Treading Carefully with Eco Resorts Sylvania OH
614 245 5151
Green developments have caught the attention of the real estate industry. These developments conserve energy, reduce utility bills and send a message to the public that the developers and owners are socially responsible. Most of the projects that are advertised to the public are custom-made homes, architecturally stimulating office buildings and retail outlets that emphasize their sustainable designs. Many people are not accustomed to seeing eco-friendly structures as part of their vacation, but that has changed lately as the green movement has moved into even the most remote locations. What has emerged is ecotourism—a new way to experience and appreciate the places where we vacation.
According to the International Ecotourism Society (TIES), ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." To be considered as an eco resort ,an establishment must take considerable measures to conserve the land, its resources and its culture. This often means exercising extra caution when clearing brush and leveling land, reducing the resort’s waste and energy consumption, using recycled and eco-friendly building materials whenever possible and supporting the local economy by hiring its residents and utilizing their commodities.
Though these conditions may not evoke the most relaxing atmosphere to some people, it’s clear that they do for a significant part of the tourist market. According to TIES’ study of global ecotourism, more than two-thirds of American and Australian travelers, and 90 percent of British travelers believed that it is a hotel’s responsibility to actively protect its surrounding environment and support its local community. Approximately 70 percent of these three travel groups also said that they would pay up to $150 more for a two-week vacation if the hotel had a “responsible environmental attitude.”
Judging from these numbers, it’s clear that ecological considerations are here to stay. In fact, despite a general slowdown in the construction, tourism and hospitality industries, numerous eco resorts are still underway. The Distinguished International Hotel Group is working with the government of Dominica to develop an eco resort that will contain a mixture of villas, tree houses and cottages. Star Island resort, which stands for Sustainable Terrain and Resources, is anticipated to be completely carbon-neutral. Famed British industrialist Richard Branson purchased Mosquito Island in the British Virgin Islands, with plans to turn it into a premier ecotourism destination. In Vietnam, the $20-million eco-tourism complex that will contain hotels, a sports complex, restaurants and a park, is underway and expected to be completed in late 2010. Cacao Pearl, the world’s first non-profit, luxury eco resort community is being constructed on ...