Japan offers sustainable travel brochure for visitors

JAPAN: The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has produced a new brochure featuring sustainable destinations, experiences and accommodation across the country.

JAPAN: The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has produced a new brochure featuring sustainable destinations, experiences and accommodation across the country.

The brochure, called “Explore Deeper: Sustainable Travel Experiences in Japan, can be downloaded or viewed on the website under the title Brochure.

Michiaki Yamada, JNTO’s executive director in New York said: “Japan’s travel industry is taking initiative to achieve United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At JNTO, our sustainability pledge focuses on three major pillars: the Environment, our Culture, and our Economy. With these three pillars, we hope not only to enrich and protect them, but also let them enhance travellers’ experiences in the country.” 

Japan and JNTO’s sustainability efforts also aim to protect local and indigenous cultures and support small businesses since the economic downturn. 

The new guide covers a range of sustainable travel options as well as sustainable hotels. All of them are eye-catching and offer varying degrees of sustainable practices.

  1. The Treeful Treehouse Resort offers eco-friendly accommodation with tree houses powered by natural energy production. 
  2. Bettei Senjuan has a Green Key certification and is located at the foothills of Mount Tanigawa. A member of Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel group, the hotel has private open-air baths for each room, fed by flowing natural hot spring water. 
  3. Another hotel option is Kuki, which is in the southwest of Hokkaido. The hotel is trying to reduce its carbon emissions and waste. Water is heated through a natural hot spring to keep rooms warm and the food is from local producers. Kitchen waste is turned into compost for farms.
  4. On the northern island of Hokkaido, Niseko Town was voted one of the world’s Top 100 Green Destinations in 2020 and 2021. This is where you will find Zaborin, which incorporates modern, eco-friendly design and building techniques. Its walls are made out of recycled offcuts and an on-site hot spring provides carbon-neutral, underfloor heating in winter, and the cold spring water cools the building during the summer. 
  5. Another hotel, a more urban option, is in Kyoto – the Good Nature Hotel, which is certified sustainable and follows sustainable practices. The hotel was awarded a Gold WELL Certification, which shows that the buildings were constructed to be environmentally friendly and beneficial to human health and wellness. It was the first time a hotel had received this certification.
  6. Visit Kamikatsu Town, Japan’s leading area for zero-waste and find HOTEL WHY, which was awarded sixth place in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 awards. From the moment you check-in you learn about zero-waste and even join in with a recycling scheme. Local residents bring their waste to the Kamikatsu Zero Waste Centre, where waste is separated into 45 different categories and 80 per cent of materials used are recycled. This is where the hotel is found and inside it offers modern rooms with local recycled materials. 

To read the full brochure with all the JNTO’s sustainable ideas click here

Image from the JNTO brochure on the website.

Seven Andras House Hotels gain green recognition

NORTHERN IRELAND: Andras House Hotels, has gained Green Tourism certificates for all seven of its properties.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Andras House Hotels, has gained Green Tourism certificates for all seven of its properties.

The Green Tourism programme recognises the commitment of those in the travel and tourism sector that are making strides to become sustainable. There are different levels of awards Gold, Silver and Bronze and on its website you can see which hotels and tourism businesses have achieved the certification.

Vicky Green, associate director of Andras House said: “Sustainability is part of our company culture and it is a priority for our guests as they seek to reduce their environmental footprint. Our general managers have embraced the opportunity to work alongside Green Tourism and Visit Belfast to achieve this major accolade.”

Visit Belfast and Belfast City Council work with Green Tourism to promote the scheme across the city. With Andras Hotels being awarded the accreditation it means an extra 1,000 rooms in the city are green – and half of Belfast’s rooms are accredited with the Green Tourism award. 

Green Tourism guided Andras House in how to reduce energy, save water and use eco-friendly systems for waste disposal. It also helped with ethical buying, staying local and seasonal, minimising food miles and waste, promoting biodiversity and adopting a smart, sustainable pathway for the future across the entire portfolio.

The Andras Hotels portfolio includes the Crowne Plaza at Shaws Bridge Belfast, Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre, Hampton by Hilton Belfast City and two Ibis Hotels in the city. 

Vicky Green added: “This certification is the start of the process. We have ambitious goals for the future and we look forward to working with our partners as we continue on our green journey.”

A Galway hotel has also just been nominated for the European Sustainability Awards.

Galway hotel nominated for sustainability awards

UK: The Twelve Hotel in Galway has been nominated for the European tourism sustainability awards

UK: The Twelve Hotel in Galway has been nominated for the European tourism sustainability awards

The 2022 GrINN Awards by Quartz Hotels, aim to recognise those who promote sustainable travel within the sector including hospitality and tourism.

Ignacio Merino, Quartz Inn Hotels’ managing director said: “The main objective of the awards is to promote good sustainable practices in the hospitality sector”.

The Twelve Hotel has been nominated for Best Sustainable Accommodation in Ireland, Best Sustainable 4-star hotel in Europe and Best Sustainable Accommodation in Northern Europe.

A spokesperson from the Twelve Hotel said: “We recognise that our business has an important role to play in protecting and enhancing the environment for future generations, and to help secure the long-term sustainability of the tourism industry.”

The hotel has been making huge strides to offer a greener stay by changing the lighting to low energy, adding aerators to its taps (which reduces water consumption), and using 100 per cent biodegradable material for coffee cups. The hotel has also increased its support for locally grown food to serve in its restaurant, as well as helping the local school with its Green Flag environmental activities.

Nominees from 23 European countries are taking part in the 50 categories and the winners from each category will be chosen after a public voting process.

Quartz Inn, which runs the awards, says it aims to “reduce energy, water, CO2 emissions, and waste production. Our aim is to achieve more stringent sustainability targets … and emphasise innovation and sustainability as part of an overall guest experience in our hotels.”

​Quartz Inn plants trees for every new hotel and partner joining and allocates a percentage of its income for reforestation and to preserve local cultures and the environment.

Image: Twelve Hotel

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.

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.