more than two billion energy efficient LED light bulbs by 2020. Reaching this goal is estimated to save an amount of energy equivalent to that generated by 60 medium-sized coal-fired power stations with emissions equivalent to those from 24 million cars by 2020.
HAVANA, CUBA—The President of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), Karolin Troubetzkoy, joined by several members of CHTA’s executive committee and prominent regional hoteliers, visited Cuba for meetings with Cuban and international officials during the UNWTO and FITCuba events held in Havana last month. Troubetzkoy applauded Cuba’s Minister of Tourism Manual Marrero Cruz, on his opening remarks for the FITCuba event, where he indicated that tourism is a key economic sector critical to Cuba’s socioeconomic development. Marrero cited the range of tourism-related investments that are planned and the need for companies operating in Cuba to consistently provide quality services and authentic experiences while diversifying the tourism product, redefining Cuba’s marketing efforts, and reaching out to new markets. Among the CHTA group’s meetings was one with Cuba’s Vice Minister of Tourism, Luis Miguel Diaz Sanchez, who expressed a strong desire to see the region cooperate in building a stronger Caribbean brand. The CHTA representatives and Cuban tourism leaders agreed that there is much to learn and gain by working together.
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