Iberostar Group, a leading hotel company in responsible tourism with more than 100 hotels in 16 countries, presented its roadmap for the protection of the oceans through an ambitious plan aimed at recovering coastal health in all the destinations where it operates at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference, which is being held this week in Lisbon, Portugal.
Gloria Fluxà, Vice Chairman and Chief Sustainability Officer of Iberostar Group, led the debate on sustainable coastal and marine tourism in 2030 and 2050 during her speech at the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, highlighting the key changes to achieve the ambitious vision of improving these ecosystems. Gloria Fluxà explained that “the health of the ocean and coasts is intrinsic to any coastal or ocean-based tourism. People travel to enjoy the beach, the ocean and the experiences they can have there. Tourism needs to move forward with respect for local residents and present itself as an opportunity for their communities to generate income”.
During the globally renowned conference, Iberostar Group provided solutions to the major challenges facing the oceans, based on strengthening tourism and demonstrating the capacity of the private sector to accelerate and scale up these actions, leading to a more resilient industry and boosting destinations with a greater capacity for regeneration.
In addition to the care and protection of coral reefs, mangroves, dunes and seagrasses in the areas where the Iberostar Group operates, the company sets five major objectives focused on improving the health of marine and coastal ecosystems:
- Meet its carbon neutrality goal by 2030.
- Mitigate risk from climate impacts by implementing nature-based solutions by taking advantage of the potential that natural ecosystems have as opportunities.
- Regenerate and qualitatively improve coastal and marine tourism products: beach and water.
- Greening all Iberostar hotels to improve the health and well-being of travelers, residents and employees.
- Foster equitable tourism by promoting community-based tourism and alternative livelihoods.
This ambitious plan is materialised in various science-based actions, including Iberostar Group’s commitment to implementing coastal health projects in all its hotels; collaborating with local stakeholders in the destinations in which it operates; mitigating the impacts of climate change; capturing approximately 500,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions; raising awareness among travelers to care for the health of beaches and ensuring that green areas occupy at least 25% of the space in all hotels.
The roadmap also maintains the principle of inclusion of the value chain, as well as employees and customers, as the company works in collaboration with key stakeholders in both domestic and international destinations.
The Coastal Health roadmap responds to the third of the five long-term commitments set by Iberostar Group in 2020 with its own Agenda 2030: improving the health of marine and coastal ecosystems. The company has established clear objectives in critical areas of the tourism sector, destinations and ocean health.