The Reef Atlantis, The Newest Kerzner Resort, To Fund Conservation of Failing Coral Reef Environments In Bahamian Waters through The Blue ProjectSM.
In December, 2007, Kerzner International will conclude its $1 billion Phase III development with the opening of its newest tower, The Reef Atlantis. The new 497-key tower will offer guests home-like accommodations and amenities - with the beach as a backyard - while instigating conservation and protection of the world’s oceans. Through a partnership with Kerzner Marine Foundation (“KMF”), Kerzner’s non-profit foundation that fosters the preservation and enhancement of global marine ecosystems through scientific research, education and community outreach, The Reef will be the main driver and debut of an important new concept in consumer travel called Blue TourismSM, offering guests of The Reef an opportunity to both interact with and support the ocean through a combination of ocean-based experiences and conservation programs.
Through the combined efforts of The Kerzner Marine Foundation, The Bahamas National Trust, The Nature Conservancy and BREEF, the first initiative of Blue TourismSM, The Blue ProjectSM at The Reef, will offer the funding to create coral reef conservation efforts around New Providence and Paradise Island as well as support the monitoring of these sites which are in reach of visitation for guests at The Reef and all visitors to The Bahamas.
“We conceived the idea of Blue TourismSM as a way of giving back to the ocean and the community in which we operate. This development at Atlantis is a great representation of the ideals and goals at Kerzner. Scientists funded by the Kerzner Marine Foundation have uncovered two new species of coral living off the coast of Oman, and garnered valuable research about the reefs in the Daymaniyat Islands, which should help our understanding about the survival of reefs throughout the world. We are really proud to bring elements of this project to The Bahamas and feel that it is a natural extension of the conservation and education programs for which Atlantis is known. After all, it is quite logical for a destination resort that is built around the ocean to care about the ocean,” said Sol Kerzner, Chairman and CEO of Kerzner International.
Kerzner will kick off The Blue ProjectSM with an initial donation of $1 million. Other partners on The Blue ProjectSM initiative include American Express®, JetBlue Airways, Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, Melissa & Doug® toys, Red Flower and Shoshanna.
“The idea of corporate social responsibility is one that is both attractive to our partner companies and to our guests. Consumers are always seeking ways to give back and The Blue ProjectSM offers a new way to view tourism as a mechanism for doing so. We are really proud to be affiliated with names such as American Express® and JetBlue and all of the other brands that speak to our guests, to create a groundswell for Blue TourismSM. With all of us working together with guests of The Reef, we will make an indelible impact on the ocean environment,” said Bob Cotter, President of Kerzner International.
Atlantis is known for, most notably, the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, home to giant manta rays, sawfish, piranha, barracuda, rainbows of tiny tropical fish and, of course sharks, including some of the first species ever born in a man-made environment.
Guests at Atlantis have access to viewing and understanding over 250 species that inhabit the resort’s open-system exhibits. The resort has also made great efforts to use a variety of educational programs and interactions with guests to promote ocean conservation.