Home Publisher's Point of View World Oceans Month Prompts Flurry of Travel Industry Activities

World Oceans Month Prompts Flurry of Travel Industry Activities

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Glenn Hasek

This month is World Oceans Month, a time to recognize the current state of our oceans and, if possible, do something about it. One way to help our oceans is to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated at your property. Did you know that 60 to 80 percent of the pollution in our ocean comes from plastic and an estimated 100,000 marine mammals and up to 1 million sea birds die each year after ingesting or being tangled in plastic marine litter? I heard from several people this month regarding World Oceans Month.

First, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced the launch of “No Barriers Reef,” a pioneering initiative designed to make the natural wonders of Belize accessible to every Belizean. This innovative project, which went live on Saturday, June 8, in honor of World Ocean Day, is a testament to Belize’s commitment to the appreciation and preservation of our oceans and natural heritage.

In collaboration with The Zimmerman Agency, Belize introduced an innovative virtual reality (VR) experience that immerses viewers in the beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest living reef in the northern hemisphere. The primary goal of this initiative is to provide Belizeans, who may not have the ability or opportunity to explore this natural marvel firsthand, a unique opportunity to experience its splendor virtually. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Belize Barrier Reef attracts millions of travelers from all over the world each year. Knowing, though, that there are locals who have never had the chance to lay eyes on one of the world’s greatest wonders, despite it being in their own backyard, was something BTB felt needed to change.

More VR Experiences on the Way

Belize has plans to create more immersive VR experiences, including virtual adventures exploring the ancient wonders of the ATM caves, participating in a fly over the magnificent Great Blue Hole, and visiting the awe-inspiring Maya Temple sites. To view the No Barriers Reef campaign, head to travelbelize.org/no-barriers-reef.

Also, in recognition of Oceans Month this month, Innisfree Hotels is welcoming guests to engage in sustainable activities at its more than two dozen properties in coastal Florida and across the Southeastern U.S. With so many beach- and waterfront properties in its portfolio, Innisfree Hotels’ environmental initiatives naturally include ones that specifically benefit oceans and waterways. Here are a few examples of how Innisfree is making a difference in its beachside communities:

In Amelia Island, Fla., Innisfree Hotels partners with the Right Whale Festival to raise awareness and advocate for protection of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The festival celebrates the annual return of the right whales to Florida waters where they give birth and nurse their young. With an estimated population of fewer than 350, supporting the recovery of these rare animals is imperative to maintaining the future health of our oceans.

In Pensacola Beach, Fla., on June 1, Innisfree participated in the Sea Turtle Baby Shower hosted by Pensacola Beach Advocates at Pensacola Beach’s Gulfside Pavilion. The free, family-friendly event celebrates sea turtle nesting season and teaches residents and visitors the dos and don’ts of visiting beaches.

Turtle Tuesdays

Sea turtle protection is essential in Pensacola Beach, which is why the Hilton Pensacola Beach partners with the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center to host Turtle Tuesdays every week during the summer. Volunteers bring displays and activities to the hotel to promote steps for a sea turtle safe vacation. The Hilton Pensacola Beach also launched a Dune Defenders pilot program for kids, leading them on a beach walk to learn about the coastal habitat and how to keep dunes healthy.

For more information on Innisfree Hotels and its sustainability efforts, visit innisfreehotels.com.

Novotel, Accor’s founding brand, announced the launch of an international partnership with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) that will see Novotel champion the protection and restoration of the ocean through science-based action and conservation projects. WWF is a global leader in building a sustainable future for people and the planet.

Under the three-year agreement, from 2024 to 2027, WWF France will provide technical expertise to Novotel, helping its 580 hotels worldwide to have a positive impact on the ocean, challenging and guiding the brand and its properties throughout many aspects of its operations. The partnership will also see Novotel sponsoring several critical WWF ocean-related conservation projects across the world.

