Singapore hotels on sustainability journey in course partnership

SINGAPORE: Agoda, the digital travel and booking platform, is teaming up with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to help create sustainable tourism practices for hotels.

SINGAPORE: Agoda, the digital travel and booking platform, is teaming up with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to help create sustainable tourism practices for hotels.

Agoda is launching the partnership by sponsoring 50 Singapore hotel professionals to attend a sustainable hotels course, which will enable them to take the lead on sustainable pathways for their hotels.

The content for the course will be provided by GSTC and bring the hotel professionals up to speed with the global standards for sustainable travel and tourism. The course will also include information on best practices from other industry professionals across the sector including worldwide tour operators and hotel groups.

Agoda vice president of global partner services Jamil Liyana said: “We are confident this course will go some way to help speed up the hotels’ adoption of the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap. Agoda is constantly looking for ways to collaborate with public and private organisations to raise awareness of sustainable tourism and help our customers and partners make more sustainable choices. And as is Agoda’s culture, we will test and measure the success of this initiative as we look to explore similar programs in other key markets.”

The GSTC and Agoda course is a flexible online course with four 90 min sessions over four weeks, beginning on October 6, 2022.

Once the course is finished participants will receive a certificate from the GSTC and will then be able to take an official exam to receive the GSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism. 

In March this year the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) launched the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap, which has clear sustainability goals set out for hotels. The roadmap aims for 60 per cent of Singapore hotels to start tracking their emissions by 2023 and achieve an internationally recognised hotel sustainability certification by 2025. Hotels are expected to reduce emissions by 2030, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Image: Agoda

Best Sustainable Hotel announced at the National Geographic Traveller Hotel Awards 

UK: The National Geographic Traveller (UK) has announced the winners and runners up of its hotel awards.

UK: The National Geographic Traveller (UK) has announced the winners and runners up of its hotel awards.

The awards celebrate the best new hotels across the world and acknowledge those who are trailblazers in the sector.

There are 14 categories, which each have a winner and two runners-up. 

The winner of the “Good Egg” award, which is the award for the Best Sustainable Hotel went to:

Wilderness Safaris DumaTau, Botswana. This low impact safari camp is vital in preserving the wildlife corridor of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, where African elephants roam free. The hotel also supports research into endangered species. The safari camp has eight tented suites and is run by a solar plant. To keep the cuisine as sustainable as possible, guests are invited to create their own menus from seasonal, local ingredients. 

Runners up were: Oasyhotel, Italy and Room2 Chiswick, London.

Oasyhotel is the only hotel in Tuscany’s WWF-affiliated Oasi Dynamo nature reserve. The hotel’s revenue goes towards conserving and cultivating the 2,500-acre reserve near Florence. Guests staying at the 16 grass-covered lodges can also enjoy activities like horse riding, e-biking, and cheesemaking.

Room2 Chiswick, in London, claims to be the world’s first hotel, which can say it’s entirely carbon neutral – (as well as being carbon neutral on the operational side, the hotel has is carbon neutral including the embedded carbon, which is the carbon created during construction and demolition). The 86 rooms were designed with input from local artisans and carpets are crafted from recycled fishing nets, while the furniture is all made within 10 miles of the hotel. 

For the rest of the categories and winners see the October issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK) on sale from today.

In July Marie Claire Sustainability Awards recognised those hotels making environmentally sound choices.

Image: African elephant. WWF.

US App launches A Green Way to Travel Initiative

US: WayAway, the recently founded price comparison app for travel, has announced the launch of ‘A Green Way To Travel Initiative’.

US: WayAway, the recently founded price comparison app for travel, has announced the launch of ‘A Green Way To Travel Initiative’.

The price comparison travel app launched this summer and offers cost-saving, intelligent searches for the best flight, hotels and car rental deals.

The Green Way to Travel Initiative aims to limit the carbon footprint of travellers by giving them the option to buy carbon credits, provided by the company Sustainable Travel International. 

The company partnered with Envira Amazonia Project in Brazil which takes care of 500,000 acres of rainforest and protects against lumber harvesting and cattle ranching. 

Users of the app who pay for the WayAway Plus membership plan can get access to cashback offers from all their trip purchases. They are also able to withdraw their cash back as hard money via PayPal. 

WayAway Plus users can then use their cashback for a contribution to ‘A Green Way To Travel’, which is within the app. All contributions are then doubled by WayAway. 

Ivan Baidin, WayAway CEO said: “Travelling damages the planet and this problem needs to be solved if we want to keep going for vacations. But many travellers are simply lost as to what meaningful steps they should take to address this. So we at WayAway have established a partnership with the inspiring team at Sustainable Travel International to give our users a simple and trustworthy option for offsetting their travel with every trip.”

