| Green Travel News |
Winners of the HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards for 2012 are resorts in Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Cambodia. Every year since 2007 the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific, or HICAP, has honored hotel operators and developers in the Asia Pacific region who demonstrate exemplary sustainable practices and environmentally and culturally responsible development.
The 2012 winners:
Jetwing Vil Uyana, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, “embodies what can be accomplished in providing a luxurious resort guest experience in a truly environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.” Twenty-seven guest dwellings are integrated into a wetland reserve in an area of just three acres on a 24-acre property. Two years were spent solely on the creation of a private wetlands nature reserve with lakes, reed beds and forest on slash-and-burn agricultural land. Only indigenous plants were utilized and grown naturally, including butterfly- and bird-attracting flora to enhance species richness.
Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay, Mallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India, is spread over 44 acres on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and “offers a high-quality resort experience operated under a system designed for and committed to responsible and sustainable business principles.” Key are its energy, water and waste management practices, which have produced “significant and continuing reductions” in consumption and waste plus increases in efficiency and reuse. An active and on-going audit and measurement system for key usage indicators helps track progress and improvement.
Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, Chiang Rai, Thailand, refurbished its pre-existing buildings using recycled wood and locally sourced materials as part of a design scheme highlighting the area’s distinctive hilltribe and Buddhist cultures. Enforcement of non-hunting and fishing regulations on the 400-acre property gives native species “a rare haven in the local environment.” Tree planting and sophisticated waste-water treatment were implemented to further ensure environmental integrity. The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation was created to help elephants abused or victims of other harsh treatment, and 30 rescued elephants now thrive at the resort, along with their mahout caregivers and their families, who are provided with “practical and ethical work.”
Song Saa Private Island, Koh Rong Archipelago, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, has followed a business model based on “successfully delivering and maximizing a triple bottom line covering ‘People, Planet and Profits.'” This includes a comprehensive program of conservation and community engagement, a cornerstone of which is “the establishment of organic food/produce production in the local village, which Song Saa purchases, generating a steady income base.” A local youth program combines organized recreational activities with environmental education, including lessons in solid waste management and soil husbandry. A Song Saa-funded solid waste management system for the local village has improved health conditions and aesthetics. Sala Song Saa, a learning and education space, allows guests to interact with the local community around a functioning organic garden and a variety of sustainable initiatives.