Novotel will build a three-year science-based action plan, rooted in three of the United Nations’ priority ocean-related actions, namely: reducing marine pollution and ocean acidification, particularly from land-based activities; fighting overfishing and promoting sustainable fishing models; and increasing scientific knowledge and research for ocean health.

Discover more about Novotel’s ambitions here.

Blue Aina Guest Experience in Hawaii

Finally, Hawaii’s five-star, five-diamond Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea announced the launch of the Blue Aina guest experience, an addition to the Resort’s Malama Hawaii program. Launching in tandem with Oceans Month, this new initiative aims to cultivate a sense of ocean conservation and environmental stewardship among guests, providing a unique and educational adventure that underscores the resort’s unwavering dedication to regenerative travel, tourism, and sustainability.

The term “Blue Aina,” translating to “Blue Land,” symbolizes the interconnectedness of land and sea, echoing the shared responsibility to protect and preserve the environment. This ethos embodies the essence of Four Seasons Resort Maui and is reflected in the launch of their new program, which ensures a meaningful connection between guests and the marine environment that defines this idyllic coastal haven along Wailea Beach.

Education and action combined, Blue Aina is a monthly reef clean-up initiative by Kaukolu Project, the philanthropic arm of Trilogy, a Hawaii-based company providing sustainable luxury sailing adventures since 1973. This immersive experience begins with a brief land-based clean-up at Maalaea Harbor, followed by an educational snorkel and reef clean-up excursion. Guests are invited to board Trilogy’s vessel for a morning of learning and conservation, which includes a breakfast and lunch. Through this initiative, guests will not only contribute to maintaining Maui’s pristine reefs but also develop a deeper understanding of the importance of ocean conservation, connect them with the local community, and foster environmental stewardship of Maui’s land and sea—all while having a fun, memorable experience.

In addition to Blue Aina, Four Seasons Resort Maui is committed to several other environmental initiatives that reinforce the property’s dedication to protecting and preserving the Pacific Ocean.

Green Lodging News Adds Draco Hygienic Products to Product Directory

Green Lodging News has added Draco Hygienic Products to its Green Product & Service Directory in the “Amenities/Dispensers/Toiletries” category. Draco Hygienic Products introduces EZ Shower dispenser. The ideal option for hotels aiming to cut plastic waste while maintaining high guest satisfaction, it is available in a multitude of designs, colors, and custom options. Dispensers pair with premium personal care products in hygienic, bacteria-free cartridges that last about 60 days on average, saving the housekeeping team valuable time and the hassle of bulk refilling.

With EZ Shower dispenser, one can reduce annual amenity costs by as much as 50 percent. The dispenser eliminates over 90 percent of single-use amenities. Cartridges are made of recyclable LDPE plastic.

For samples, test trials, or to get your property started, call (909) 447-2300 or e-mail cole@draco.com.

Green Lodging News Adds Greenview to Green Product & Service Directory

Green Lodging News has added Greenview to the Software/Utility Analytics for ESG Reports section of its Green Product & Service Directory.

The Greenview Portal is a sustainability management system designed by industry experts for the hospitality sector. With its centralized cloud-based platform, managing sustainability has never been easier:

  • Manage efficient collaboration among teams while streamlining data capture processes.
  • Monitor progress with ready-to-go reports and high-level performance dashboards, including scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions capture.
  • Attain globally recognizedcertifications through expert guidance and support in mastering sustainability best practices.
  • Centralize documentation of your sustainability efforts for better reporting and communication needs.

Contact sales@greenview.sg or click here to learn more.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers, and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Get in our Green Supplier Spotlights!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, publishes the Wednesday Green Supplier Spotlight and Thursday Green Suppliers Spotlight. Green Supplier Spotlight features just one vendor and Green Suppliers Spotlight features multiple vendors. Click here for a Green Supplier Spotlight sample and rate sheet. Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample and rate sheet. Both e-blasts that reach 19,840 subscribers have been built to generate quick leads. A report is sent a week after each e-blast that includes the number of e-mails sent, number of opens, and number of click-throughs. Contact Glenn Hasek at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com for more information.

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