Sustainable Hospitality Operator Says It’s Time To Share Knowledge
The leader of a collection of Central American hotel properties
a sustainable tourism focus says he is happy to share the company’s knowledge
with hospitality and tourism operators from around the world.
“We don’t see what we
have done as a competitive advantage to be kept secret but rather the building
of best practices to share so that more communities can benefit from tourism
done right,” says Cayuga Collection President and Co-founder Hans Pfister.
The company runs a collection of sustainable luxury hotels & lodges in
Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
When the United Nations
declared in December that 2017 was being designated as the
of International Sustainable Tourism for Development
, Pfister decided it was
time to invite the global hospitality industry to come and learn from the
experience gained during more than 2 decades of running sustainable tourism
“Learning about the
declaration and reading UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai’s quote that 2017
is, ‘a unique opportunity to advance the contribution of the tourism sector to
the 3 pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental, while
raising awareness of the true dimensions of a sector which is often
undervalued,’ made me the happiest man for the planet,” says Pfister.
Pfister actively blogs
on the issue and is an advocate for thinking beyond the typical sustainable or
eco-tourism box when discovering ways to use tourism for local economic
development. “Respect for the environment is a critical part of our work and
each of our properties maintain the highest level of environmental
sustainability ratings, but that’s not the end of our sustainability work,” he
says. “Our approach aims to assist the communities around us by creating
educational and economic opportunities. Our guest experience is not
compromised, but instead enhanced, by sustainability.”
Projects led or funded
by the Cayuga Collection properties in communities near their properties
including the building of recycling plants, funding school libraries and new
curricula, helping to provide clean water and more.
“Of course it is not
easy doing all this work but it is the right way to build tourism and I am
happy to welcome anyone passionate about sharing and learning more about our
brand of sustainable tourism operations to contact me directly. As tourism
grows globally so do its impacts. Together the industry needs to ensure those
impacts are positive,” says Pfister.