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The American group defends its travel promise with more responsible sojourns.


The American group defends its travel promise with more responsible sojourns.

Category: Worldwide - Industry economy - New brands / Affiliations Sustainability
Article written by Sylvie Leroy on 2020-11-19

"Believe in travel" is the promise of Preferred Hotel Group. A promise harder to keep when the tourism industry is being challenged both by the pandemic and by voices speaking out against the environmental impact of travel.

For Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of Preferred Hotel Group, who spoke at a press conference on Tuesday 17 November, this promise to believe in travel is "stronger than ever" for the American group, which intends to redouble its efforts in its commitment to defend international tourism and all that it represents: discovery, encounters, sharing, emotion...

For Preferred, travel must, more than ever, be a positive force and rhyme with sustainability. A mission that has already materialised last February with the acquisition of the consulting and communication agency Beyond Green Travel. Its founder Costas Christ is a pioneer in ecotourism. A recognised expert as he notably participated in the implementation by the United Nations of best practices in sustainable tourism.

The collaboration continued, and the reflection on the topic of sustainable tourism led Preferred to imagine a new collection of hotels, resorts and lodges embodying the quintessence of sustainable tourism: Beyond Green is born with 24 founding members, all at the forefront of the topics of environment, heritage and local economy.

The three pillars of sustainable tourism

Beyond Green member hotels, resorts and lodges commit themselves to three key pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond basic principles, the protection of natural and cultural heritage and the contribution to the social and economic well-being of local communities.

For Preferred, it is the "overriding responsibility of the travel and tourism industry to protect biodiversity, preserve cultural heritage, improve the livelihoods of local populations in tourist destinations around the world, while providing an enjoyable and rewarding travel experience".

Join the collection

Preferred Hotels Group, therefore, invites all hoteliers who recognise themselves in this movement to join them in this new collection.

Each application will be studied and will pass through a filter of 54 criteria, such as waste treatment, use of plastic, site protection and restoration, biodiversity, carbon emission reduction, fair wages, purchases from local companies... The establishment will be subject to an inspection visit every two years. Beyond Green will be able to accompany hoteliers in their approach to sustainable tourism.

Beyond Green will enable its hotels to benefit from a GDS code and the power of the I Prefer Hotel Rewards loyalty programme, which has 3.7 million members.

The website was launched yesterday to explain the approach. It will be operational for the general public, and reservations will be possible in the first quarter of 2021.

Lindsey Ueberroth is convinced: "Never before has there been a greater need to promote a kinder and gentler way to explore our beautiful, yet fragile planet. Driven by our brand promise, Believe in Travel, which guides every decision we make as a company, we believe that now is the time to go big and be bold as we look to the future of travel. We are humbled by the opportunity to partner with so many inspiring leaders in sustainable tourism to launch our newest brand, Beyond Green, that was built with purpose, gratitude, and respect for nature, communities, and culture."

Riding the wave of a trend?

Not for Costas Christ, who reminds us that “While there may be a tendency to think of sustainability as just the latest travel buzzword, its roots are long and deep. What we are witnessing is an evolution of travel, not a passing trend. Beyond Green is about reconnecting with our common humanity and understanding that the diversity of our cultures and different ways of life are what create the rich fabric that makes travel so enjoyable and fascinating. In that same context, nature brings inspiration and renewal to our lives. Sustainable tourism is not about giving something up, it is about gaining something more – a great vacation that it is also a force for good.”
Journal des Palaces comment:
The promise is powerful, other collections also exist on the same theme, but Preferred's assets are its reputation, its recognised expertise and the volume of business of its loyalty programme. However, at the launch, it remains to be seen whether the brand is keeping its promises. Notably, by taking a detailed look at the hotels present: how big the gap will be between the founding establishments, which are very advanced on the subject, like Brando, and other establishments that would only offer things that are quite commonplace these days, such as the removal of straws or plastic bottles. Today's customers have very high expectations and requirements. Beyond Green will not be able to disappoint on such a sensitive subject by having hotels in its portfolio that don't live up to them.

Here is the list of the 24 founding hotels and resorts of the collection, pioneers and spearheads of sustainable tourism that has proven its worth:
&Beyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya)
&Beyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania)
&Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia)
Aristi Mountain Resort (Zagori, Greece)
Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo, Ireland)
Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA)
Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize)
Borgo Pignano (Tuscany, Italy)
Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa)
Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA)
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia)
Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama)
Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA)
Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA)
The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia)
The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA)
Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)
Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize)
Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda)
Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana)
Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia)
Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe)
Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana)

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About the author

Sylvie Leroy, enthusiastic publisher since 1999
Her passion for luxury hospitality, "a score perfectly performed by a fantastic orchestra" as she often says, led Sylvie Leroy to build in 2004 Journal des Palaces the sole online daily news dedicated to luxury hospitality with news, jobs, directories and resources.

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