4 Top lessons in sustainable tourism from Six Senses

by | Jun 19, 2018 | Design

Sustainable tourism is no longer a buzzword, but a fully fledged way of traveling. But not every hotel does sustainability as well as it should. Sustainable hotel brand Six Senses gives us some tips in how to go about pursuing a sustainable agenda in hospitality.

Garden-fed hotel

A lot of hotels are reticent to take this important step when creating a sustainable property. Hotel gardens take time and effort to maintain, and involve experts to tell hoteliers about the best type of garden that will suit their venue. But great rewards can be reaped from a garden, which can supply the hotel restaurant with organic fruit and vegetables. Make sure that all pesticides and fertilizers are organic and not harmful to the environment, and that irrigation is planned to cut down on water waste.

Context is king

There has always been a lot of debate in the architectural community about the best way to achieve a sustainable building. It is easy to put some solar panels on a roof and claim that a building is environmentally friendly, but the actual design of a sustainable hotel itself should complement its surroundings. Six Senses goes to great lengths to ensure its properties are mindful and responsive to the local context, that they use locally sourced materials and echo the vernacular constructions of the area.

Engage the community

The UN World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as one that “meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future.” Therefore, it is imperative that sustainable hotels take into consideration the community within which their hotel will be sited. Locals should benefit from the presence of the hotel, either through employment or patronage. Six Senses has a Sustainability Fund, which is fed by sales from the hotel as well as guest donations, and goes right back into the local community.

Environment first

It goes without saying that a sustainable hotel should be focused on protecting the environment. Given the sensitivity of the idyllic destinations the Six Senses resorts are set in, it is no surprise that conserving these natural paradises is high on their agenda. Their Fiji resort is run 100% on solar electricity. Any spare energy that is left over is used in the desalination plant.

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