While it’s encouraging to have the option for traveller’s to offset their trips, it will be interesting to see the figures for the percentage of traveller’s who choose to contribute to the Green Way to Travel Initiative. SHN looks forward to reporting back when more information is available.

Upcycled “Bus Resort” to open in Singapore

WTS Travel and partners (LHN Group and Sky Win Holding Pte Ltd) are launching a sustainability-focused resort with guest rooms made from recycled public buses.

WTS Travel and partners (LHN Group and Sky Win Holding Pte Ltd) are launching a sustainability-focused resort with guest rooms made from recycled public buses.

The “Bus Resort” will be the first in Southeast Asia to use reconstructed buses as guest rooms and is due to be completed by the summer next year.

The 20 room resort is located next to Changi Village’s Hawker Centre and will benefit from being close to the restaurants and bars, shops and attractions of the popular area.

There will also be an ‘Events and Experiences Centre’ within the resort, providing space for activities such as pilates, yoga and other mindfulness-focused experiences.

WTS travel managing director, Micker Sia, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for Singapore, WTS Travel and partners (LHN Group and Sky Win Holding) to showcase how tourism, nature and environmentalism can come together for the benefit of our community. Through the execution of creative ideas, we can upcycle existing resources and create unique and exciting new experiences for both locals and tourists.”

WTS Travel & Tours Pte Ltd is a leading Singapore travel agency offering premier travel services in air-ticketing, coaches, cruises, group incentive tours, overseas package tours, and worldwide hotel reservations. It also offers tours, accommodation and ground transportation to major attractions across Singapore.

Image: Artist’s impression from WTS Travel.

WTTC to release benchmarking reports for members of Hotel Sustainability Basics

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) will release its benchmarking reports this summer for members of its Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) will release its benchmarking reports this summer for members of its Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative.

Announced in April this year, the WTTC’s Hotel Sustainability Basics programme highlights 12 actions needed to raise the level of sustainability across the hospitality sector.

The goal is for all hotels to have a minimum level of sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices and then build on those basics year on year. 

WTTC invites all hotel operators, owners, associations, and investors around the world to officially support the initiative and work to implement the criteria over the next three years.

There are three steps in the programme. 

Step 1. Launch of Hotel Sustainability Basics (April 2022). All members must show robust approaches to measuring and reducing energy and water consumption, waste and carbon emissions within the 12 criteria.

Step 2. Benchmarking (Summer 2022). Of the 12 criteria, hotels need to comply with eight initially, while the others can be committed to and put in place within three years. WTTC invites hotels to participate in the Green Lodging trends Report (GLTR). Each hotel that successfully completes the GLTR study will receive a bespoke benchmarking report for their hotel this summer.

Step 3. Verification. WTTC will launch the verification scheme for individual hotel properties that adopt the Hotel Sustainability Basics Initiative in Q4 of this year. 

Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO, said: “We are launching the Hotel Sustainability Basics to ensure no hotel, however small, is left behind in the drive to introduce basic sustainability measures within a minimum level [over] the next three years. Sustainability is non-negotiable but not every small hotel has access to the science on how to make a difference. This gives everyone access to a global standard and [enables] consumers to travel with confidence. WTTC wants the hospitality industry to lead by example so that sustainability becomes the basic requirement used to drive change forward for this generation and the next.”

The WTTCs Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative is an internationally recognised programme and have been developed with the help of industry experts including the Sustainable Hotel Alliance.

Wolfgang Neumann, chair, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance said: “The hospitality industry is a force for good and while many companies are taking great strides and leading the way, others are only now taking their first steps. By offering an understanding of the simplest steps hotels can take to become more sustainable, the Hotel Sustainability Basics will help to raise the base level of sustainability across the entire hospitality industry.”

Major hotel groups already signed up include Radisson Hotels Group, Accor, Barceló Hotel Group, Huazhu, including its affiliate Deutsche Hospitality, Indian Hotels Company Limited, Jin Jiang International (Holdings) Co., Ltd. including its affiliates Jin Jiang Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group and Radisson Hotel Group, Meliá Hotels International, and Minor Hotels including NH Hotel Group.

The Sustainable Hotel Basics is available for any hotel or property to adopt and are intended as a first step in a progressive sustainability journey. The idea is they can be built upon and expanded towards achieving “positive hospitality”. 

Sustainable Hotel News recently wrote about IHG’s Green Engage system, which aims to get all its hotels to a basic level of sustainability with the idea they build on that towards a more positive sustainable future.

Image from WTTC.