Sustainable Tourism Initiatives: Four Examples of Leadership in the Caribbean
By Bill Meade Director, Tetra Tech | May 06, 2010
The Caribbean tourism sector has long been recognized for its leadership in sustainability. The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (formerly CHA) set up a non-profit subsidiary Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) to promote environmental management and sustainability best practices among hotels and other tourism operators. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) organizes an annual Sustainable Tourism Conference and has works with member country tourism ministries in adopting a sustainable tourism policy framework. The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) has developed sustainable tourism indicators and promoting the entire Caribbean as a "sustainable tourism zone". Individual hoteliers have won global recognition for extending the benefits of tourism to visitors, local business, communities and even municipalities.
Doing More...Giving Back at Rockhouse Hotel
The Rockhouse Hotel (1), nestled the cliffs in the West End of Negril on 8 acres of tropical lush gardens, is a boutique hotel, offering an authentic Jamaican experience. The distinctive 34-room property is consistently ranked one of the top resorts in the Caribbean. The hotel is located in Negril's "west end", two and a half miles west of Negril town. In 1972, it was one of the first hotels on Negril's cliffs west of the famed 7-mile long beach. Because of its secluded nature, early guests included Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.
In 1994, the property was purchased by a group of Australians who continue to reinvest in its evolution and expansion. The owners and management's state objective is "to responsibly and sustainably balance the interests of all the parties: giving the guests an amazing vacation, making our team partners in the success, taking care of the environment, while putting back into the community through the Rockhouse Foundation."
For over a decade, Rockhouse Hotel has adopted environmental management best practices in its operations, and is now building it into the design of new facilities in their expansion program. The Rockhouse Hotel Environmental Program is spearheaded by co-owner Paul Salmon and Financial Controller and Green Team leader Charlotte Wallace. PA Consulting Group is assisting Rockhouse, which was recently benchmarked, prepare for Green Globe(2) certification.
While the energy, water, solid waste and chemicals management practices have reduced the operating costs and improved the working environment at the hotel, it is what Rockhouse Hotel has done outside the property that is its greatest achievement. Hotel management are active in the Negril Recycling Center and one of the areas main environmental non-governmental organizations - Negril Coral Reef Protection Foundation.