27 Dec Make the world a better place
Have you ever picked vegetables from a garden to prepare your very own salad?
You would remember it, that’s for sure.
The codes of travel have changed. We are born explorers. It is the society that made us tourists. The shift is happening. When discovering a new destination, travellers want to get a real feel of what the place is about, meet the locals and collect stories worth sharing. The aim has shifted from rushing from one place to the next, shopping for souvenirs and indulging in kilometer long buffet meals, to collecting moments, interacting with artisans, eating organic healthy food, reconnecting with nature, rejuvenating.
Nowadays people value time, space and privacy as the ultimate luxury. Why? Because luxury is, by definition, something rare. And holidays are precious.
All year long, society makes us feel guilty about what we should be consuming or not, what we should eat, wear, drive, watch and support. So when we go on holiday, we want to enjoy and often do not pay attention to our impact. It is all about having a great time with friends or family, relaxing and recovering from the stress of everyday life. And that’s OK.
It is a fact, people book their accommodations according to their budget or a specific location they are interested in visiting. I believe that hotels are more than just commodities, they are an inherent part of the holiday experience. I believe that owners of resorts that care about the environment, about the local communities and about their staff, are likely to offer a better experience to their guests. I believe that staying in greener hotels should matter to you.
Next time you travel, book greener hotels and you are likely to have a better time and feel great by the end of your holiday. Why? It won’t always be possible to put words to it, it will be a “je ne sais quoi”, an overall comforting feeling. Here are some tangible examples of the benefits you may find in greener places: the staff are likely to be happier, smiling and anticipating your every need. Why? Not because they are told and trained better, because they are genuinely loved, well taken care of and empowered by their managers and owners, because their communities are well supported and integrated in the life of the resort. The food is likely to taste better as the suppliers are carefully hand-picked based on their love for the land and products, or the hotel harvests its own fruits and vegetables, ensuring freshness and quality. In some places, you are asked to order your meal in advance so every ingredient is picked just for you and only what is needed is taken from the ground. The rooms are designed in order to offer the ultimate sleeping experience: from the orientation of the bed – you sleep better if your face is facing East or South – to the natural ventilation of the room, from the choice of soaps to the products used to clean your room, towels and sheets. You won’t notice most of these and hotel owners are rarely communicating well about what they are doing but these are some of the reasons you have such a relaxing time there.
Of course, booking a greener hotel is not a guarantee that you will have a good time – it is a prerequisite. Once you find a green hotel, check the reviews and if the price is right, then you are in for a treat. Travelers, when staying at a true luxury resort arrive as guests and leave as fans.
In Bali, some owners pursue the vision to support the wellbeing of the local people and make a real contribution to protecting the environment. They understand that if we don’t get tourism development right, we will eventually destroy the very cultural and natural attractions that visitors come to see. Booking green is not only the responsible thing to do, it is just a smart choice. We believe that travel can truly change the world. Next time you travel, don’t be a tourist, be an explorer: Book Greener.
Based in Singapore, BookGreener is a community of true luxury resorts and hotels, owned by people who enhance the local culture, nature and offer unique experiences to their guests.
By Sandro Madaire