A guide to sustainable tourism, ecotourism and green travel taking into account the environmental, social and economic triple bottom line approach
What Is Sustainable Tourism?
Sustainability, as a model for development, establishes the need to satisfy the requirements of today’s society without making it impossible for future generations to satisfy their own. Development of any kind cannot be achieved by the unrestrained exploitation of its resources–natural, cultural, social–to the point of eradicating or destroying them, but rather, should function to maintain, and improve upon, current conditions today for tomorrow’s future.
For the tourism industry specifically, sustainability consists of three main factors: environmental, social and economic.
Environmental: Environmental factors refer to the impact of the hotel property itself on surrounding natural areas. This category considers how we can lower our ecological footprint and assure that we are not damaging the surrounding environment.
Social: Social factors refer directly to community development and engagement, exploring how we can improve the living conditions, infrastructure and operations of the communities in which our properties and employees reside.
Economic: Economic factors assure that the operation remains viable and successful, proving that sustainability can, and should, be a reality for all businesses.
We at Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality believe that a sustainable tourism operation needs to balance all three of these factors in order to achieve a success. Choosing to focus on one or two, and not all three, of these categories will leave the organization both unstable and, consequently, unsustainable.
Oour Work In Sustainable Tourism
Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality works to incorporate sustainability at every level of operation, assuring that our philosophies and beliefs run through every vein of our organization. Our work in sustainability focuses on three main categories: onsite sustainability and management, community development and inspiration.
Onsite Sustainability And Management
Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality works diligently to assure that the operations of the hotels and lodges with whom we work incorporate the highest standards of sustainability. Specifically, we focus on:
- Wastewater Management: Assuring that all water thatleaves our properties keeps surrounding ecosystems healthy and functional.
- Energy Usage: Monitoring our energy usage and workingdiligently to lower our ecological footprint.
- Water Usage: Making sure that we use the world’s mostprecious resource responsibly.
- Solid Waste Reduction: Working to reduce the amount ofnon-recyclable waste that we produce.
- Natural and Native Plant Landscaping: Maintaining the natural characteristics ofour local ecosystems.
- Responsible Consumption: Choosing to purchase products that arein line with our values and philosophies.
- Highlighting Local Culture and Flavor: Assuring that our properties incorporatecultural elements from the surrounding community into their dailyoperations.
- Certification: Working to achieve the highest levels ofcertification that award us for our efforts in making sustainable tourisma reality.
We believe that the communities in which we operate, both within and surrounding the properties themselves, are integral to forming a successful plan for sustainable tourism and development. In developing strategies for community development, we incorporate two main groups: our immediate community (consisting of our hotel associates) and our surrounding community (consisting of the communities in which we operate):
In our immediate community, we offer opportunities to grow and succeed, focusing on:
- Education, such as working with reimbursement plans that assist those employees who wish to continue their studies.
- Health, sponsoring activities and campaigns that promote the well being of our associates.
- Job training and development, training our associates to be more knowledgeable and skilled in their positions so that they can learn and grow.
To support the surrounding communities in which we operate, we have created a program in which a certain percentage of revenues is allocated to the following programs for community development:
- Nature: Assuring that the surrounding ecosystems stay healthy and sustainable.
- Building Green and Sustainable Communities: Supporting the concept andimplementation of green and sustainable growth and development.
- Education: Improvingthe education of communities surrounding our properties for a better andmore sustainable future.
- Health: Workingto guarantee that our communities stay happy and healthy.
- Culture: Assuringthat our local communities maintain their unique culture and sense oflivelihood.
One of our main goals as an organization is to inspire those around us to live more socially-responsible and fulfilling lives. We at Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality work with three main sectors to achieve this goal: our associates, our guests and the global community.
We believe that without the support and enthusiasm of our associates, our efforts in sustainability will be short-lived. In order to inspire our associates, we work to:
- Offerextensive trainings in issues related to sustainable development
- Supportsustainability committees (composed of employees) that meet periodicallyto discuss and guide our sustainability initiatives
- Organizeperiodic events that focus on fostering community engagement and awareness
- Provideincentives that award employees for demonstrating their efforts andinterest in working towards greater social responsibility.
When guests visit our properties, we believe that we have a great opportunity to convince them that sustainable development should become a reality. In order to do so, we work to:
- Highlightand showcase sustainability on our properties through tours andpromotional material
- Promoteparticipation in philanthropy projects endorsed by our properties
- Persuadeguests to visit and support natural areas surrounding our properties
- Encourageguests to live greener and more sustainable lifestyles
As leaders and innovators, we believe that it is our responsibility to share and inspire others, including fellow businesses, schools and government agencies, to take on similar steps towards sustainable development and management. Specifically, we work to:
- Teach otherbusinesses, schools and organizations how the can incorporate the conceptof sustainability in tourism and other businesses
- Participatein committees that strive towards sustainable development
- Work withour suppliers to provide the necessary tools and materials that we need tofulfill our vision.
- Promote theconcept of sustainability in the press
We at Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality do not believe that sustainability is a trend; we believe that it is an integral and indispensable part of our daily operations and lives. We hope that you will support us in carrying out our goals, mission and dream, for a more sustainable tourism, and future, for all.