Fairmont has partnered with the World Heritage Alliance, a joint initiative of the United Nations Foundation and Expedia, Inc., to promote conservation, sustainable tourism, and economic development for communities located in and around World Heritage sites. This endeavor marks the latest in a series of high profile efforts by the company to strengthen its Green Partnership program, the company’s comprehensive commitment to environmental stewardship.
“We are excited to welcome Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to the World Heritage Alliance,” said Kathy Bushkin, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the UN Foundation. “As one of the world’s leading hotel chains, we congratulate them for their leadership in shaping the way future travel can strengthen and sustain World Heritage sites and the communities that surround them.”
“We are pleased to welcome Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to the World Heritage Alliance,” said Lloyd Johnson, SVP of Partner Services Group Americas at Expedia, Inc. “The support of a leading hotel in green travel strengthens the work of the alliance. Together with our partners, Expedia and the World Heritage Alliance can promote sustainable tourism as a way of preserving the world’s treasures and enhancing travelers’ experiences.”
Leading this new partnership for the luxury hotel brand will be the Fairmont Mayakoba, an ecologically diverse resort located on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, which has been paired with a local tourism network from the nearby Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage site. Community Tours Sian Ka’an, (CTSK) is an award-winning tourism service alliance of three tour operators that conduct tours in designated areas, and work closely with the park managers of Sian Ka’an to ensure minimal environmental impact. Above all, CTSK donates a percentage of its revenue directly to conservation efforts in the reserve.
“As a true leader in environmental stewardship, we realize that sustainable tourism must have a positive impact on the environment, the traveler, and the local community,” says Jeff Senior, Fairmont’s senior vice president marketing & sales. “Innovative programs of this nature provide us with a means to enrich our guests’ experiences and showcase the destination’s heritage and culture, while allowing us to partner with the local community to develop smart and sustainable business endeavors.”
At the heart of the new initiative, guests of the Fairmont Mayakoba will experience the amazing natural and cultural history of the Mayan people and help to ensure that World Heritage sites are protected for all travelers now, and in the future, to enjoy. In turn, the resort will provide assistance in the area of economic development, working with CTSK to encourage guests to visit the Reserve and thereby generate revenue for the communities of Sian Ka’an.
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve comprises 1.3 million acres of tropical ecosystems and is home to 23 different archaeological sites of pre-Columbian Mayan culture. According to Ian Robinson, General Manager for the Fairmont Mayakoba, “The Mayan people have lived in the areas surrounding the Reserve for centuries and have a fascinating cultural heritage. By working with these communities we can offer our guests a unique and sustainable travel experience.”
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a leader in sustainable tourism and was the first major hotel chain in North America to embrace environmental stewardship in its daily operations through the implementation of its own Green Partnership Program. The program focuses on improvements in the areas of waste management, energy and water conservation, as well as a strong element of community outreach through local groups and partnerships.