Put your faith in protecting the environment, says hotel association
Hoteliers in the Canaries want to put the archipelago on the map by creating an international reputation for sustainability.
The hotel association of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro say this would be a key tourism selling point for both the destination and accommodation.
“Being the first destination that can certify that its hotels only consume clean energy would have much more impact than any marketing campaign,” says Ashotel president, Jorge Marichal.
As one of the first carbon footprint compensation initia-tives, Ashotel is already working on a project for the installation of a photovoltaic plant in Tenerife that supplies clean energy to as many hotels as possible. The idea is to gradually replace dependence on fossil energy and reduce the carbon footprint. The project is looking for a suitable location with adequate reception capacity for an installation with 50 megawatts power to cover an important part of the electrical needs and replace the consumption of fossil fuels, thus increasing the energy efficiency of a notable group of establishments. This model would then need to be replicated, even with other renewable sources, to finally cover the electricity needs of the whole of the housing plant.
It is an initiative that is part of a broader strategy with a view to 2030 and designed on five axes: energy, water, waste, local product consumption and sustainable mobility. The specific objective for this year is to reduce energy con-sumption, water and waste generation by 20% and raise local product consumption by up to 20%, as well as increase the use of the systems of collective transport and shared vehicles by 20%.
Ashotel admits they are “brave” objectives for the sector but all must commit: tour operators, governments and companies.
Jorge Marichal referred to the Nordic market trend, which falls, among other issues due to the Greta phenomenon and the so-called flysgkam or ‘shame of flying’.
“We have to be pioneers, be brave and take a step forward, by certifying our hotels to compensate to the maximum that carbon footprint generated by the planes that bring us customers,” added the presi-dent of Ashotel.
Vice president of Ashotel in the north of Tenerife, Enrique Talg, commented that in Puerto de la Cruz “we have done our homework” and highlighted the project in which Ashotel is involved for better waste management.
He also announced that the Puerto de la Cruz Rehabili-tation Consortium will launch a second Improvement and Modernisation Plan (PMM), with 80 actions; and applaud-ed the future reopening of the emblematic 1890 Taoro hotel after the contest won by a hotel chain for its renovation.
The group also believes another key to the evolution of the offer of accommodation in Tenerife is to continue betting on renovation – between 2017 and 2020, 60 establishments, 28,000 beds will have been renewed and re-qualified, according to Tenerife Tourism data.