SAN JUAN, P.R.—The Caribbean Hotel Assn. (CHA) and its environmental subsidiary, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), have announced the opening of the nomination process for the new 2007 American Express Caribbean Environmental Award. This award recognizes the commitment made to sustainable tourism by Caribbean hotels each year and social performances as demonstrated by their policies, plans and records of activities. The deadline for submission of nominations is March 20, 2007.
“This is probably one of the most important hotel awards this year,” says Dianelys Rodríguez, Vice President of Destination Business Development, American Express Company. “In light of the recent debate on climate change, recognizing a property whose environment and social development is a priority encourages other Caribbean properties to follow suit.”
Candidates for the 2007 American Express Caribbean Environmental Award must demonstrate a track record of environmental stewardship through activities such as reduction/elimination of waste streams through innovative practices, water/energy efficiency and conservation, guest and employee participation in conservation and community enrichment programs, among other achievements.
One Award Presented in 2007
The 2007 winner will join an elite group of Caribbean properties that are leading the regional movement towards a tourism product that is good for the environment and the local people. The most recent honorees were Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica and 3Rivers Eco Lodge in Dominica, winners of the 2006 award in the large and small hotel categories, respectively. In 2007, one overall award will be presented.
“We consolidated the two categories because, over the years, we have found that small hotels have the same capacity as larger properties to implement responsible practices into their mainstream operations and are not at all disadvantaged by their relative size,” says Deirdre Shurland, CAST director, adding that nominees would be reviewed on their individual performance against established criteria, not in comparison to other properties nominated.
A panel of judges will evaluate the nominations and three finalists will be selected for site inspections. The purpose of these independent inspections is to verify the accuracy of the information submitted. The panel of judges will designate the winner, which will be announced at the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Conference, to be held June 17-18, in Miami.
The 2007 American Express Caribbean Environmental Award application form and eligibility requirements are available on the CAST website at www.cha-cast.com.