| Green Travel News |
This year’s World Savers Awards from Conde Nast Traveler honors Lufthansa, Six Senses resorts, Accor hotels, tour operator Abercrombie & Kent and other travel companies from around the world for leadership in social responsibility in six key areas: education, health, poverty, preservation, wildlife and “doing it all.”
“Doing It All”:
Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
City Hotel: Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo, Brazil
Small Hotel Chain: Six Senses, Asia
Tour Operator: Abercrombie & Kent
Large Resort: Spier, South Africa
Small Resort: Guludo Beach Lodge, Mozambique
Large Hotel Chain: Accor
Education: Guludo Beach Lodge. On a white sand beach on Mozambique, this hyper-secluded getaway has leveraged upscale travel to change the lives of 15,000 Mozambicans by giving them access to clean water when they never had it before. They also provide school meals for 800 children, have distributed 9,000 mosquito nets, built two new primary schools and provided 162 secondary school scholarships.
Health: Accor. This Euro-chic hotel chain (which includes the brands Sofitel and Novotel) with 4,200 properties in 90 countries is helping to fight AIDS in Africa, has trained more than 10,000 employees to recognize and report pedophiles to fight child trafficking, and encourages guests to save water—for every five towels guests reuse, the company plants one tree.
Poverty: Spier. This elegant farmstead on a wildlife reserve in South African wine country has created a self-sustaining ecosystem and economy whose guests receive a lesson in wastewater management. The hotel also pays employees more than 30 percent above what the law requires, with a goal for all workers to afford access to health care as well as education for their families, and has enabled 13 previously disenfranchised farmers to rent land directly from the government.
Preservation: Banyan Tree. All 29 of its hotel properties, in Asia and Mexico’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts, operate in harmony with cultural heritage and the environment. The parent company committed in 2007 to plant 2,000 trees per year for ten years and has planted more than 96,000 to date.
Wildlife: Lindblad Expeditions. This company offers small-ship trips for adventurers who like their comforts. The ships carry scientists and guests into environmentally fragile places (the Galapagos Islands, the Arctic, the Amazon, etc.) to inspire conservation.
Wildlife: Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. This eco-friendly resort and spa in the Australian bush has reintroduced decimated plant species, strives to be carbon neutral (using some 100 solar panels as well as windmills to pump water), and has protected small marsupials by establishing a “feral-free” habitat.
By the way, you can easily experience everything described here by utilizing the internet to get the perfect eco-friendly room. There are plenty of hotel resources on the internet, of course, but it is generally a safe bet if you search for accommodation in Australia with Expedia. This website has an unbelievably large library of green hotels all around the world with constantly updated rates and deals. Any serious traveler owes it to themselves to thoroughly investigate this site before any major trip.
The magazine’s editors chose 53 finalists from 131 applicants. A panel of judges (including academics, CEOs, philanthropists, and Conde Nast Traveler editors) then ranked the applicants in each area of social responsibility. The final winner of each award was determined by compiling the judges’ rankings.